“It seems like people get afraid of a certain music if they can’t pigeonhole it to their satisfaction… Good music is good music, and that should be enough for anybody.” –
Bradley Nowell, Sublime
With raucous guitar riffs, velvety vocals and hook-laden melodies, Simplified has been hailed as one of music’s most interesting and, ironically, most complex bands on the circuit today. Described as “funky, reggae, roots rock & roll”, the rollicking quartet has not only stunned critics with their intricate songwriting and versatile stage show but also managed to create a sound all their own … a sound that appears to be stimulating the masses.
In fact, in just eight years since the band’s inception, Simplified has not only performed more than 2,500 shows, but they have also earned the respect of such renown artists as O.A.R., whose saxophone player Jerry Depizzo produced their latest album. But don’t be fooled. Simplified’s journey hasn’t always been an easy one. The band has done everything – from the writing, recording and even the distribution of their four albums – completely on their own.
“We have worked extremely hard over the course of a few years and have released three studio records, one live album, an E.P. and three music videos as an independent entity without a record label,” said Simplified guitarist Chris Sheridan. That’s not the only thing the band has done on its own. They’ve also managed to continue to reinvent themselves with each and every new record – a feat not often seen in today’s sedentary music scene.
Their latest release Brighter Days is a testament to the band’s musical evolution. Calling it “honest, organic rock,” Simplifieds newest effort embodies a bolder, more defiant sound than the previous albums and marks a focused vision for the band. Part of the shift in direction was, in part, due to the all-star team of engineers that were brought in by Jerry Depizzo, including Jeff Juliano (Dave Mathews Band, Jason Mraz,John Mayer, Train) and Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, O.A.R., Sami Yusef). “We are all very proud of our new album, says Sheridan.”It’s the best project we’ve done so far and we are excited to get it out for people to hear it.” “When we started the band back in 2004 we had more of a “jam rock” kind of thing going on that incorporated everything from funk and country to soul,” said Vocalist Clee Laster. “Yet, for our new album, we’re definitely taking on a more rock-driven sound. It wasn’t a conscious decision to look for a certain sound or style. It just happened.”
Since the release of Brighter Days, the band has been featured regionally on NBC’s Charlotte Today TV show twice and FOX Edge TV show, as well as numerous local radio stations and at Carolina Panthers football games. They have been featured nationally on ESPN and ABC TV as well as sitting in the top 5 of the iheartradio.com charts for most of the summer of 2011. The band has played numerous festivals across the country this past year, been hailed as a “Band on the Rise” by Relix Magazine, and gotten spins on many prestigious FM radio stations across the nation. They will continue their non-stop roadwork after already accumulating a number of Festivals for 2012 and a spot on the Rock Boatcruise to set sail in early March.
The band is very proud of its dedication to its loyal fan base. Since forming more than seven years ago, Simplifiedhas always made themselves accessible to their audiences. In fact, at each and every show, members of the group can often be found hanging out with fans, shaking hands and taking pictures with those that helped them get to where they are today. They also pride themselves on staying current and keeping in touch with their fans through social networking sites and good old fashioned personal interaction. “We love to interact with friends and fans, said bass guitarist Chris Lynch.”It’s important to us to let people know how much we appreciate them. After all, it’s them who make it happen for us.”
For the band that started as an acoustic duo in 2002 and has quickly become one of the industry’s top emerging rock bands, it’s safe to say that Simplified has evolved into a true tour de force thanks to its one basic belief—hard work, great music and a genuine passion for what they do. And there’s nothing simple about that.