A local band that has entertained Islanders and others at various venues will play its most unusual gig ever tomorrow, its last gig here for a long time perhaps.
The band, the Wholetones, will let it all out at the Orion Bank Shred Party before leaving town to find fame and fortune in Chicago. They are pumped.
When we phoned the Wholetones during rehearsal here, band members Andrew Galler, Alex Dorris and Taylor Freydberg were eager to talk about Saturday’s appearance at Orion Bank.
“This is the first time we’ve ever played a shredding party,” said Galler. “Maybe we can use some of the shredded paper and make it part of the show.”
The show will be during the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. shred event, in which the public can take any documents or other paper stuff for shredding in a huge truck designed for the purpose. It’s free, courtesy of Orion Bank V.P and Manager Keith Dameron.
“You can come with your stuff, get it shredded, then sit and enjoy the music of this excellent band,” Dameron says.
“What’s your music like?” most people ask before they hear the band. The answer can take a while.
“We call our sound modern day folk music, acoustic music,” Galler says. “It’s for all ages. I give a flier to a 40-year-old with confidence that he’s going to enjoy the music. It’s not hard-core, not too heavy. We get all age ranges in our audiences.
“We have high school kids in the crowd and younger kids whose mothers bring them to the performance. The parents and the kids all enjoy it, sometimes the mothers the most.”
The men agree that it’s “a unique blend of modern and traditional American music, with guitars, banjo, mandolin, cello, harmonica, percussion and vocals.
Galler, 25, formerly was with a popular band “Little Eddie and the Fat Fingers.” He grew up in Florida, never wanting to be anything other than a musician.
“My dad took me to a Grateful Dead show in Orlando and bought me a drum set on the way home from the concert.”
Taylor Freydberg, a lead singer, also plays guitar, mandolin, harmonica and more. He is 19.
Alex Dorris, 20, has lived on Marco Island for 10 years.
“I went to Tommie Barfield and Gulfview Middle School, then to Lely. I started playing upright base in sixth grade and switched to guitar in ninth and played that for several years.”
Alex says he played in a reggae band, practicing in the garage, but “now we play and record in Taylor’s bedroom. And all our parents are helpful and supportive.”
The band’s current name, the Wholetones, could in a way stand for their united attitude toward the future, summed up by Andrew Galler.
“We write a lot of original music, about 40 originals so far. But here it’s hard in some ways,” says Galler. “The Naples area is a tough place to find gigs, hard to find a bar that wants to pay several musicians.
“Usually it’s one guy with his sound machine and he’s playing acoustic. It’s fine, but not the same. If you go to a bar where young guys are going to meet women, you have to play things they recognize.”
In other words, the Wholetones want to play places where the music is the thing.
So off they go this summer to Chicago, with more potential for regular work. The guys would like to play five or six nights a week, full time.
“We have family who’ll put us up at first to let us get going there,” Andrew notes. “We’re hoping for the best. We won’t say we’ll be famous, but we do want to make a name for ourselves.”
Speaking of names, these musicians have worked together under a couple of band names.
First they were called “Vegetable Love,” the name of a whimsical poem about love between two tomatoes. After months of thought and debate, they decided that “Wholetones” just fit their sound better than a reference to garden romance.
In the music business, however, bands are moveable and changeable feasts of creativity and occasional chaos. So maybe some day the Wholetones might become, with a bow to their Marco Island bon voyage gig, “The Shredders.” Yeah, yeah, yeah.