Trio in Stereo isn’t a trio at all. The core group is a quintet. But then if people who contribute to the group’s recordings and who occasionally join them for performances were included, the trombonist, the trumpeter, the cellist, the violist and the additional singers, the band’s roster easily exceeds ten people.
The group formed six years ago in Bloomington, Indiana, where all of the five full-time members went to college at Indiana University, studying subjects such as ethnomusicology, classical guitar and classical piano, giving the band a wide array of influences to draw from in addition to current, popular music.
Bloomington is a small town with a fairly large music, compared to the size of the town, and definitely influential music scene. The town in southern Indiana is the home base for the Secretly Canadian and Jagjaguwar record labels. “When you’re a band in Bloomington, especially when you’re an indie rock band in Bloomington, you kind of spend all of your time trying to get noticed by Secretly Canadian and Jagjaguwar. You’re always kind of riding the coattails of that scene and those bands,” says drummer Chris Kolodziej.
Those record labels sign very, very few of the many, many bands that come out of Bloomington, and for the time, Trio in Stereo isn’t one of those bands that get the elusive Secretly Canadian contract offer.
So, once the members began graduating, they began moving to Chicago, some coming three years ago, Kolodziej two years ago and finally the group’s keyboardist, Logan Cradick, who will be finally joining the group this August. Chicago is a city that, as well as offering graduate schools and full-time jobs, has a much larger music community and a variety of record labels for the band to try to impress.
While the members were geographically separated, they practiced with the members who were around and performed when they could all get together, but now that the group will be back together at full strength, the members are ready to get back to work, not to say that the band hasn’t been busy in the mean time, independently recording and releasing “Burry It to Dig It Up,” a full-length record. “Now that everybody’s going to be in one spot, I think everybody’s at the point where we’ve been in grad school or working full-time for a year or two and we want to rededicate themselves to music,” says Kolodziej.
From what I have heard the band’s current sound is clean, driving and anthemic, thanks to horns and big endings with lots of guitars and drums. Broken Social Scene is also a band that also uses horns and big endings and is cited by Kolodziej as at least one of the band’s many influences. The similarities are definitely there.
Trio in Stereo’s older songs, though, are not as reminiscent of those elements. The ones that I have heard are more piano and vocal driven. “We actually have been working on resurrecting some really old stuff from like more towards the beginning, when we started playing, songs that are now about like 6 years old,” says Kolodziej. So, what comes next may be some kind of a mixture of new and old, a combination that I will definitely be interested in hearing. (Todd Miller)
May 29 at Subterranean, 2011 W. North, (773)278-6600, 9:30pm. $8.
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