By Emre K. Erku
Special to The Free Press
---- — They’re young, talented and confident.
They’re a surreal head trip on a ride of guitar solos, their poppy, new-age indie swagger founded on '90s grunge and alternative rock.
They’re The Reckless, and they’re opening for Everclear Friday at Ribfest.
Lead vocalist and guitarist David Sandersfeld — along with lead guitarist and back-up vocalist Scott Berman, bassist Adam Couch and drummer Jason Worrell — banded together to create the group only last year, and despite their infancy have managed to rock venues from Mankato’s RedSky Lounge and Midtown Tavern all the way up to Minneapolis staples such the Cabooze. And soon, The Reckless will make their First Avenue 7th Street Entry debut.
Over rounds at Liquor Lyle’s in the Uptown section of Minneapolis, Sandersfeld, who is a 2006 Mankato West Senior High School graduate, explained the intentions of his band’s music, and some of his feelings performing before a crowd.
“I’d say it’s another world, and there’s nothing else you’re thinking about except expressing yourself through playing,” Sandersfeld said. “I want people to get a feeling of energy and emotion.”
Through cohesive sets and powerful, hooking lyrics, Sandersfeld and his band compiled first album, "Keep It Together," only eight months ago. The album represents a collection of various styles contributed by each member.
“It’s a good first album with a lot of variety,” Sandersfeld said. “[You] see what works for you, and try to find a happy medium between you and your members.”
And that’s what the album is: a happy medium. With Sandersfeld’s deeper, raspier version of O.A.R.'s Marc Roberge’s voice, and Berman’s incredible licks, they produce material that recalls a hybrid of Radiohead and Pearl Jam, a distant relative of New Order, a dose of Dave Matthews Band jam sessions, and an energy that teeters between relative calm and the uncontrollable excitement of Jane’s Addiction.
But, according to Sandersfeld, it’s not themselves who helped themselves create the final product. Over those eight months of grueling work, recording in multiple places – one of which was makeshift studio in a Shakopee basement – the band was assisted and guided by Scott Maas of SMProductions, a music entity based in Mankato.
“Like 95 percent of the recording process was through Scott,” Sandersfeld said. “[Everything] Scott recorded, edited, mixed and mastered.”
The debut album includes lyrics that dwell on the relationships people have with each other, and how neglected they may become. The theme also provided the band's name as The Reckless is a reference to acting reckless toward people we know.
“Sometimes we tend to overlook what we have," Sandersfels said.
This lyrical messages,as well as the band's ambitious musicianship, are what Sandersfeld pitches to booking agents and venue managers. Instead of having their own band manager, Sandersfeld is the man behind all the grunt work. He said he's constantly making calls and researching every avenue for the growth of his band.
“In music if you want to be successful you have to be an entrepreneur," he said. "Networking, talking to people – it’s a business. [With music] the more you age, the more you develop that niche.”
If You Go What RibFest When Today through Sunday Where Riverfront Park Admission $5, tickets available at gate only. Admission on Sunday is free. Musical lineup Today -- Devon Worley Band, Rocket Club, Blackhawk; Friday -- The Reckless, Leogun, Everclear; Saturday -- Barefoot Winos, The Murphy Brothers, Powerhouse, Arch Allies, Loverboy; Sunday -- City Mouse, Mary Jane Alm Band.