Getting Sweaty With Celebrity Traffic – Review

The line-up last Friday at The Media Club was quite the mixed bag. From Magmatic’s funky stylings that got the evening going to Six To Midnight’s hard rock that closed out the night, the sounds were all over the place. The Hutchison Effect and Celebrity Traffic, sandwiched in between the opener and headliner, ended up being the hands-down standouts.

The Hutchison Effect is fronted by the faux-moustachioed, tambourine-slapping, bobby-hatted Joseph Musters (and he does) and rounded out by Andrew and Mikael Koltek (guitar and bass, respectively) and Andrew Noon (drummer/’80s jogger). Kicking off their set with “The Window”, a dirty, riffy rock number, the foursome jacked up the energy in the room with every tune as the place filled up.

Musters displayed a natural ability to play with the crowd, knowing when to ham it up as well as when to pull back. He’s got just the right amount of shtick going on. By mid-set, the four young rockers had loosened up nicely; the same can be said about the crowd. The chasm between the front row of bodies and the band had narrowed, and by the time they played “Minimum Wage” and the closing “Pockets”, the floor was properly jammed. Keep an eye out for these guys; they put on a great show (Facebook).

Celebrity Traffic was up next and managed to sustain the energy and morph the vibe from rock show to dance club. Backed by the head-banging Brandon DeLyzer (programming, drum machine, keys) and très-cool Joel Mellish (bass, keys), Sean Baker weaved vivid stories of late nights and hard partying while and assaulting his electric guitar. Despite some sound issues and technical difficulties (Sean managed to smash some gadget while rocking his ass off – high five!), the boys put together a solid, bouncy set which included the sexy “Busted Lips” and trippy “Pills”. By the time “Three Days” and “Special Education” rolled around, the floor was on fire and Celebrity Traffic could have easily taken over the rest of the night, but alas…

I managed to touch base with Sean after the show. Here’s what he had to say:

DR: Celebrity Traffic has elements of rock and electronic. Would you guys say you’re one genre more than the other?

SB: I think we’re a pretty even mix of the two. Honestly, we all come from different backgrounds, but we’ve all got pretty solid roots based in rock. As far as myself and Joel, we grew up in the grunge/garage band era, and Brando played in a couple rock bands, but we all dig solid electro music as well. The fusion was kinda fluky, in that we wanted to play something that was super dancey but also super gnarly and satisfied our old-school grunge tendencies. The electro beats and production adds something hip-shaky that maybe a strictly three-piece grunge band couldn’t do, but the production, guitar, vocals and overall feeling keeps us connected to our background, as former garage band kids.

DR: A lot of your songs mention a girl, whether she’s on the dance floor, asking you to come home with her, giving you a hard time… Is this rock fiction or are these true tales?

SB: Ha, they’re loosely based on my own experiences… That’s not to say that all of our songs are based on girls, but, as a mid-twenties dude I find myself easily distracted and overly concerned with them. All of the lyrics are based on feelings we’ve had, or actual stories. It just makes it easier to write a song if you have reality to draw on. That being said, I find that the songs I like are ones I personally identify with, and are about love and all the accoutrements that surround it. Those seem to resonate with most people. Everybody loves love, I suppose.

DR: When you guys walk out on stage, what’s your goal, what are you hoping to achieve that night?

SB: We hope that everyone sweats as much as we do and smiles as much as we do. Ultimately, we want people to love our shows as much as we love playing them. They’re aggressive, yes, but we want people to just give in and go with it. Dance and sweat and forget about the rest of their regular lives.

DR: Celebrity Traffic is playing Shambhala again this year [August 8 to 13, 2012]. Last year was the first time – how was that?

SB: It was unreal. Super, super hot. The talent there is always immense, and we were just stoked to be asked to play in the first place. Last year we came in playing some new songs we had just finished. So we’re excited to play some stuff off our new LP [We Bleed Blood], as well as some new stuff that we’re currently writing. This year we just wanna come out doing what we do and we hope that people dig it the way they did last year. We played an earlier set last year and this year we’re playing a later set so it’ll be nice not to have to play in 35 degree sunshine. It’ll still be dusty. But who doesn’t love a good dusty sweaty dance party once in a while?

DR: What can we expect from you guys in the near future?

SB: More of the same we hope… but bigger and better. We’re currently trying to book a summer tour and possibly work it around Shambhala. Plus we’re always writing and we may do some more recording this summer. We’re hoping to up our live presence this summer as much as we can and we’re looking at trying to find some inroads to Europe. All in all, we’re going to try to make the most of the summer and put as much music out there as we can. That’s kind of always the goal.

You can get a salty taste of Celebrity Traffic’s music right here.

Celebrity Traffic  – April 6 at The Media Club with The Hutchison Effect, Magmatic and Six To Midnight