The DeFab Four
The DeFabulators are a straight-up rock ‘n’ roll band according to rhythm guitarist Greg Ryssman and bassist Eric Foreman, who share vocal duties.
Playing music that seems to exist strictly for the purpose of having a good time, the band mingles their own songs with covers of the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and just about anything else an audience could sing along with or dance to.
The DeFabulators were conceived as an idea in a coffee shop. Soon, they were haunting open-mic nights all around the city. Ryssman and Foreman learned how to work together over the course of five years as the duet Love Grenade, until they felt confident enough to form an entire band.
According to the two friends, the years spent learning their sound and playing for small smoky rooms was just what they needed.
“We began to appreciate our music more and learned not to rely on an audience for validation, because when we first started there were times when we played to nearly empty rooms,” Foreman said, sounding slightly nostalgic.
Pursuing the ability to play different songs over the years has led to a large repertoire from classic bands, “We get asked to do cover songs a lot, but we’re not a cover band,” Ryssman says fervently. “Half the music in our set is original, but we like to get the audience involved by singing songs they’re sure to know.”
The songs that have been written by Ryssman or Foreman tackle a variety of topics, from past relationships to abstract ideas or even some that can be a little “lowdown and dirty.” All their lyrics have something of a poetic color to them. They create their songs by bouncing sounds off of each other, and then it’s a mad creative dash to see who can complete the song first. The music that the band has completed can be choppy or muddled at times, though the high spirits and energy tend to balance where the sound can falter.
The past six months have led to the addition of Wes Forster on drums and Anthony Cacibauda on lead guitar. Their sound has progressed to what Ryssman describes as “good music.”
“Wes has given much more power to our rhythm, since his background was mostly in metal; he has been great at motivating us. Anthony has really helped to tie it all together; instead of trying to make music we’re making music.”
The focus of the band is now about enjoying the audience.
“That’s what it is all about for us—we just want to have a good time,” Ryssman says. The idea of riches or fame isn’t something they take seriously and isn’t a goal they’ve set for themselves, though they do want to make something happen in this city with their music.
“We’re bringing back the sound of that good rock ‘n’ roll for whoever wants to hear it,” Ryssman says enthusiastically. “We like to perform, and we’re not relying on friends for our audience.”
There is a slight bit of animosity from the DeFabulators toward other local bands that “grandstand” or “live off of Myspace and rely on their friends to bring the crowd every night.”
Ryssman says the DeFabulators will play with anybody, anytime and anywhere, “as long as they’re prepared and want to have a good fucking time.”
There is not a DeFabulators CD yet, but the group hopes to get into the studio this spring and to have a final copy ready by summer, when the guys hope to play a lot of shows and to start doing some touring.
The fearsome foursome can be found at most of the bars in town that play live music on Friday or Saturday nights.