- Also on the bill: The Addiction, The Tequila Girls and The Akashic Mysteries
- When: 8 p.m. Friday (1220 to take stage around 11 p.m.)
- Where: The Catalyst
- Admission: $5
Since its inception as a band of high-school prodigies, 1220 has been one of Knoxville's most respected acts. More than eight years later, the group is all grown up, has swapped two members and is still going strong. With a new release, "Killin' for a Livin'," ready for unveiling, 1220 hopes to take its impressive career to the next level.
Recorded by the famed Don Coffey Jr. of Independent Recorders, the band set out to cover new territory on "Killin' for a Livin'," incorporating a pop element into a repertoire of predominantly '70s-glam-influenced raw classic rock. In diversifying its portfolio, 1220 hopes to snare new listeners to its already eclectic fan base. For those still unfamiliar with the group, the album's assorted 13 tracks (most of which clock in at around three minutes each) will serve as a thorough introduction.
"With 'Killin' for a Livin',' we wanted to make a more polished, slick record," vocalist Jacob Gibson says. "We wanted to go in a few different directions and make a more versatile record with a lot of different sounds on it without losing our edge. There's still a lot of straight-up rock 'n' roll on the record. We haven't lost the grit, rest assured. A lot of the songs recall a power-pop feel, which Don is very at home with. He joked that people would blame him for the change in our sound. There's a little bit of everything. I think everybody, no matter what kind of music they're into, can find something they like on 'Killin' for a Livin'.' It's a good 40-minute summary of all of the sides of 1220."
The album is rumored to be Don Coffey's last recording project - at least for the moment. Coffey has been a prominent figure in the Knoxville music scene, both as drummer for Superdrag and more recently as a producer for countless local rock acts through his Independent Recorders studio.
"Don did mention that this may be the last album that he records in the foreseeable future," Gibson says. "He didn't reveal exactly what his plans are, but it is quite an honor that he even thought of ending on that note. We all had a great time doing it, Don included. I think everybody in that studio gave it their all. We didn't want to finish recording with any regrets, so we put a lot of thought into everything. As a result, we ended up with a very tight, very powerful record. We are all very proud of it, and I think Don is too. Let's hope that the rumors are not true though, and that Don does continue to record great stuff."
With more than its share of short-lived high-school acts perpetually being created and disbanded throughout the Knoxville area, it takes something special for a band like 1220 to remain intact for almost a decade. When asked about the critical element that holds a young band of this caliber together for so long, the group agrees it comes down to shared goals.
"We're all on the same page in regards to what we want our sound to be," says drummer Bill Van Vleet. "Our individual goals come together in every song because we've got a firm grasp on what we're trying to accomplish. This is the reason we've stayed together for so long. The best advice I could give to a budding act is to emphasize the fun part of being in a band. Taking pride in what you're doing while having fun is what rock 'n' roll is about. We've reached a great balance between taking the music seriously without taking ourselves too seriously."
Tonight 1220 performs its CD release show, joining The Addiction, The Tequila Girls and The Akashic Mysteries at The Catalyst. The all-ages show kicks off at 8 p.m., with 1220 taking the stage at an estimated 11 p.m. Admission is $5. 1220 is also scheduled to open for Shooter Jennings at Sundown in the City June 4. Look for "Killin' for a Livin'" at local music shops and through online venders. The album sells for $5 at all 1220 shows.
n SONIC BOOM! The World Grotto hosts the innovative Boombox Saturday night. The show is slated for 10 p.m., and admission is $10. Tickets are available in advance through The Grotto's Web site.
n DOES A BODY DEAD: Sunday night The Dead Milkmen's Joe Jack Talcum joins I Need Sleep and The Bastards of Fate on stage at Pilot Light. The show starts at 10 p.m. and costs $5.