For many musicians, they have one sound. Patsy Cline was the epitome of country. Louis Armstrong was definitely jazz. 50 Cent has the rap scene all, well, wrapped up.
The members of Opposing The Arrow, a local Fort Collins who play April 19 at the Buckhorn Barn, don’t believe in having only one particular sound.
“Instead of trying to portray one sound, we incorporate different sounds,” said senior equine science and business double major Chris Seegers, the lead singer and guitarist of the band.
Their sound is reminiscent of samba, pop, funk jams and harder metal music with a little bit of jazz and blues thrown into the mix.
All of the band members bring different musical backgrounds to the group, creating this unique sound. Seegers has played in several different bands over the years, focusing on acoustic guitar music. Junior landscape architecture major Thom Whitney, the bassist of the band, brings a funk background; he is known as the master of grooves. To bring out the jazz sounds within the music, the group looks to drummer Alex Bennett, a senior natural resource management major and keyboardist Trevor Simonton, a junior journalism major and reporter for the Collegian, who also has a little bit of a blues background as well.
“It’s definitely a different type of group,” Simonton said.
Not only are the sounds different, but the lyrics and the basis for the band’s songs are also out of the ordinary. Seegers grew up in Mexico and some of the lyrics he writes for the band are in Spanish.
“I don’t think as an American,” Seegers said. “I think like a Mexican.”
Having been raised in the Spanish culture has also inspired the lyrics, as Seegers analyzes the American culture versus other cultures. Naturally, a band will write lines about love, lust and passion. Opposing The Arrow sings songs that look at bigger problems in life, like domestic abuse, political corruption, child abuse and troubles within the educational system.
“When we have a subject like political corruption, we all interpret it our own way and then bring it together . and find common ground on that,” Whitney said.
And although each member of the band might have a diverse perspective on the issue, they come together to create a set of lyrics that they can all stand behind.
“The message that we are sending out is something that we all believe in,” said Whitney.
Opposing The Arrow is also motivated to write unique lyrics because of the chance that the song may have an impact on someone.
“Maybe only 50 people hear the song, but maybe it prompts something,” Seegers said.
Coming into being
The band was formed two years ago and after some time of just jamming, the members decided to put the time and effort into being a real band.
The consensus between the members was “let’s take this seriously and be serious musicians,” Seegers said.
After figuring out what their sound was, writing songs and practicing those songs, Opposing The Arrow recorded its first EP nine months ago.
“It was pretty terrible,” said Seegers, chuckling.
They worked through the tough spots and their sound changed into a funk-indie-rock fusion. After creating a new demo with the sound that they actually wanted, the band came out swinging and won CSU’s Battle of the Bands last year.
Since then, Opposing The Arrow has been practicing constantly and continues to play at least one show a week in places around the area, including Fort Collins, Laramie, Wyo., Loveland and even Boulder.
“We draw a pretty good crowd,” Simonton said. “We practice everyday and because of that, we play really solid.”
They’re concrete sound also comes from their dedication to the music that they produce.
“I think . everything we have done for the band, it stems from the love of music,” Whitney said.
Their success in the area has caused the band to decide to tour nationwide, spreading the Opposing The Arrow vibe to everyone they can. Although there isn’t a set date for their departure, Seegers believes that the band will be out on the road within the next year.
The Fort Scene
While it does take time to support one’s own band, Opposing The Arrow also believes in helping other local bands flourish.
“Fort Collins is a talented pool,” Seegers said.
He points out that there are many retired musicians or college students who dabble in music within the city. And the band wants more Fort Collins residents, students and non-students alike to realize that there is much more to do in the city besides hitting up the bars or going out to dinner.
“The more students that get out and support the scene, the easier it makes it for us,” Seegers said, noting that all of the musicians in Opposing The Arrow are CSU students who balance class, work and playing in the band.
Whitney agrees with Seegers, noting that many of the bands are created by students and it is important to show the love for the other CSU students.
“I think it is supporting the local scene, but I think it is really supporting your friends, supporting the people around you,” Whitney said.
The language of music
Band members of Opposing The Arrow may have different musical backgrounds, opposing beliefs and even diverse majors at CSU. But their love for creating a sound that combines all of their backgrounds and communicates to their audiences brings them closer together.
“We kind of do music as another language,” Whitney said. “It’s just another way of us talking.”
Staff writer Anica Wong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breakout Box Info:
Opposing The Arrow show dates:
April 19, 10 p.m. Buckhorn Bar-Laramie, WY
April 25, 9 p.m. Road 34 (w/What About Pluto and Mixed Breed) Fort Collins
April 26, 9 p.m. The Lion’s Lair (w/The Wandering and Campfire Funk) Denver
May 30, 5 p.m. Northside Aztlan Center (w/Deliver Me Seven) Fort Collins
June 20, 9 p.m. Road 34 (w/Soulfeel) Fort Collins