Like a Frankensteinian automobile that’s been built from the ground up, piece by unrelated piece, the Savannah band Word of Mouth consists of disparate but essentially–consistent elements.
And what do you know? This old car purrs like a kitten.
“We all come from drastically different musical backgrounds,” says Jeff DeRosa, who plays cello and electric bass in the seven–piece (and sometimes eight-piece) group. “We’ve all got our own solo side projects, and music that we write, and Word of Mouth is the combination of that. I try to say it’s a multi–genre eclectic ensemble.’”
Playing Nov. 19 at Loco’s Grill & Pub, Word of Mouth blends hip hop, reggae, folk, classical and rock ‘n’ roll, creating a sound that’s both unique and soothingly familiar.
“I definitely have more of a set structure because I was classically trained when I was younger,” explains singer and pianist Lucia Garcia. “That really stuck, the technicality. So while other people play by ear I try to go more technical with the music aspect.
“Everything’s about balance. I have a difficult time learning by ear, because of the rigidity of what I’ve learned in the past. So it’s really nice to get with these musicians who can hear by ear and explain it to me in a way I can understand. And vice versa, you know?”
Word of Mouth also includes Melissa Hagerty (vocals, guitar and that altogether freaky instrument called the theremin), rapper/singers Cameron Locke and Miggs Son Daddy, David Ballantyne on guitar and vocals and Mike McCoy on drums.
“We try to put styles of music together that shouldn’t work,” says DeRosa, who graduated from SCAD’s sound design program last spring. “We try to do it in a way that we glue it together because there’s so many pieces of us.
“There’s a song that’s on our album coming out where we put drum & bass and reggae together in the same song. We’ll change tempo, almost 60 BPM in the middle of the song, and then come right back to it.”
For Garcia, the band’s homemade, DIY appeal is simple. “We’re trying to inspire people to realize that they’re so much greater than they know,” she says. “What my personal goal is, and what I’m trying to bring to Word of Mouth, is to inspire people and make people feel good about themselves.
“Hopefully by watching us. Because we are just so completely ourselves onstage. I will be dressed up in some weird clothes, and Jeff will have his goggles on, or weird sunglasses. And I want that to reflect upon people: Hey, even though all these people are so different, they come together as one unit. And they’re completely themselves. And it works.”
The band started, organically, about two years ago. As new people arrived (Garcia, for example, recently moved here from New Mexico) and the sound got more interesting, the musicians knew they had arrived at something special.
And then there’s this: “We’ve all become really, really good friends in the past year,” says DeRosa. “ I consider this my family.”
If comparisons must be made, the easiest one is to Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, another loose–limbed hippie conglomerate with an eclectic playlist.
That, DeRosa says, isn’t really a fair shakedown.
“We try to highlight and feature each and every one of our musicians,” he explains. “It’s not like ‘Melissa Hagerty and Word of Mouth’ or ‘Lucia Garcia and Word of Mouth.’ All of us get an equal representation; we all write the songs, we pretty much all have an equal input.
“The overall mission is to bring people together under peace and love, of course. And to inspire, that’s our biggest mantra.
“It’s like, by ourselves we’re great, but when we all come together it really makes something bigger than we could ever be.”
Word of Mouth
Where: Loco’s Grill & Pub, 301 W. Broughton St.
When: At 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19
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