Local band Blue Healer, while not referencing the dog breed, certainly contain the energy of a fun-loving pup. Fittingly, the band's single "Luminescent Eyes" off their new self-titled debut album begins with, "Well I was like an animal..."
Story by Sarah Bloodworth
The trio, consisting of David Beck on guitar and upright bass, Bryan Mammel on keyboard and Dees Stribling on the drums, delivers a playful mix of pop and electronic. The group started playing together in 2015 and will take the stage at Austin City Limits this Saturday. Catch them after the fest on Oct. 27 at the Parish for their album release show.
ORANGE chatted with drummer Stribling, who began performing early on at his church, founding his passion for drums around the age of 14. The ingenious percussionist uses a sampling pad to create a multiplicity of effects, as well as providing vocals for some of the band’s tracks.
What do you imagine people are feeling when they listen to your music?
I’m hoping they’re having a good time. We try to keep it pretty light, but there’s some introspection going on. There’s a song that I like to point to at the end of the album called “Know Better." One time we were playing and it was a family in the park kind of situation. There were all these little kids dancing up in front having a lot of fun and then we started talking about playing “Know Better,” and it was kind of sad. But then we were like, well, little kids feel sad too, so we’ll do it anyway.
“Luminescent Eyes" is the first song the band ever wrote and recorded together. Tell me about that experience.
"Luminescent Eyes” was a song that started with a guitar riff that David had, and we just started playing and then the lyrics came later. David is definitely the main songwriter.
What are some new artists you guys are digging right now?
We listen to a lot of Whitney, a band out of Chicago and they have a really cool record. Also we listen to Mac Demarco a lot. In terms of local or local-ish music, we’ve been listening to Sweet Spirit. They probably are the one band we listen to a whole lot.
What are you most looking forward to at ACL?
I’m looking forward to playing the show. I’m also looking forward to seeing the band that plays right before us, Khruangbin. I couldn’t tell you how to spell it but they’re awesome.
I like the people watching too. I’ve only been to ACL one time, a couple years ago, and there’s people from all walks of life going around. It’s always fun to just hang around and look at them all.
What do you like about playing drums?
I like the musicality of playing them. I like how the techniques can determine how they sound which is a little different than the guitar. I think that’s the good thing. And they’re fun to hit..
Where are you excited to tour outside of Austin? Ever thinking about going outside the US?
We’ve been out and about. We’ve been to New York a couple times and it’s always a great time. [Going abroad] is definitely something I’ve been thinking about forever, and it’s definitely feasible if we do it the right way. I’m willing to go anywhere.
What do you see for the band in the future?
The whole thing is always changing. The songs will direct where the music goes. We go with the flow. We put out this new record, so we are going to play all the songs from this record for a long time I’m sure.
Our new record is only on CD and online right now, so the next step is it’ll be on vinyl, probably at the beginning of next year. I like vinyl — it’s so big and fun to look at it. You can hold it with two hands and actually look at it.