Too loud to be indie

Fonty brings a lot of sound and energy for two mellow dudes

Not quite purple haze… more like cotton-candy haze.

Not quite purple haze… more like cotton-candy haze.

Photo by Hannah Foster

Check out Fonty at The Lounge 7 p.m. Friday, February 2. Tickets are $8, and all guests must RSVP at before the show.

Fonty’s name is “gibberish,” and their garage-rock music is loud. At least, that’s how lead singer and guitarist Jesse Grover and drummer Colten Boatwright describe their band.

“We’re kind of on the edge of being known by anyone here,” Grover smirks.

Grover, a Sacramento native, dabbled with being an EMT and was pursuing an acoustic solo career when he met Boatwright in 2017.

“It is so much more fun playing in a band,” Grover explains.

“…or my drumming blew him out of the water,” interrupts Boatwright.

“—I settled for this,” Grover joshes.

Grover, until recently, worked at Silver Sake sushi bar. Boatwright is a production officer at Sacramento Suburban Water District. From the looks on their faces, it’s apparent that their jobs are there to pay the bills but their band is what they live for.

The twosome (sometimes threesome, when part-time bassist Reese Auble is in town from Chico) has only been together for about nine months, but it is apparent that they have chemistry.

“I find something I like and play it over and over again, and Colten comes over and tells me to stop dicking around and to actually write something,” Grover says.

“I give it structure, and it just works,” Boatwright adds.

To clarify, “garage” status does not mean they practice in a garage. “We’re actually more of a laundry room band,” Boatwright says. And yes, they’re polite musicians who have soundproofed it—a bit—for the neighbors’ sakes.

“We would be in the indie rock genre but we’re not mellow enough,” Grover says. “We are loud.”

Their newest track “See Thru” highlights the high-energy vocals and instrumentals. Once the drums join at 15 seconds into the track, the tempo picks up as Grover sings “I’m fried down to my bones / Am I bringin’ ya down?” The bleak lyrics juxtapose with an uplifting beat to create a catchy, yet thoughtful, song.

And the music isn’t tooth-jarring. The vocals are akin to White Stripes lead singer Jack White—think The Strokes with a sprinkle of The Kooks.

“People are always walking up to us after a show to tell us they can’t believe so much noise comes from two people… and they tell us we’re sexy,” Boatwright says.

So, how does this newly formed, sexy duo do it? They practice four to five times a week, playing and drinking. They claim the booze leads to chemistry.

And their practice has paid off: They’ve played shows at Blue Lamp, High House and Ace of Spades. Next up is a show at the Lounge on February 2, a rare, stripped-down acoustic version of their soon-to-be-released EP. Fonty says that you can still expect their high energy to shine through.

The bonus? Attendees will get a free download code for the debut EP.

If you’re curious what Boatwright and Grover will be doing before their set, it involves a couple of beers to take the edge off. Also, Grover will be pacing back and forth: “I’ll admit right off the bat I have terrible stage fright, but I love the stage and once I’m there I’m good,” Grover says.

Fonty doesn’t know what the future holds, but they’re in it for the long run. “We could get to a point where we are doing this for a living and I could die happy the next day,” Boatwright says.