Dry River Yacht Club's Garnet: You Don't Have To Be A Kardashian To Connect With People

Categories: Q&A

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Melissa Fossum
There is an aura of mystery surrounding Tempe's Dry River Yacht Club. The band says it's not intentional, but it is certainly there. Most bands trying to establish themselves in any music scene will offer as much background information as possible, accompanied by flashy comparisons to great bands before them. DRYC keeps all this hidden, maybe because there isn't an easy predecessor to compare them to. Look up their band biography on social media platforms like Facebook and all a would-be researcher will find is an eloquent poem about a group of musicians on a yacht who are caught in a storm and marooned on a dried riverbed made of salt.

To try and pigeonhole DRYC with a specific sound may teeter on impossible--more than that, it's impractical. Neither the band nor the fans are interested in the gratification that may arise from classifying the music they love.

The eight person band takes the stage this weekend at the Kaleidoscope Kamp Out in Flagstaff at the Pepsi Amphitheater and will be one of the bluesy, indie rock bands in the lineup to accompany the various electronic DJ acts. DRYC singer Garnet spoke with Up on the Sun before heading north with her band to give her opinion on local music and the process of assembling her fellow pirate-gypsy musicians to jam out with.

I'd like to get your take on the local music scene in Phoenix.
I really like just going out to shows and enjoying a band. I hate to say I don't have an opinion, but I guess I'm just kind of laid back. After doing this since I was twenty-one and doing my own stuff--and then before that since I was eighteen doing back-up work--I just enjoy going out and catching a good show and a good buzz.

I enjoy living in Phoenix, and I enjoy how the city has its own [scene], cause it wasn't like that fifteen years ago when I moved here. It's gotten cooler as I've gotten older.

The first time I saw you play was the end of July at Cresent Ballroom for the Feeding America Benefit. It was clear you have a special fanbase.
I can definitely tell you that our fans dance. After all these years, a lot of fans know the words [to our songs] and they sing them, and they enjoy our new material. I feel like we really connect with a very free-spirited base of people, which ranges in age. I feel like our shows are very well received and it's by the kind of people who appreciate art, and are very free minded and willing to dance.

It's nice to have people always getting down at our shows, and if I can give it back to them, it makes everything so fun and kind of magical.

Do you guys play benefits like that very often?
Oh, yeah. Even before I started this project, me and some of the co-founders of this band would meet up and throw benefits for different groups and charities. Before this group and even during this project, we've always tried to be a part of stuff like that. When the community gives you so much, it's always a good idea to give back.

How did Dry River Yacht Club assemble a large group of musicians with an equal passion for such a unique sound?
Well, it's come a long way, and it's grown and changed a lot. The concept came up between me and one of the co-founders, named Ryan, in our last band. It was kinda more blues rock, and then we got rid of our bassist and our drummer and decided not to do that again.

Then, we were thinking, "What else could we do?" He said he knew a guy that played cello, and I told him I had a friend that played the bassoon, so we got together and started to jam. We definitely took the best of what we had around us and just kept growing.

Today, we still have a good core of the guys who started the band. It's really fun to still emphasize our sound, no matter what changes might come, whether it's instruments or musicians. We do that with our core group of writers and new writers that come on board and are willing to create the Dry River sound. It's been a developing thing, and I'm grateful that it's still kicking ass and changing in good ways. It's getting better all the time.

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Mike McCambridge
Mike McCambridge

i'm gonna say not being a kardashian is a tremendous asset in connecting with people, in fact...

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