No yolk—Sacramento's Egg crafts an unpretentious take on jazz-influenced, heavy-metal prog rock
With a band name like Egg, it’s fair to assume the people behind the music aren’t the most serious guys on the planet. Just a quick scroll through the group’s Facebook page reveals a penchant for the absurd.
“It’s time for an eggve-ture,” reads one post. Or, there’s: “EGGSOMNIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” “To EGG or not to EGG?” and the particularly goofy (and totally out of nowhere), “One time, I farted an entire egg!”
Well, OK then.
And even when the band members are actually discussing music, they say things like “yolks” instead of “folks” when addressing fans.
“We’re trying to cut down on the egg puns,” guitarist and lead singer Joey Sanders says.
Still, as much as they goof around with the name, there was little thought in choosing it, nor is there really anything deep behind its meaning.
Rather, the experimental band had its first show lined up and realized it didn’t have a name.
“We came together, and we’re like, ’How about Egg?’ Then Egg was born,” says drummer Carlos Figueroa, apparently unable to resist the opportunity to make another egg-related joke.
Much like its name, there isn’t much premeditated thought behind the band’s experimental sound, which is particularly eclectic. Joining Sanders and Figueroa are Nick Hawley on bass, Brett Hendrickson on keyboards and Chris Patton on trumpet. Musically, Egg’s sound hops around between straightforward rock anthems and jazz fusion, instrumental prog-rock jams, funk metal and pretty much anything goes—often within the same song.
It’s a sound rooted, at least in part, in its members’ past bands. Figueroa and Hendrickson previously played in a Tool-esque experimental band, while Sanders and Hawley played together in a band that combined classic rock and Metallica.
“We really just get into a room and we play, and if it feels good, just keep doing that,” Hawley says. “I have an idea of what a certain song can feel like and need. All the other guys also have an idea of what that part should feel like. … We’ll try and find a middle ground.”
Egg started as a trio, with Hawley, Figueroa and Sanders, and it initially exuded a much heavier, darker prog-rock vibe. One day, the three asked longtime friends Hendrickson and Patton to jam, with no real expectations of how a keyboard and trumpet would impact the sound.
They liked what they heard.
“The addition of keyboards and trumpets brought a brighter sound, so it’s not such stark, heavy stuff,” Figueroa says of the change.
As a five-piece, they also had more room to experiment with style, expanding their sound practically to the point of making it indecipherable as to what their original influences were—though a good deal of it seems to stem from various art-rock subgenres of the ’70s (prog, jazz, glam), with some sprinkling of the ’90s-era club sounds (funk, swing, math rock) also thrown in.
The band’s debut EP, Overly Easy, was released in February, approximately a year after the five came together. Despite claims that the process was rushed, the tracks here sound refined, making for a good representation of the songs’ often subtle intricacies. Considering the disparity of styles just within a single song—think simple three-chord rockers that grow into complex instrumental space-rock jams—the band manages to weave it all together in a way that sounds surprisingly natural.
“I don’t think we’re trying to make anything complicated or simple. We’ll add complexity if we feel like the song needs complexity,” Hendrickson says. “We tend to keep simple songs in mind. The entire song should be an experience.”
Their songwriting process is wholly collaborative. Someone starts a new song with a riff. Then the other members add parts and keep working at it until they feel as though they’ve completed the song.
“None of us really have an ego going into it,” Sanders says. “We just mash them all together.”