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Artist of the day: Not Tonight Josephine


Tampa emo-punk foursome Not Tonight Josephine has only been a group for about six months, but they've been making the most of their short time together. They've working on an EP in Orlando, and this week they were voted one of three local bands to play at the 97X Memorial Day Backyard BBQ, along with Drew Street Mary and Victims of Circumstance.

"We’ve been told that we manage to sound familiar and comfortable the first time you hear us," bassist Evan Foley says, "but somehow still unpredictable and new, too."

After the jump, get Julie Garisto's full story on the band's unique name, their affinity for Story of the Year and why they hold guitar pyrotechnics in high regard ...

Josie’s boys: David Easlick, vocals; Jake Moore, guitar; Adam Aungst, guitar; Evan Foley, bass; and Randy Ayers, drums.

Formed: Tampa and Brandon, fall 2008.

Recording plans: They’re heading to Orlando in June to work with Brett Hestla, a member of Virgos Merlot and Dark New Day and producer of Framing Hanley, to work on their first EP, due out in early summer.

Band name backstory: ‚ÄúIn a letter to his wife,  written the night before heading off to war, Napoleon supposedly wrote the words, 'Not tonight, Josephine,‚Äô‚Äù explains Easlick. Adds Ayers: ‚ÄúWe found it appropriate for a group of guys trying to make music together for a living. In a way music is about as safe a business as war ever was.‚Äù

Song up close: “Well, I write all the lyrics to the songs,” Easlick says. “Most are about bad relationships, but one that stands out is Contrast. It’s about both the good and bad and how things typically happen for a reason. How, to those that are patient and deserving, better things will come along. As long as you’re strong enough to walk away from what’s holding you back, the light will shine after the dark.”

Ayers: “The music really fits the title very well, also. The first half is straight 4/4, upbeat and powerful. Then the second half of the song shifts to a more mellow, sort of loping 6/8 rhythm and slowly dies down to nothing but a clean guitar and then silence. Then everything comes crashing back, still in the 6/8 rhythm, but bringing with it the drive and power from the beginning.”

Influences: “Well, bands like The Who, Cream, and Jimi Hendrix; Metallica and Pantera; and Pearl Jam, Bush and Smashing Pumpkins have influenced us in how they were so raw and authentic,” says Easlick. “To us, these bands define what a 'rock band’ should be — the look and the sound, but most of all, the attitude, especially when on stage. Their performance was more than just the music; it was a show. When was the last time someone lit a guitar on fire?”

What sets them apart? “We’ve been told that we manage to sound familiar and comfortable the first time you hear us,” Foley says, “but somehow still unpredictable and new, too.”

Easlick: “We definitely feel our live show is what sets us apart the most, though.”

Aungst: “Yeah, we put in all the work we do solely for those 30-40 minutes we have on stage.”

Fantasy bill: “We’ve heard Creed was making a comeback!” jokes Ayers.

Moore: “Seriously, opening for Story of the Year would be a great show!”

Unique talents: Easlick: “Adam could probably build a space station out of random items from any local hardware store.”

Ayers: “Jake seems to have an innate ability to live his entire life without ever having to look away from his iPhone.”

Hear ’em: 1 p.m. Saturday at the 97X Memorial Day Backyard BBQ, Vinoy Park in downtown St. Pete. Event begins at noon. $10. They’re also playing at 10 p.m. Saturday at Pegasus Lounge in Tampa.

-- Julie Garisto, tbt*

[Last modified: Friday, May 22, 2009 7:00am]


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