Local band ‘Prying Eyes’ hopes to inspire others through music

By Jeff Arnold, Contributing Writer

‘Prying Eyes’ (Photo/submitted)

Region – For Prying Eyes band members Dan St. Louis and Eli James, the beginning of their musical journey together was serendipitous. Both auditioning for spots in another band, the duo met after “[liking] what they heard from each other.” Upon discovering that they both favored, as St. Louis calls it, a “straight ahead, non-gimmicky” brand of rock music they formed the band now known as Prying Eyes.

Prying Eyes is now a local power in the rock music scene. Along with St. Louis playing guitar and James playing bass, the band also utilizes the talents of Anthony Gambaccini on drums and Dan Brown on guitar. St. Louis, James, and Brown act as lead singers and songwriters as well. All in their 30s, the group had different paths to get to where they are today.

Gambaccini began drumming when he was 5 years old. Prior to his time with Prying Eyes, he played drums locally for acts Stankboot, SoGruv, and Kid Empty, and views his older brother, who drummed for Forced Fed Shovel Head and Bonehead, as one of his biggest inspirations.

St. Louis, who counts Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Cracker among his influences, played classical and jazz trumpet in middle school but began switching over to guitar when he was 12.

“By 10th grade,” he said, “my friends and I had started and band that was playing shows and recording four-track albums. Started singing almost by accident when a singer didn’t show up for a show in the high school gym so I just took over.”

Brown began playing guitar when he was 10 and started his first band when he was 12. He later obtained a degree in recording at UMass Lowell before spending time in New York City working at Kamen Entertainment. His background in recording would later lead Prying Eyes to recording a demo in his basement which, along with his singing and songwriting talents, helped solidify his place in the band.

James began playing bass and guitar when he was 12 years old and later played in Superhinge and DieCast. He lists the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Nirvana, and Anita Baker as professional influences but also views his family as important to his musical identity. Noting how all of the members are from central Massachusetts, he views Worcester as their home base.

“Worcester has been our stomping grounds for many years,” James said, “but we would like to branch out and play for people in other venues around New England and further.”

For now, however, the band regularly plays Worcester hot-spots The Cove, Ralph’s Rock Diner, and The Raven. On Sunday, Aug. 13, the group will open for The Jelly Jam at The Cove.  Although these venues have long been institutions in the central Mass. metal and hardcore scene, the band itself does not play those particular brands of music.

“I see our music as hard rock with pop sensibilities,” said James. “The problem with many bands that play harder music is that they get too wrapped up in their genre and the song disappears in the process. To us the song and the hook has always been the priority. Everything else is just icing on the cake.”

Today, the group is hoping to build on the momentum brought about by releasing their six-song EP “Facing the Habit” last year. Although St. Louis’ goal for the future is to “make another great sounding [record],” James’ goals are more big-picture.

“My hope,” he said, “is that we are successful in bringing some popularity to hard rock again so those bands can make a living like they were able to in the past. Also, to maybe inspire other people to pick up an instrument as well. It’s all about holding yourself to a high standard, if you look the part but don’t have the songs to back it all up, it’s pointless.”

To listen to Prying Eyes music visit pryingeyes1.bandcamp.com.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=91495

Posted by on Aug 7 2017. Filed under Byline Stories, Neighbors in the news, People and Places, Region. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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