The Postelles aren’t a bunch of Macbook warriors hell bent on fusing different music elements into their trademark sound. Actually, this friendly New York City quartet (comprised of vocalist/rhythm guitarist Daniel Balk, lead guitarist Dave Dargahi, bassist John Speyer and drummer Billy Caden) are more of a throwback to the golden era of rock where they keep the music organic and give it a modern touch.
“We just wanna show that rock ‘n roll can still exist with a classic sound and it’s not what bands are doing anymore,” Dargahi explains. “We feel everyone is trying to get electronic, whip out their keyboard and bring their Macbook on stage. And for us, it’s like we don’t wanna do that. We wanna do rock ‘n roll -- what Buddy Holly did in the 50’s and The Beatles did in the 60’s. I just think that you can still play rock ‘n roll and can still be a band playing rock and not be scared if some stupid, pretentious bloggers are gonna rip it apart.”
Their singles “White Night,” “Sleep On The Dance Floor” and their latest offering “123 Stop,” will all appear on their self-titled debut album, which further exemplifies this natural rock ‘n roll flavor with an indie pop appeal. So far, it’s winning over critics, and even pretentious bloggers.
How The Band Met
Conceived in high school while attending Columbia Grammar And Preparatory School in Manhattan, New York, Dargahi met Balk in 9th Grade during Spanish class and struck a friendship immediately. As Dargahi recalls, “We kinda hit it off with the same types of bands -- the Rolling Stones, the Beatles -- and we were saying, ‘We got to form a band.’ This was both of our dreams since we were five.”
They recruited Speyer as the bassist and brought on a drummer to form what would become The Postelles. Later, after going through a few different percussionists, the lineup was complete with the addition of Billy Caden.
The Postelles were poised for success right out of the gate. During their senior year at Columbia Prep (the high school’s nickname), the four-piece met Albert Hammond Jr. –- the guitarist for The Strokes, who provided them encouragement and would later produce their White Night EP. After graduation,
The Postelles went on to play over a hundred concerts in New York City alone and performed at major festivals like Bonnaroo, CMJ, Lollapalooza, and SXSW. Then, in late 2009, they inked a deal with Capitol Records and were slated to release their full-length debut album sometime in the following years.
Major Label Drama
Unfortunately, that never happened. The release date kept getting pushed back until, eventually, they were dropped by the major label before a headlining gig at the Bowery Ballroom. While most bands would’ve been crushed, it didn’t bother The Postelles much. As Dargahi puts it, “They’re just a mess and don’t really have their shit together … and they’re owned by Citibank."
These New Yorkers might have been unsigned, but they weren’t down on their luck. The four-pieced bounced back in a big way by opening up artists like Kings Of Leon, Interpol and the legendary Chuck Berry. Performing alongside those major names taught them a valuable lesson. “I think just how to put on a really great show,” Dargahi says. “You see thousands of people singing with these guys and how tight they sound and how good they are. So it inspires us to be the best fucking band out there.”
As for the label situation? Well, they were scooped up by New York independent juggernaut +1 Records, who will officially release their self-titled debut album June 7. The 12-track effort, produced by their old friend Albert Hammond Jr., contains that classic rock ‘n roll feel with an indie pop flare, love-tinged lyrics and catchy hooks.
We didn’t want a studio sound. We wanted to sound like we were playing live, like just get in a room, plug in, play, record it and that’s the CD we’re gonna hand out.
Although many bands nowadays tend to overcomplicate themselves with different musical elements in the studio, The Postelles are going for an organic vibe -- the same type of vibe their fan base has grown to become familiar with at their concerts.
“It’s the best songs The Postelles have written and a lot of it is what people have heard for the past year live,” Dargahi explains. “We didn’t want a studio sound. We wanted to sound like we were playing live, like just get in a room, plug in, play, record it and that’s the CD we’re gonna hand out. We just want it to be as real as possible.”
No Macbooks and crazy crossover influences are needed for these four New Yorkers. The Postelles are all natural, just the way it’s supposed to be.
For more from Bear Frazer follow him on Twitter: @BearFrazer
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