Monday, April 11, 2011

Follow the Desciples

  (Pictured from left to right - Tim Maholic, Terry Burns, Stephen Hasbarger and Chilli Moreno.)

Recently, I was fortunate enough to stumble across a band out of Denver, CO called the Desciples who are defining the term “dreadrock.”

Band members include: Stephen Hasbarger - lead vocals and lead guitar, Chilli Moreno - congas, Tim Maholic - drums, Terry Burns - bass and Flyin Jay on the keyboard.

The band started in 2005 when Stephen met Chilli at an open mic night in Englewood, CO. They played together for a few years and then eventually decided to part ways. During the time of the break-up, Stephen still had music on his mind and was doing lots of song-writing. In 2007, Stephen got back in touch with Chilli and they decided to give it another shot. They began recording their debut album in 2009 and the finished product, “Soul Searching & Couch Surfing,” was released July 10, 2010.

This album offers up a unique blend of reggae to rock fusion that will nurture your entire being by taking your mind on a trip to paradise, giving your body a reason to groove all while leaving your soul with a smile.

Stephen was kind enough to take the time to speak with me and answer some questions about the band and what they do.

What can people expect to get out of a live show?

They can expect us not to stand around on stage and be boring. We will give you your money’s worth. The band has a lot of energy. We have Chilli who will hand out shakers to the audience to get them to jam with us. There’s Terry our bass player, who we call tiny dancer because he just goes crazy on stage. Then at some point in the show towards the end I will shred the guitar with my teeth. It’s definitely a sing-a-long too. If you are in the audience I won’t just let you stand there, I will make you work!

Do you guys do cover songs in your shows?

You know it just depends on the show and the mood. I can’t stick to a set-list, I’m the worst at it and sometimes it drives the band nuts. You know they call me the Peyton Manning of the band. I will look at the set then turn back around and be like no, no let’s do “Welcome to Jam Rock,” by Damian Marley let’s just go with it you know and they are like alright!

You all are participating in a competition to play at Bonnaroo, and if you make it to Bonnaroo what would you be looking forward to the most?

More than anything I think we would be looking forward to opening ourselves up on the east coast and spreading out in a whole different region. It would just be nice to have the opportunity to spread the word that we are out here and that we have some good tunes that I think people will like. Hopefully we could catch a couple of ears that haven’t heard it before. All-in-all, it would be a huge honor just to play there with everybody else…that would be amazing, but to even be considered for this is really special.

I’ve noticed the word “dreadrock” associated with your band and just wanted to know what the definition of “dreadrock” is to you and do you consider that to be the type of music your band plays?

We play this really great reggae and then we have this nice pierce you in the heart rock edge that comes all together and you’re just like wow something different. That’s what I get from dreadrock and that’s how I describe where we are with that.

The term is something Chilli came up with and it’s hard to explain. It’s just a dreadrock thing you know?

How did you come up with the name Desciples and why do you spell it the way you do?

Back when I was 14 I had just started playing the guitar and had just met Jay. We were hanging out a buddy’s house, we called him Dreadlock Rob (there’s actually a reference to him in the song, “Puff Puff Pass”). So we are hanging out at Dreadlock Rob’s house and he had a statue of a ceramic head and he put a Rasta hat, a pair of sunglasses and a peace sign necklace on it and we called it Modern Day Moses, which was the name of our jam band out in Seattle. When I came out here to Denver and Chilli and I started getting serious about having a band we started talking about names and I thought back to Jay and I and thought The Disciples and Modern Day Moses would be a good name. Chilli suggested we just go with Disciples so that’s what we went with.

The reason we started spelling it differently is because there is a reggae band in the UK called the Disciples and I didn’t want there to be any conflict. So we started thinking we’re from Denver you know, DE so why not just be Desciples.

If you could choose any artist still alive to record a song with who would it be and why?

Oh man just one? I like John Butler from the John Butler trio. I would love to do some kind-of sweet guitar duet with that guy…to work with him on any level would just be amazing. I’ve met him and I’ve hung out with him. He’s a great guy and a total inspiration. I’m just in awe every time I watch him and his band.

For someone that isn’t familiar with the Desciples and hasn’t ever listened to your music what would you want them to know about your album?

You know this album is really just raw. It’s emotionally the core of my being. Everything that came out of my heart I put into the words of the songs on this album. I think it’s something people can relate to because we’ve all been there. A lot of the songs are just about what I see and think everyday and hopefully what will draw people to it. I think everybody feels this way about certain things and they either don’t care to talk about it or they don’t have an outlet where they can talk about it.

The album touches a lot of different genres honestly, you go from, “Walk on Me,” a really groovy song to, “Smile,” a good solid love song with a reggae feel to it and then there’s, “Lay Down Your Arms,” which has a guitar solo that just screams at you.

What’s your favorite song of the album, or the song that means the most to you?

I like princess a lot because it’s the first song I ever wrote. I wrote that song when I was 14. I don’t know why, but it’s just seemed to stick around and now it’s on the album. I love them all, “Lay Down Your Arms,” with everything going on in the world is a song that just kind of stands out. Whether you are with the war or against the war, it’s something that is going on and it would just be nice to see it slow down and see people start coming back home.

Is there anything you would like to add?

We just love what we do and hopefully people will give it a shot and hopefully they like it.

For more information on the Desciples or to check out their music go to their facebook page:

Let's help them get to Bonnaroo!!! Click the link below and download their song.


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  2. I'm looking forward to hearing some of their stuff! They seem down to Earth and that always seems to produce good tunes.