photo by Brian Penczak
Richmond VA, 4/24/2020 – With live music performances literally erased by the coronavirus pandemic, Richmond rock band, The J.O.B. have adjusted their plans. They are taking advantage of the entertainment shut down by writing and recording new music from an undisclosed recording studio in the city outskirts. The band is also executing a major lineup change. Drummer Eric Bandy is departing after 6 years, turning over the throne to the band’s new drummer Brian Penczak.
Since their first gig in 2008, The J.O.B. from Richmond, Virginia have recorded 6 studio albums and achieved Top 40 ranking for three singles on national music charts. An alternative rock band with blues and Americana infusion, they have performed hundreds of live shows throughout the region, developing a large and diverse fan base.
Bandy joined The J.O.B. as their drummer in 2014 just weeks before the band toured venues through the mountains of Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. He has been a steady presence behind the drum kit on stage and in the recording studio, working seamlessly with bassist Jared Merrill, lead guitarist Jason Crawford, and guitarist-singer Jim O’Ferrell to establish the distinctive sound the band has today.
“It was a good run and we accomplished a lot,” said Bandy. The band’s most recent album, “Highway of Shadows” featuring Bandy on the drum kit, was ranked by The Auricular as among the ’50 Best Richmond Records of 2018.’
Incoming drummer, Penczak was selected from a pool of talented candidates after an exhaustive search in the Richmond metro area. A multi-instrumentalist, Brian has been drumming for 11 years and claims Tré Cool (Green Day) and Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) as among his influences. Leading up to his new job with The J.O.B., Penczak had performed with various other local bands. He also produced complex solo projects, performing all of the instrumentation and vocals on three self-released albums crossing different rock sub genres.
With social distance rules in place, the entire process for Penczak’s selection was conducted via Skype. “This is the first time I’ve ever hired anyone for anything without a handshake,” mused frontman and band manager Jim O’Ferrell. “It’s bittersweet. Eric’s been a band brother for a long time and we’ve all done some great work together, but band life goes on,” he said.
When asked what the future holds for The J.O.B., O’Ferrell said, “We’re thrilled to have Brian taking over the drum kit. He’s a terrific drummer who brings a new perspective and a new skill set. We all look forward to playing music together, new sounds, new songs. It’s exciting.”
When asked about performing gigs after the coronavirus restrictions are lifted, O’Ferrell replied, “However things shake out for live music in the post-pandemic world, we have a new band mate and a bunch of new songs. We’ll be ready and we’re excited to start performing again.”
Songs are often written about hooking up, breaking up or making up and this song is no exception.
Melding old school RNB Funk with a modern twist, This Is The Way was written and produced by Phoenix Verum after a break-up found him alone with his thoughts and in Covid19 lockdown. Phoenix took the opportunity to reflect on himself and his craft, with zero distractions it was an opportunity to put time back into himself, recharge and do what he loves to do.
Not all break-up songs need to be sad and soppy as break-ups can and should lead to better things. This shown in the upbeat, feel good vibe of the song. “This Is The Way” personifies emotional endurance, unbridled optimism, and personal resilience as we cannot avoid our destiny in life. As we listened we were incredibly impressed with the way that the track made us more joyful when listening.
All writing credits, vocals, and instruments played on this track were contributed by Phoenix. He also produced the track himself during Covid19 isolation by converting his dwelling into a recording studio. This song is 91 tracks of Phoenix. Check out the track below.
ARIA is a 21-year old rapper, songwriter and producer from Washington, D.C. He is a student at American University, and he turned down multiple scholarship offers so that he was able to focus on music while going to school. We are slowly becoming huge fans of ARIA, as he is making his name very well known in the DC area.
“To the Face” is his newest track, and it includes some incredible production from DJ Swivel, and also contains a feature from Lady Ocean. The track also has some astoundingly catchy lyrics, which you can expect from all ARIA’s tracks at this point. The song itself tells the story of ignorance, avoiding responsibility and self-indulgence. On the heels of Bleu Chanel (Na-No Remix) which amassed 25+ million streams across DSPs & feature on Spotify Dance Rising. Check it out below.