From the Daily Nebraskan 8/30/12:
Don’t call it a comeback.
Though The Static Octopus hasn’t played a show since 2006, the band has been here for years.
“We may have taken a break, but we never broke up,” said Tery Daly, the band’s guitarist. “We don’t consider this a reunion at all.”
Whatever you call it, The Static Octopus is playing their first show in six years on Saturday night. They are playing with The Renfields and the Whole Shabangs at the Bourbon Theatre, a venue that didn’t even exist the last time the band played a show.
For Dan Hutt, the band’s bassist, the upcoming show will bring back a lot of memories, not only of the band but of the venue as well.
“The last time I was in that space, the Bourbon was still a movie theater,” Hutt said. “I was there the weekend that it closed. It was a Friday night in August 1988, my freshman year at UNL. It’s crazy to think that 24 years later, I’m going to be back there.”
The venue isn’t the only thing that will look a little different – the band has undergone some major structural changes, too. The Static Octopus was formerly a four-piece with two guitars, a bass and drums. Now the band consists of three people. Daly plays guitar. Hutt switched from guitar to bass to accommodate the personnel change. New member Jeremy Powers joined the band earlier this year on drums. All three sing, a change that helps fill the absence of the second guitar, Daly said.
“With only three people, everybody’s part is important,” Hutt said. “There’s no hiding in this band.”
He added that in every way, the band feels completely different than before.
“The old Static Octopus was very regimented,” he said. “It was like a cover band in some ways. We played the songs exactly as they were written, which was great, because it was great material. Now this is more open-ended – you bring something you’ve been working on in to the group, and it can go any place. Someone will suggest changing something here or there, and ask, ‘What happened if the song turned left instead of right?’”
But at its core, The Static Octopus is still a power-pop group. Daly mentioned the band still draws most of its inspiration from pop music of the ’60s and the music the band makes is “the kind of music that anyone would like.”
“If you listen to the kind of music they play in TV commercials, a lot of it is power-pop based,” Daly said. “It’s a sound that just generally appeals to people. It’s fun music that just kind of catches people and it comes across well live.”
With one less guitar in the group, band members were concerned they would have to rewrite some of their older material.
“I wasn’t sure how each song was going to translate over to one guitar,” Daly said. “We decided to give them all a whirl and figure out what kind of arrangement changes we had to make to accommodate the three-piece lineup. So far, the old songs have worked just fine.”
Fans will be able to hear what changes The Static Octopus has had to make at the show, at least for a few songs. Hutt said he expects only three of the band’s old songs will make their way into the planned eight-song setlist.
“We were having a hard time deciding what mixture of old songs and new songs we wanted to do for this show,” Daly said. “We have three albums worth of released material, but we also have a lot of new things written that we are excited to share.”
“Coming back is a really interesting challenge,” Hutt said. “I’m not sure if any of us thought we could do it, but here we are.”
- Katie Fennelly