Local Sounds: Rainbow Black

Rainbow Black prepares to take the local music scene by storm.

Autumn Thatcher Athatcher@nowsaltlake.com

Published April 16th 2012 10:59 am



The members of Rainbow Black have been together for a total of about three months, but their musical experience goes back much further than that. The band was the brainchild of Arash Mafi and Alex Lackey, who have been making music together for years. More recently, the pair began working on new material and realized that they wanted to add some members. Enter bassist Ben Brennan and drummer Taylor Clark, who also plays with YYBS, and Rainbow Black was officially formed.

The group works hard to create a sound that will take you on a spiritual and emotional journey though eery organ sounds accompanied by a lead guitar with stories to tell.

The band plays their first show as a musical unit on Saturday. We thought we would get to know them before they take over the local scene.

How did you come up with the band name?

Arash • It was inspired by a poem that I wrote. Alex and I thought it would make a killer band name because it paints a great mental visual.

How would you describe your music?

We use a very haunting almost church-like organ sound to drive some of the songs. We also use the two lead instruments (organ and guitar) to intertwine our melodies and step outside of the standard singing melodies. The vocals are more of it's own instrument rather than the main focal point. Arash and Alex's guitar styles are uniquely different. Arash spices his sound up with Middle Eastern licks, while Alex delves deep into his off-color modes, which give body to our sound, as opposed to playing the same things. Ben drives his bass heavy and low to hit the sacral chakra and vibrate your soul. He takes a lot of influence from Waters and Geddy Lee to bring back the importance of a strong backbone. Taylor rips like a fire coming out of the snowy wasteland, keeping us in a tight-knit rhythm.

Why should people check out your music?

Arash • To have a good time and maybe hear something that they haven't heard before.

What would be your dream show lineup with you headlining?

In a dream world, we would love to play with Jimi Hendrix, but that won't happen. Our dream lineup realistically would be Radio Moscow, Dead Meadow, Man Man and The Black Angels. Radio Moscow because they are very energetic, loud and insane. Parker Griggs is like the modern Hendrix on the guitar. The Black Angels because they step into another realm of psychedelic drone. Dead Meadow because they send us into another world of possibility that just isn't too prevalent anymore in this day and age. Man Man is like adult children playing in a demonic playhouse, and we f--king dig it!

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The members of Rainbow Black have been together for a total of about three months, but their musical experience goes back much further than that. The band was the brainchild of Arash Mafi and Alex Lackey, who have been making music together for years. More recently, the pair began working on new material and realized that they wanted to add some members. Enter bassist Ben Brennan and drummer Taylor Clark, who also plays with YYBS, and Rainbow Black was officially formed.

The group works hard to create a sound that will take you on a spiritual and emotional journey though eery organ sounds accompanied by a lead guitar with stories to tell.

The band plays their first show as a musical unit on Saturday. We thought we would get to know them before they take over the local scene.

How did you come up with the band name?

Arash • It was inspired by a poem that I wrote. Alex and I thought it would make a killer band name because it paints a great mental visual.

How would you describe your music?

We use a very haunting almost church-like organ sound to drive some of the songs. We also use the two lead instruments (organ and guitar) to intertwine our melodies and step outside of the standard singing melodies. The vocals are more of it's own instrument rather than the main focal point. Arash and Alex's guitar styles are uniquely different. Arash spices his sound up with Middle Eastern licks, while Alex delves deep into his off-color modes, which give body to our sound, as opposed to playing the same things. Ben drives his bass heavy and low to hit the sacral chakra and vibrate your soul. He takes a lot of influence from Waters and Geddy Lee to bring back the importance of a strong backbone. Taylor rips like a fire coming out of the snowy wasteland, keeping us in a tight-knit rhythm.

Why should people check out your music?

Arash • To have a good time and maybe hear something that they haven't heard before.

What would be your dream show lineup with you headlining?

In a dream world, we would love to play with Jimi Hendrix, but that won't happen. Our dream lineup realistically would be Radio Moscow, Dead Meadow, Man Man and The Black Angels. Radio Moscow because they are very energetic, loud and insane. Parker Griggs is like the modern Hendrix on the guitar. The Black Angels because they step into another realm of psychedelic drone. Dead Meadow because they send us into another world of possibility that just isn't too prevalent anymore in this day and age. Man Man is like adult children playing in a demonic playhouse, and we f--king dig it! [2] =>

What makes Rainbow Black different from other local bands?

We connect on much deeper levels than music. We hang out together, love each other and dream together. Our songwriting comes naturally to us as a whole and we have a vast common ground, so no toes get stepped on. Each member's opinion is as valuable as the next with no band leader. We believe it's important when being in a band to step outside of the ego and create something that we as individuals would not have the ability to produce, at least not with the same colors and flavors. We don't write songs to fit into a certain category, just songs that feel right to us that we all enjoy playing with extreme passion.

What inspires your lyrics?

Alex • The human experience. That, to me, means experiences I've had in the past, how I view the world, how I view other people's experiences, and some times singing a song from another person's perspective. I use a lot of aspects of poetry with cryptic metaphors while at the same time using very plain and concise lyrics with no hidden meaning, as if I were writing a letter. In the same respect as our songwriting, the lyrics just appear as should fit in the song. Memories and hard times do drive a portion of my lyrics, and when the memories are painful, sometimes the lyrics come out satirical, and when they are happy, sometimes they emerge as dark emotions.

How would you describe your live show?

Music is a very personal thing that can be shared successfully with people you hold dear to you. Up on stage, we lack inhibition and fear. We play off of each other's energy and passion. When one person increases their energy, we all respond in kind. Music is like making love, and when we play together, that is exactly what is happening, only we connect with our souls. Emotionally, we are ecstatic and euphoric, reaching an almost out-of-body experience with each other. Psychologically, we feel in our element, as if this were the only thing any of us could ever dream of doing, which is why it means so much. With that being said, we are very exciting to watch up on stage.

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