There comes a time in every musician’s life when he or she has to decide whether or not they want to “live the dream” or put the amps in the closet and move on to a more “adult” and/or “stable” life stage. Even the ones who choose to holster their axes can’t help but occasionally drag their gear into the living room and indulge the creative impetus still coursing in their synapses. This is what happened for five friends from Weatherford who played together in a couple of bands in the early 2000s. Though their old bands no longer exist, the guys never stopped playing.
For whatever reason, the members of Driving Slow Motion go only by their first names. Over the phone, drummer Dustin was nonchalant about his old bands, but when pressed a little, he divulged that he, bassist Carter, and their three guitarists – Bryan (who joined him on the call), Nick, and Jason – played together in a couple of post-hardcore bands: If Names Were Numbers and Brentwood Stair. Those bands frequently played The Door, the Fort Worth location of a pair of Christian-oriented all-ages clubs where lots of current musos started out.
“It was that era of music, like 2006,” Dustin said. He described the music as “post-hardcore, singing with heavy parts, like Thrice.”
The early-to-mid-aughts post-rock sonic signifiers included effects-heavy arpeggiated guitars and clean vocals that alternated with chunky, distorted breakdowns and screaming. It’s not surprising then that Dustin later went on to form a grindcore band called Sirens and another heavy band called Seeker, which signed with Chicago-based punk label Victory Records. Seeker picked up speed, but Dustin wasn’t on board.
“I felt like the tour life wasn’t where I needed to be at the time,” he said. “As much as I love being on the road, I wanted to change my priorities.”
Dustin ended up pursuing a career in software solutions, but he never abandoned his drums. And though Bryan had moved on from the wear and tear of regular gigging, he was still writing.
“Bryan hit me up one day and was like, ‘I have this really cool idea,’ ” Dustin said. “We pieced the song together, and we started talking about who we wanted to be on this project, and it was the other three guys, Nick, Jason, and Carter.”
The five friends spent the past year writing and engineering what would become a three-song self-titled EP of post-rock at a private studio in Keller. They sent it to Troy Glessner (August Burns Red, Thrice) at Spectre Studios in Renton, Washington, for mixing and mastering. Though they have performed only a handful of times, Bryan said attendance at their shows grows bigger each time.
Part of that probably has to do with making each song an orchestrated spectacle reflective of their music’s vibe and tone.
Though he couldn’t exactly pin down their sound, Dustin said “it’s ambient, cascading, with some heavy parts. It has a soundtrack feel. The whole thing is seamless, and we have a light show. It’s more of a cinematic sound.”
Bryan said that having three guitarists allows the music to have a more distinct voice that can tell a story.
“The music is concise,” Bryan said. “We don’t lose the content, but we condense.”
Dustin said that they’re all a bunch of “pretty big nerds,” citing Lord of the Rings as a common narrative influence. Unsurprisingly, he thinks the story their music tells is “epic” and “hero-based.” For Bryan, the hero’s journey is personal.
“When I first wrote these songs and sent them to Dustin, they were kind of a summary of where we’ve been as people in our time away from each other,” he said.
The EP’s final track, “Onward,” he added, is “about how life moves on.”
Dustin elaborated on that idea.
“The concept is a journey,” he said. “A journey can be personal or a character’s in a movie. [But] our main goal is to evoke emotion in people. We view this as an art piece. We don’t speak or break it up. We want to draw people in and give them something to experience other than ‘Here’s this song we wrote.’ ”
Driving Slow Motion
8pm Sat w/Retrograde Motion, Lo Miner at Shipping & Receiving, 201 S Calhoun St, FW. $10. 817-887-9313.