If These Trees Could Talk, DRIFTOFF, Alexander Turnquist

/ Aug

If These Trees Could Talk, DRIFTOFF, Alexander Turnquist

Front Room
07:30 pm
$9 adv / $12 door

Thursday August 4th

The Bunce Group presents

If These Trees Could Talk
with DRIFTOFF + Alexander Turnquist

Tickets are on-sale now, online :: http://bit.ly/1XXn7LF
and locally (cash only, no fees) at
outdated: an antique café // Rocket Number Nine
Darkside Records // Jack’s Rhythms // Woodstock Music Shop (HV Mall too)


Akron, Ohio post-rock outfit If These Trees Could Talk was properly formed in 2005 and has grown tremendously since their humble origins in Zack Kelly’s basement as an instrumental project in college. They released their first EP in 2006 and their first full-length, “Above the Earth, Below the Sky,” in 2009. Both were released independently, with vinyl released via The Mylene Sheath. Those laid the groundwork for their breakout 2012 release, “Red Forest.”

“Red Forest” was independently released by If These Trees Could Talk in March of 2012 (Science of Silence pressed the vinyl). The nine song, 48-minute long album was self produced and engineered/mixed by Zack Kelly and Rick Fuller throughout much of 2011 at NEMeadow Studios in Bath, OH. Will Putney mastered the album and Charlie Wagers (The Fray, mewithoutYou, Caspian) of Three Bears Design was at the helm for art direction and design. This album was followed by a three week sold out European tour in 2012, as well as a flurry of licensing music for games and film. Music from the band’s catalog has been heard in Sony PS3 titles, and on NBC, MTV, VH1, the NFL, in videos for Vans, and for projects on the Sundance Film Festival. “Red Forest” quietly became a smashing success. Cumulatively, the band has sold over 20,000 copies, with 3,000 on vinyl alone across all of their albums.

As 2014 progressed, If These Trees Could Talk began work on their third full-length album. It was around that time that the band was approached by Metal Blade Records and signed with the label. Their independent and entirely self-motivated approach to their music and art will not change, however. Recording for the album will take place throughout the winter of 2014/2015 at their studio in Ohio for release in 2015. Drummer Zack Kelly will produce – he has produced each of the band’s previous albums, with engineering and mixing assistance by Rick Fuller. To begin 2015, Metal Blade will re-issue both “Above the Earth, Below the Sky” and “Red Forest” on CD – both of which are currently out of print! 


Driftoff sees forward thinking rock music veterans (members of Junius, Rosetta, City of Ships) eschew the atmospheric metallics of their other bands in favor of a radiant, crushing post-hardcore sound. Desperate vocals and massive tones add up to what Decibel Magazine calls “frantic, feedback-riddled post-hardcore… noisy, squalling forward momentum,” highly recommended for fans of Quicksand, Hot Water Music, Planes Mistaken For Stars, and Deftones. 

The songs on their new EP, Modern Fear (Science of Silence / Golden Antenna Records), tell tales of Driftoff’s hometown of New York City – from a prisoner sentenced to tend the city’s mass burial ground on Hart Island, to a subway busker living underground. Guitarist/vocalist Eric Jernigan has called the city “a self-contained bubble of madness… an endless well of inspiration.”

Alexander Turnquist

As an accomplished 12-string guitarist/composer, Alexander Turnquist was naturally alarmed when the ulnar nerve in his left hand seized up in 2013, but after a surgical procedure he gratefully started the process of learning to play guitar again. His recovery was cut short when not long after the surgery he was hospitalized with meningitis. Though his recovery is ongoing, and he continues to struggle with a weakened immune system and memory loss, he was inspired to soldier on, rather than being deterred by his physical struggles. 

Turnquist’s latest full-length Flying Fantasy confirms the idea that out of great hardship can come great art. As he wrote the material for the new album it became clear that his sensitivity had sharpened, his empathy magnified, and his sense of purpose blossomed. The unfortunate circumstances he endured ostensibly forced his metamorphosis from a remarkable guitar player to a truly great composer. Much like the butterflies that adorn the album cover, he seems to have changed form and taken flight. 

The album opens with the sparse harmonics of “House of Insomniacs”, which are soon joined by lush swells of vibes, cello, and even wordless vocals. On the tracks that follow, Turnquist continues to make use of this dynamic sonic pallet, even adding organ, piano, marimba, steel drums, violin, and french horn to the mix. From “Red Carousel”, which was inspired by Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, to the somber lilt of the love song “Wildflower”, to the truly arresting title track “Flying Fantasy” which uses only 4 open strummed guitars and loops of damaged tape and wire recorders, every note of Flying Fantasy vibrates with life as Turnquist ushers us though his intoxicatingly colorful worlds of sound.