14 December 2007

Knoxville News

We've (Sirius.B) made the Knoxville News!

Asheville band not afraid of mixing it up

By Wayne Bledsoe
Friday, December 14, 2007

If there’s a bit of built-in incongruity about being voted “Best Unknown Band” in your hometown, that seems to fit Asheville, N.C.-based Sirius.B just fine.

After all, this is a band that bills itself as “the finest absurdist gypsy metal folk funk punk the world has to offer,” and then says, “Well, not quite.”

“It’s all those things and more,” says Xavier Ferdon, lead guitarist/vocalist with Sirius.B. “Or maybe it’s just absurdist. You know, we have two violins, a marching-band drum and a cymbal played with a coat hanger … .”

“We definitely don’t want to be a fusion band,” adds Pancho Romero, lead vocalist and guitarist with the group, “but there’s always new things to throw into the mix.”

The genesis of Sirius.B can be traced to the University of South Carolina, where Romero was teaching Spanish and Ferdon was studying guitar. One night Romero sat in and played some of his songs with Ferdon’s cover band.

“His songs were better than our covers,” says Ferdon.

The would-be group never quite happened because Romero moved to Brooklyn to take a job at New York University. Ferdon eventually relocated to Asheville.

After two years, Romero found himself “at the end of my New York rope” and decided to visit Ferdon in Asheville.

“I got a girlfriend, and within three weeks of being there, it seemed like I had a whole life set up,” says Romero.

It wasn’t until early 2007, though, that an actual group began to fall into place.

Hannah Furgiuele (violin and viola), Imhotep (percussion), Jamie Davis (bass) and Laura Baskervill (violin and duende) joined the band.

“For all of us, the whole thing just magically fell into place,” says Romero.

But what the group is, is still up in the air.

Some people would like to call the group a “dance band,” and Romero understands that reaction:

“We have a couple, no, four or five songs, that if you’re not up dancing, then you’ve got a problem. (The songs) beg for a crowd to be up dancing. Maybe those are the songs that people remember, but we have slower songs, too.”

The group’s songs used to be Romero’s with just additions by the rest of the band.

“Lyrically, we’re very different,” says Romero. “I have a love song about an oyster.”

However, more recent compositions by the band have begun in a more democratic fashion, which Romero says is “very exciting.”

While the group is just spreading its wings outside of Asheville, Romero says the band is no longer unknown:

“No, now people know us around here.”

© 2007 Knoxville News Sentinel

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