Captains of sound
The members of up-and-coming local band Captain Comfy say they want their music to make a difference in listeners’ lives, and now they’re putting their money where others’ mouths are.
In an effort to spread holiday cheer to those in need, the six-piece ensemble will donate its portion of the proceeds from tonight’s show at The Deli, 309 White St., to OKC Angels, a nonprofit organization providing Christmas gifts and meals to children and families in need.
Though the band members could certainly put the money to good use themselves, OU alumnus and bass player Taylor Graham said the decision to donate tonight’s earnings was an easy one.
“We’re all relatively broke, but when you put it all in perspective, it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “If money comes later on, great. Our focus is on enjoying playing music together right now.”
Band members may not see any immediate monetary benefit from their show tonight, but Justin Rackleff, health and exercise science major and percussionist, said seeing concert attendees appreciate the band’s performances is a reward in itself.
“If I could think of one thing I wanted to do with my life, this would be it,” he said. “To see people taking note of and enjoying what we do is indescribable.”
Taking note of Captain Comfy is exactly what local audiences have been doing since the band’s April 28 debut, and band members attribute their success to focusing on the musicianship and camaraderie between themselves and concertgoers.
“We hope that people can come to our shows and recharge their spirit because we feed off that on stage,” guitarist Mitch Wilkerson said.
Though band members want their music to be accessible to any audience, they admit their sound is not easily categorized.
Keyboard player Ty Walls, who joined the band in June, said he now faces the same dilemma describing the music that his fellow bandmates once did when trying to convince him to join.
“They tried and failed to describe it to me, and that’s exactly what happens now ... because I really don’t know what to say,” he said.
Despite the fact all six band members attended Broken Arrow High School and consider themselves longtime friends, Captain Comfy is essentially a confluence of divergent musical approaches and influences.
Members cite everything from Phish and the Grateful Dead to Radiohead, Ben Folds and Talking Heads as influences upon their personal styles, but somehow when they take the stage, these divisions disappear and all that remains is a well-controlled jam rock mélange that can and often does switch from a mellow, ambient melodies to bass-driven funk grooves at a moment’s notice.
Furthering the differences, some members come from a classical music background, while others are self-taught.
While at Broken Arrow High School, both Walls and drummer Jerry Jones were involved in the school’s marching band, which won a national championship during their time there.
“We were taught by incredible educators, and constantly observing people who really get it was a huge help,” Walls said
The remaining members, including OU alumnus and percussionist Michael Bina, all learned their instruments in less formal settings.
“We all have our strengths and weaknesses in songwriting and performing, but they complement one another well,” Graham said.
Wilkerson echoed those sentiments, saying that the band is still in the process of finding its artistic footing, but its members embrace improving together.
“There’s so many individual influences and differences … and that’s why the sound is going to be constantly evolving,” Wilkerson said. “That’s a good thing.”
Whatever success or hardships come Captain Comfy's way, Rackleff said the journey will be made easier by the band’s bond.
“Being in a band is a lot easier when you’re working with your best friends rather than a group of good musicians with nothing in common,” he said. “We know we have something, and I’m excited to see where we make it together.
GO AND DO
See the band
WHEN: 10:30 tonight
WHERE: The Deli, 309 White St.
How to donate
Visit the nonprofit organization OKC Angels’ website at okcangels.webs.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: OKC Angels website