By Bryon Turcotte
A struggle to place a specific label on a musical group or artist is not necessarily a bad or a negative thing
in today’s world of music listening. The conversation that happens most often between individuals sharing their new musical discoveries can unfortunately include the phrase, “this band sounds like” or “if
you like that band… you’ll love this band”. In a time when fresh, exciting sounds are rare and cookie cutter types are commonplace, it is almost surreal to hear a group of musicians create something vibrant, unique and truly special from a rich pool of influences and not just try to copy what has come before. The three piece unit know as Bringer comes out of Tulsa, Oklahoma with a spirit filled with positive energy, courage and hands-on determination that clearly is reflected in their songwriting style and personality.
This is a band born from the self -inflicted extermination of a group once called The Loaded Dice who took the stages of Tulsa and beyond by a quiet storm – one they never felt turned into a fury. The Loaded Dice fluctuated in numbers and personnel, but finally, by the end of 2015, the founding members and former University of Tulsa schoolmates Seth Park (guitar, vocals) and Charlie Spears (drums) had plowed fresh musical ground and expanded their thinking with firm creative ideas. With the welcomed injection of Jill Park (bass guitar, vocals) to not only solidify the sound, but completes a strong personal and unbreakable artistic ring, the group declared that the Loaded Dice were dead and long live Bringer.
(Guitar and Vocals)
Seth Park is not one of those “run of the mill” guitar players. His beginnings do not read like most rock n roll stories laced with the textbook punk band influenced, late night partying, and high school garage band rehearsal clichés. While searching for Christmas presents under his parent’s bed as a young boy, he discovered an old banjo that would quickly dominate his inquisitive and creative mind. This instrument would wrap itself around his heart, become the object of his first stringed love affair and open the gateway to many others. Seth’s family was and still is a musical entity. Their musical group, The Park Family Bluegrass Band, was towed down the road of performance and showmanship by Seth’s hardworking and stage savvy father Luther Park who quickly schooled Seth in everything he would need to know about stage presence, attitude, endurance and delivery.
Seth would wield a banjo and other instruments in this family band playing over 500 shows throughout the country. His move to the guitar wasn’t any closer to the details of a boy’s rock star fantasy, but more true to most young men’s desire to win the heart of a pretty girl. Park would not realize until years later that these decisions – bluegrass picking and winning his future wife’s heart – was weaving his musical future, building a band, and committing him to a life partner and creative collaborator – then changing his life forever.
Charlie Spears is a music lover’s drummer. He appreciates and is inspired by great music production and
has a fond admiration for electronic music. He is the type of musician that young kids picture in their minds while they beat on pots and pans without a care in the world. It is his type of drumming that makes the classic pictures of smoke filled, dimly lit stages of music history come alive in every young drummers mind when they think who they want to be when they play their first show. Spears is slightly more thoughtful and much more mathematic than any drummer of his experience. He plays like there is a divine reason to pour every ounce of life into each beat he lays down. Early on in his playing he acquired a drum set which he had no intentions to keep. He began to play the set but it wouldn’t let him go or leave him alone.
Meant to be, the bug had bit him hard and true proving that instruments choose those humans they wish to play. Charlie was no exception. After some chance encounters with Seth Park during their time at college, the two became kindred spirits quickly becoming attached through their dreams, likes and dislikes. A gifted analyst of sound, Spears began to bring a sturdy foundation to Park’s cathedral of sonic thought and energy. His powerhouse textures soon brought the music to life and form something that even then could not be defined. Over the next few years, Charlie would become an unshakeable partner to Park’s search for unique style and quality. They stuck close to each other searching for what they are, not what everyone thought they should be.
(Bassist and Vocals)
As Seth and Charlie looked for that perfect chemistry and adhesive quality as a power duo, they knew that the addition of a good, solid bottom end – the groove to fill the pocket – was needed to bring them to that next level. Seth’s original reason for taking up the guitar would come full circle as their desire for the solid third progressed. The entrance of Seth’s wife, bassist and vocalist Jill Park became the final thread which gives the textile of Bringer it’s strength and inspirational twist. The girl whose heart Seth aimed to win through playing guitar would now be a powerful force in their success bringing true fullness to the band’s sound. Early on as the Loaded Dice moved along looking for a plan, Jill would rehearse hard, practice and master the band’s catalog of live songs and fill in when other players were not available. Over time they knew she was never a substitute and were convicted that she was the only bass player this band would ever need. In time she began to bring more than just the bass to the compositions but showed through her powerful vocal skill that her talents reach past the playing of a single instrument. As a rhythm section, Charlie and Jill are hard to deny as being solid and memorable. Spears’s playing is a true compliment to her tone and thunder. Their combined styles and textures allow Seth to pull this weave tightly together like a musical cloth is meant to be.
Listening to these three specific parts, unique spirits, and special individuals for the first time is truly a memorable experience. The six-song EP and collection of unique songwriting entitled “Black and Gold” is Bringer’s introductory offering. The EP comes with bite, depth and a clear message to those who are willing to take a serious ride while shouting, “we are unique and we mean business”. These six songs are an accurate, solid representation of the Bringer sound, their live performance, their individual personalities, and their experiences as musicians and creative people. These are the captured experiences, loves and trials that shaped them. Bringer does not struggle to define themselves as creators of the perfect sound, truth or next best thing. They do not trip over their efforts to be the providers of something for everyone. Bringer is a band that does not wish to be easily thrown into a category that will leave them mistaken for another group or artist. Bringer wants to start conversations about good music, memories and timeless style. This is a band that wants to be inside a conversation that sounds so real and fulfilling that you’ll never want to leave. Above all, this band wants to be the conversation – the one that ends with the phrase, “I heard a band that sounded nothing like I’ve heard before. They’re called Bringer.”
By Bryon Turcotte