Cellars & Attics: New blood

by Raleigh Davis  

Rooftops may have said their final goodbye but recently there has been a surge of bands with like-minded sentiments cropping up around Bellingham. Bands that eschew from the norm of having a singer, preferring to let their musical chops and compositions do the talking. Fresh-faced band Cellars & Attics are at the forefront of this, a band that has no problem conveying emotion and depth through musical instruments alone. With fast-paced, ear-splittingly complex guitar riffs, matched with frantic drumming and solid and bouncy bass grooves, Cellars & Attics are shaping up to be an experience in the music scene.

The band consists of Eric Whisler on guitar, Alex Roemmele on drums, and newcomer Cris Akeroyd on bass. The name of the band itself actually holds a bit of sentimental meaning to Whisler.

“I’m from Auburn and a lot of people are on drugs there so I played with the words sellers and drug addicts and spun off that,” Whisler said. “I hate that a lot of good people go down that road so it was a way for me to express that.”

Whisler and Roemmele had been jamming together for some time and writing songs, but were missing that final piece when they finally realized the answer was in front of their eyes the whole time in the form of their coworker Akeroyd. (All the members work together at Guitar Center.) Now the band finds themselves working on refining their writing process and giving the best performance possible.

“I basically start noodeling and it just starts to flow out,” Whisler explained in regards to the band’s writing style. “I tend to keep sections and then the boys help me piece them together into a funky angsty party of punky slappy bright tones.”

Bassist Cris Akeroyd has also been finding his footing, being the newest addition to the band, and is happy about making the songs his own. “At first my process involved learning the existing songs by watching Eric and then listening to Alex,” Akeroyd said. “I was guessing and playing a lot of wrong notes for the first month of practices, just listening for grooves and trying not to step on toes. Eventually I found a place to sit in the mix and try to compliment Alex and Eric’s technical playing style. Now we’re starting to write songs.”

With a broad range of diverse influences it’s easy to see how Cellars & Attics have crafted their complex, unique and dynamic sound.

“For me I love Dance Gavin Dance, The Fall Of Troy, The Sound Of Animals Fighting, Sianvar, Stolas, and  A Lot Like Birds,” Whisler shared. “To a lot of people it sounds like noise but there is so much passion and raw energy in their music. I feed off of that. I try and convey my mood through my music.”

The passion definitely shows as each of Cellars & Attics songs unfold with progressive soundscapes giving way to more traditional, toe-tapping funk and groove elements.

“We always struggle with the classification of our sound. It’s definitely groovy and progressive but I love the slappy tone of funk. It’s hard to say but I would call it prog groove.”

Looking towards the future, Cellars & Attics are looking for improvement and growth in every aspect. The band records all their jam sessions themselves and are constantly analyzing their work for new possible parts and twists to tighten things up, and they are also looking to record some demos soon to give Bellingham a taste of what’s to come.

MORE DETAILS: Follow the band on their facebook page (facebook.com/CellarsNAttics) for details about upcoming shows and more.

Published in the February 2015 issue of What’s Up! Magazine