An emerging band with a refreshing sound
By Kathleen Cahill
In an age when self-taught musicians fill the current indie-rock scene, New Vega is fresh air. The troupe’s well polished sound is testament to the professional training each member has received. New Vega has a diverse style that falls under a common ground, with every person in the group contributing their own sense of self to the music. Their sound is spacey and on the cusp of what it means to be contemporary. New Vega defies genres with their bold jazz influences to produce a very new, but timeless sounid.
When performing live, Alex Rundle’s de-
meanor is tame for a front man. He is more caught up in the music than how the audience may perceive him. His vocals are light and airy which adds to the already ambient sound. Rundle’s keyboard playing acts as the center-piece to the jazz-rock sound while Adam Sabin’s bass distortion pedal creates an almost pipe organ sound by creating fade-ins and outs of strummed cords. The bass, which can be heard well live, helps give balance to the keyboard’s higher notes. One common mistake in indie-rock music is an overly loud guitar; however, New Vega’s guitarist Chance Campbell plays smooth easy listening riffs that do not overpower the music. Backing up the overall jazz-rock sound is drummer Zach Sabin who understands the technical use of both hard and soft hits of percussion.
In a warehouse off Linden Avenue the band New Vega rents a practice space. Their studio reflects their ambitions as musicians with a full sound booth and practice space separated by a large window, much like what you see professionals use. On a whiteboard, Adam Sabin takes charge, directing the rest of the band on what will be covered during their practice. They are organized and thorough during rehearsal with every so often finishing a song to converse about it and then begin another. Unlike their counter parts, New Vega has a tighter, more held together sound. When talking about how they compare to bands in the area Adam Sabin prides himself on their ability to work well together and adds, “We are a little cleaner and more precise, other bands in the area play a little rawer and looser.”
It has been only two short years that the band New Vega has formed and they have already produced closely knit songs with a distinctively “New Vega” sound. Defying what it means to be indie-rock, Adam Sabin stated, “When you get classified into one genre of sound you can begin to define yourself more finitely.” While being a sub-genre of rock and roll, indie-rock has a shown us that you can take rock and roll in many different directions. In New Vega’s case, they are very much a rock band that pulls toward a modern jazz sound. Zach Sabin expressed, “We are not trying to decide on a certain sound, but we have a jazz background that we can’t get away from at this point.”
With all of the members having played their instruments of choice for over a decade, New Vega’s songs are interesting and technical. Their self-titled EP has only three songs but is complete in its entirety. Rundle, who was not always the lead singer, took it upon himself to take vocal lessons. He states that while writing lyrics for New Vega’s songs, “I try to write things that can be taken on a personal level or on a larger scale.” This is evident in their song, “Habits” which talks about habits forming and compares them to a sleeping beast that can easily be awakened.
Over the past two years, New Vega has performed throughout the Miami Valley at such venues as Blind Bob’s, Canal Street Tavern, Club Vex and Peach’s. Outside Dayton, they have played the prestigious Southgate House in Newport, Kentucky not to mention Cincinnati’s annual Mid-Point Music Festival, where they were particularly honored to play alongside well-known music acts like the Pomegranates. Their last show was a house party in Indiana.
New Vega stands out in the Dayton indie-rock scene by what Campbell said is, “Thinking outside of Dayton.” The group as a whole appreciates their fellow musicians in Dayton and believes that it is because of these talented musicians in the Miami Valley that they have been challenged to stand out. Adam Sabin, who does sound engineering in Dayton and has been able to see many of the acts in the area, stated that, “Every single band in the area helps other bands to be more creative.”
As of now, New Vega is working on a first full-length album, not yet titled. With anticipations running high about their first LP release they all keep a level head about it, saying that they are still working out some of their issues. Campbell added that within this new album, “Quality changes over time; we are trying to work towards a more cohesive sound. So no matter what, you will be able to tell that we have a homogenous sound.”
Reach DCP freelance writer Kathleen Cahill at firstname.lastname@example.org