Bones in the Museum
Since 2005, local rock act Bones in the Museum has undergone more than its share of significant changes. Perhaps best characterized by its fluctuating numbers and the corresponding impact on its style, the project now consists of Joe Bones (guitar, vocals) and cousins Austin and Tony Hendrick (bass/keys and drums, respectively). For more than four months the band has been quiet, holding off on live shows while integrating its most recent addition, Tony Hendrick, and has also discarded recording work in order to begin fresh, constructing a new album that represents the group's current format.
Originating as a folksy Joe Bones solo project that resembled a cross between Silver Jews and Chin Up Chin Up, the act has since transformed multiple times and now performs as an up-tempo and noisy trio, trading slow and sloppy vocals for fast-paced punk yelps.
"It all started when my acoustic guitar got stolen at The Tin Roof and I decided to play more electric," Bones recalls. "Then I started using more and more pedals for effects. A lot of the noise rock thing has been focused on the rhythm section and me trying to find a balance.
"Every song has a lot of variety to it. I wouldn't say each song is a different genre, but we have mixed a lot of influences, which has made it more aggressive. With everyone mixing things, it forces it to be more aggressive than singer/songwriter-based like it was before."
Bones in the Museum says that more changes may be on the horizon as thought has been given to further additions, some more conventional than others — ranging from a second guitarist and keyboard player to a horn and string section.
"I'm always searching for extra people to throw in," Austin Hendrick says. "Since I play bass and keyboards, I hear a lot of keyboard melodies in my head when I'm on bass, and I can't physically play both at the same time. I'm constantly writing keyboard parts and looking for someone to come in and play keys with us. Also we had a saxophone player from down the street show up at a practice that wants to play with us. We've not jammed with him yet, but we're open to it. Incorporating some horns would be really fun."
"We've also talked about adding another guitar, but we want to get the CD finished before we throw somebody else in it," adds Bones. "We've discussed a horn section and strings. The thing with this band is it's constantly changing."
Matching its open ears is the group's openness to playing unconventional venues. With a leave-no-stone-unturned philosophy for spreading its name, Bones in the Museum describes an earnest desire to play venues that are an unusual fit. Acknowledging the 9-year age gap within its roster, the act looks to further diversify its target demographic, pointing out that short-term monetary gain is low on its list of priorities.
Bones in the Museum's nonprofit approach is furthered by plans to release its upcoming album, in its entirety, for free download. Given the time and resources devoted to the as-yet untitled full-length, this seems a particularly generous offer. With the initial recording well on its way to completion, Bones scrapped all work to begin from scratch, this time with continuity in mind.
"The original one was actually a combination of a couple of different sessions that we did," says Bones of the shelved first pass. "Some songs were acoustic songs I did by myself, some were with me and our old drummer, and some were the three of us. The sound was very different, not only because of the combination of people but also the styles. The styles were already different because they were taken from different periods, and it just wasn't balanced. ... It didn't sound like an album so much as a bunch of songs someone put on a CD. There's only a couple of songs from that that will make it onto the album we're working on now. If we make a CD I want there to be some unity to it."
As of now, four of the album's estimated 11 tracks are complete, and the band anticipates a late summer release.
Bones in the Museum will play its first show since January at The Longbranch Saloon Thursday night, joining a bill that also includes Lead Knuckle and The Young Ungratefuls. The show starts at 9 p.m. ,and admission is $5.
PICK UP STYX: Remnants of nostalgic late '70s phenom Styx come to Knoxville, performing Friday night at The Tennessee Theatre. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show cost $47.
MARSHALL LAW: Folk band Guy Marshall and Carrington Mitchell play a free show at The Well Wednesday night. Music is slated for 9 p.m.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!