ARTICLE BY: NICK GUMAS
PHOTOS BY: TATIANA MICHAELIS
“A Little bit of funk, a little of folk, a little bit of rock, a whole lot of junk, and multi instrumentalists that like to dance.” Is an interesting way for anyone to describe their work, but for San Francisco’s own Thrown-Out Bones, it truly is an all-encompassing narrative for anyone seeking introduction to their unique and inventive style of music.
Thrown-Out Bones performed at the DNA Lounge on February 19th, showcasing their own calm indie style to a full audience. Their music upbeat, memorable, and personal, Thrown-Out Bones played one of the last shows of their latest Bay Area tour, showing a real love for their music, and what they know it represents.
Their performance as a whole was a perfect example of musicians creating music true to their identity, and delivering it in a way that was organic to themselves as artists. The set list had amazing flow, and their delivery was genuine and passionate. They made it clear that it was as fun for them to perform as it was for the audience to watch. Never forgetting to have fun with their act, they delivered a full show complete with their own style of showmanship.
After their set, I was lucky enough to sit down with the members of Thrown-Out Bones and get to know a little about them, both as individuals and as a band, and what their music has meant to them.
How did you come up with your name?
Originally, Thrown-Out Bones played under the name “P.F.L.”, an acronym that didn’t actually stand for anything, but the band eventually grew tired of explaining this to their new fans, or coming up with arbitrary meanings for the name when they didn’t want to give the same explanation again and again, and decided they wanted to rebrand themselves as “Something more mature” and “Less like High School”. Eventually P.F.L. changed to Thrown-Out Bones after discovering a prop skeleton they had used in their show had been tossed in a garbage can after a performance. Immediately “Thrown-Out Bones” was born, and the band has never looked back since.
How did the members of Thrown-Out Bones come together?
I was surprised to hear that Thrown-Out Bones had been together for over 10 years, and started playing together while they were all in Middle School. The members have grown up together, and they feel their music has matured with them.
How would you define your band?
“A Little bit of funk, a little of folk, a little bit of rock, a whole lot of junk, and multi instrumentalists that like to dance.” Was the description Liliana gave after some careful thought. An answer I wasn’t expecting, but that sentence really did cover the band’s bases very well.
What are your biggest musical influences?
Immediately after asking this question, the band exchanged grins with each other and said something to the effect of “If you really want the full list then we’ll be here all day.” They proceeded to go around and list the top two influences from each member, giving The Dear Hunter, Punch Brothers, Grateful Dead, Morphine, The Beatles, Say Anything, Jack White, and the entire genre of Classical Music as what they claim was an extremely short list of their main inspirations.
Initially, I was a little surprised at the diversity in what influenced these musicians, but in the context of their music, it does make sense. Thrown-Out Bones bends musical genres in their work and creates a sound that is all of its own. In so many ways they don’t conform to the mold of a traditional band. Their lead singer is their drummer, their bassist plays the saxophone, and nobody does not contribute vocally at some point or another. It is clear that this band prefers to create something all of their own instead of imitating what others have done before them.
What song are you most proud of?
Hoodiladaloo: Liliana went on to tell me the interesting title was inspired by the person who taught her how to play the chords on guitar that she used in the song
As for how she came up with the name? “While he was teaching me, he was drunk, said a nonsensical word, and it worked!”
What are your lives like outside of this band?
Having interviewed them in the middle of their Bay Area tour, it made sense that everyone agreed that at that time their lives centered almost entirely around Thrown-Out Bones, but while not on tour, they all lead full lives.
Nick Chang is a UC Berkley educated Computer Scientist and has a full time job writing software. Craig Mason is a student at San Jose State finishing his degree in Classical Music, and Liliana Urbain and Nathan Routman split their time between Thrown-Out Bones and their other touring band “Band of Lovers” which has also had a good amount of success.
Thrown-Out Bones plans to resume progress as usual after a hiatus they have decided to take to allow half of their members tour with Band of Lovers in the upcoming months, and promises to continue with the same love for music that has kept them together and performing for so long.
Time to Go
Special thanks to photographer Tatiana Michaelis, who’s online portfolio can be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tatiannamichaelis