Three’s Company Brings Hip-Hop Home
As a self-proclaimed three-person hip-hop super group, Three’s Company has joined the Shaker music scene, competing in the Rock Off Feb. 9.
Alex Ramsay, Chris Gillooly and Brian Kirby comprise the trio, who write and record their own music.
“Brian and Alex are the lyricists for Three’s Company,” said Gillooly, who doubles as the group’s producer. “All of the lyrics we’ve performed and recorded are original.” The group first performed their original music at the Grog Shop Nov. 23 last year.
Gillooly said the trio finds inspiration in groups signed by Rhymesayers Entertainment, which on its website identifies itself as “an independent hip-hop record label based in Minneapolis.” “Anything out of Rhymesayers Entertainment is an influence and inspiration to us,” he said.
Although they did not place at the Rock Off, the members said they were very satisfied. “I thought it was crazy sick,” said Ramsay, “and even though there were mess ups, things worked out.”
Kirby agreed. “As much as winning any place could have been good,” he said, “I’m glad we didn’t ’cause it shows reality; that things don’t come to you. You have to work for them.”
Even if they take a break for now, Ramsay predicts longevity for Three’s Company. “You can probably expect to see more of us in the future,” he said. “You can’t get rid of us that easily.”
Though formed fairly recently, Three’s Company has been steadily recording music and offered advice to those who might want to do the same. “Don’t rely on others,” Brian Kirby said. “If you can’t make a band, then go solo. If you can, make sure you know the people well enough to get along and have weird times together.”
“Have fun,” Chris Gillooly advised. “And don’t let your ego get to you.”
“Get together with some cool dudes and just do random stuff until something sounds wicked, yo,” Alex Ramsay suggested. “Keep practicing and just chill. Don’t take yourselves seriously. Oh, and always shout out your mom on stage.”
Lack of Focus Revolutionizes Rock
Jack Crowley, Giles VonDoom, Justin Hobbs and Louie Seguin are obsessed with music. Together they comprise Lack of Focus, a band that has been writing and recording their own music since September 2011. Lack of Focus has competed in two Rock Offs, reaching the finals in their debut.
They find it difficult to precisely define their style.VonDoom said, “We truly believe that we bring something new to music and have trouble deciding which professional bands we sound most like.” However, they agree that aspects of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Killers and Weezer are infused in their style. A year after their first Rock Off, they have played at some of Cleveland’s most famous venues, including the Agora, Peabody’s and The Grog Shop, and have begun to record original music.
“Inspiration for the songs comes mostly from classic teenage guy emotions and experience,” said Crowley, who has recorded “Fool Song” and “Follow Me” professionally; “Fool Song” can be found on the group’s reverbnation.com page, and a recording of “Follow Me” is posted on kisscleveland.com/rockoff.
The band aspires to play music into adulthood, and hopes to keep Lack of Focus alive in the future. “There was a TV commercial recently that showed a group of kids starting a band, and then showed them as older men, still jamming,” said Crowley. “We can see that as us one day.”
Lack of Focus has been steadily preparing for this year’s Rock Off. “Last year, the Rock Off was our first performance outside of Jack’s basement,” Seguin said, “and while it was fun, it was very new to us and we were glad to make it on to the finals.”
“From my point of view,” said Crowley, “playing in front of however many hundred or thousand people is more comfortable than practicing in solitude; it feels incredibly natural.” Lack of Focus is in the process of recording an EP, a short album of around five songs, which will be released in the near future.
A version of this article appeared in print on 20 February 2013, on page 11 of The Shakerite.