The Sanderlings debut new album ‘Awesome Opossum’Written by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards described songwriting in his autobiography, “Life.” Those words serve as inspiration for Toledo band The Sanderlings.
In the book, Richards mentions “vowel movements,” the “oohs and the ees and the ahs … without the consonants” in rock songs, saying songs are made catchier by using words that don’t make sense.
The Sanderlings’ guitarist and vocalist Josh Evans said the group’s music features many such “vowel movements.”
“Those lyrics don’t make a lick of sense,” Evans said.
Bassist Jonathan Rodebaugh said some songs on the band’s new tongue-in-cheek album, “Awesome Opossum,” available Oct. 9, are obnoxious on purpose.
“It’s weird if we have a song that’s too serious,” Rodebaugh said. “If you take yourself too seriously as a musician, then you’re Bono.”
The Sanderlings consists of Evans and Rodebaugh with Jon Kynard on drums and Ben Masters also on guitar and vocals.
The silliness of the band makes it appealing to an unexpected demographic.
“Kids have always been strangely attracted to our music,” Masters said.
The group played a gig once with a group of kids dancing and singing along in front of the stage.
“I felt like ‘The Wiggles,”’ Rodebaugh said.
The album isn’t all jokes though. The song “Mr. Heart Attack Man” is about a local headliner the group has had to deal with in the past. Because the headliner changed the order of the bands performing one night, The Sanderlings ended up playing for no audience before the bar was open.
The band also explores different sounds, as in the acoustic “Smoke” or “Busch Light Night” which includes Auto-Tune.
“It’s like a ‘Seinfeld’-type band, no lessons learned,” Kynard said.
Masters said The Sanderlings mostly wants the audience to have a good time.
“We just love playing music,” Masters said.
“Awesome Opossum” is three years in the making. The album took so long to produce because Evans moved to Bend, Ore. He comes back to town to “keep the band name alive,” Rodebaugh said.
Rodebaugh said the members are confident in the album. So much so, they took to the streets of Downtown Toledo with a video camera to film strangers’ reactions to hearing the music. The video is used as a promo video on YouTube.
“This is my favorite album we’ve put out,” Rodebaugh said, who wrote most of the album’s lyrics.
The album features one of Rodebaugh’s favorite tracks he’s written, “I Want You,” which his wife, Amy, sings on with Evans.
The band members have cited a variety of bands as inspiration, from ABBA to Nirvana to The Beach Boys.
“All the greats,” Evans said.
The band will reunite for a show at one of their favorite places, Mickey Finn’s Pub, 602 Lagrange St., at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 28. It will be the first time since 2010 the band has performed together. The show will be half original material, half covers.
“We’re excited to see the fans again,” Masters said.
The band will also be featured on “Holiday Wishes II,” the Make-A-Wish holiday album sponsored by Toledo Free Press. The group recorded “We Three Kings” for the compilation.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/thesanderlings.