The Philadelphia music scene has found itself cluttered with local bands â€" many whose styles can be considered to be more or as unique as the next. With its progressive, heavy and, yes, sometimes-folksy
sound, Blivit manages to stand out among its local counterparts.
The trioâ€™s lyrics are as meaningful as its energetic instrumentation. The sound that keyboardist / singer / songwriter Jeremy Dyen, bassist Dave Palan and drummer Jay Horvath have concocted may be tough
for any critic to classify. In an age where some bands are quick to climb aboard the fastest bandwagon they can take to mainstream radio, Blivit has remained true to itself and continues to play the music
that it loves.
Dyen said that radio has become a dead issue to him, but other avenues are opening up for Blivit as Internet music sites and satellite radio continue to increase in popularity. While the bandâ€™s distorted
keyboard style has not found its way onto a major label, the local music scene has caught on. Blivit has already received nominations for best original band, best bassist and best keyboardist for the Annual
Philly Music Awards in two consecutive years.
Aside from their contributions on the bandâ€™s debut full-length release, Unhand The World, its members have accumulated an impressive list of album credits for playing with other artists.
Dyenâ€™s keyboard playing has found its way onto John Legend's latest CD, Get Lifted (Sony). His live credits include performances with the Brazilian band Alo Brasil and with world tabla player/percussionist
Zakir Hussain. Palan has recorded with the award-winning singer-songwriter Deb Tala and Horvath continues to tour with the thrash/speed metal band Single Bullet Theory.
Chorus and Verse recently asked Dyen about Blivitâ€™s sound and how it has managed to survive in the Philly scene.
The band mixes a wide range of styles even including some hard rock and metal. How did some of the harder-edged sounds wind up in your music?
Iâ€™d say Dave and Jay are more well-versed than I in the true metal stuff, since they were really into to it when they were in middle and high schools â€" Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, etc. In fact, Jay plays
in a Metallica tribute band with some old friends of his and heâ€™s also touring with the metal band Single Bullet Theory.
I got into the heavier stuff a little later, and never too deeply. But, as a lover of so many styles of music, the heavier music to me is another great one, with such a release of emotion and sound,
and usually a great place to make geeky math rock sound bad ass.
Is their any one style that you would say is most prevalent in your music?
If there is Iâ€™d like someone to tell me. Our music is a little twisted, huh? I mean, itâ€™s rock-based, even though we like so many styles. I think weâ€™re rooted in rock because thatâ€™s what we were listening
to early on in our lives. But we infuse that with whatever else weâ€™re feeling. Though weâ€™re trying to avoid complete eclecticism and stay focused, weâ€™re also making each song unique in some way. That makes
for a good listen at a show or on a CD â€" not too repetitive.
How did you form? What styles were you listening to then and how has the band grown since?
We formed Blivit after the break-up of Fathead, a progressive hip-hop band we were all in that had a good deal of success. We were going to form a group based on the three of us, plus the sax player
and guitarist from Fathead, but the guitarist joined Brothers From Another, and I pushed for a trio. I had been experimenting with the distortion keys thing, and really began to develop it in Blivit, figuring
this was the way we could really rock out without a guitarist. I basically became the guitarist.
I donâ€™t know what I/we were listening to at the time, but the band has certainly grown. We were really all over the map style-wise. We still do a bunch of those songs, but pretty much only at a regular
local gig we do at Plush, a venue in our hometown, in order to keep it different every week. But, weâ€™ve developed a sound for sure â€" a recognizable one. And, Iâ€™d say the songwriting and arrangements keep
getting better, with much more to come.
Is there a struggle for bands today which take risks but still seek airplay? Are there many alternatives for bands nowadays with the growth of the Internet?
Yes, itâ€™s a struggle for those bands! But itâ€™s becoming a dead issue to me. Radio is dying. Even the college radio â€" the alternative â€" is super-saturated, basically because thereâ€™s no room for more than,
say, 50 or so artists on mainstream radio, and thatâ€™s across all genres. So, then, college radio canâ€™t just play all the Indies, since theyâ€™re bombarded with all the major label stuff, too. I have faith,
though, that good music gets out there in time, in some form, and weâ€™re good.
The Internet is huge. This Myspace thing has become quite a trend in music promotion, and there are so many more avenues. I think satellite radio will also be host to a lot of newer â€śundergroundâ€ť music.
What areas do you play most and where have you found crowds most receptive? How important is the live show for your getting your music out to listeners?
We mostly have played locally at this point, in and around Philadelphia, Jersey and New York. Certainly Philly has been the best spot for us, but that will change in time as we branch out.
The live show is extremely important for us, since itâ€™s the most direct way we present ourselves and our music. Weâ€™re striving to develop the â€śshowâ€ť part of the live show in order to make it visually
compatible with the music. But, even without a ton of crazy visual stimulations, we put on a really energetic show with the idea of taking the listener on a little journey. Like I said before, each song
has uniqueness to it, so the listener isnâ€™t going to sit there and feel like weâ€™re recycling the same stuff over and over again.
Is your style common in the area you play? How do you fit in with some of the bands heard on mainstream radio?
Rock and Alternative rock is common, and lots of slightly off-kilter stuff, too. There are so many talented people in this area itâ€™s ridiculous. However, we definitely have something that no one else
is doing â€" very unique. Certainly no one is doing the keyboard-imitating-guitar thing â€" there are no keyboard rock trios that rock like we do. But, beyond that, our songs and arrangements stand out, so
listeners can really feel what weâ€™re doing and relate to it and latch onto it, but that we constantly hear comments about us sounding â€śso different.â€ť
As far as mainstream radio, I have no doubt that we have material that would fit in. The reality, like I said, is that mainstream radio is a closed door that is pretty much opened with money from major
labels and heavy-hitter promoters. However, I like to think that we also have music that would really stand out on the radio amongst a lot of cookie-cutter bands currently playing.
[ Website: www.blivit.net ]