M897 Artist Spotlight: September 2014
OFF THE LEDGE
Bluesy funk rock band, Off the Ledge goes on record
Story by LCC Radio Staff Reporter Sarah Spohn
you’ve ever loved about ‘90s music is back, and better than ever. I’m not
talking about the sugary pop teenagers like Brittney or Christina, I mean the
grunge—the good stuff. The songs that were in their prime during the time, when
alternative music made waves on mainstream radio. You know—Pearl Jam, Nirvana,
Dave Matthews Band, the list goes on.
If you’re finding yourself feeling sick with what’s on the radio today, then Grand Ledge’s own Off the Ledge is just what the doctor ordered.
Self described as a bluesy funk rock band, Off the Ledge is comprised of Matthew Shannon(lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Tab Wakley(lead guitar and backing vocals), Chip Herbert(drums), and Steve Langlois(bass).
The band is becoming known locally for its genre-bending, anything goes live shows and newfound success following their debut album, “Wherever We Land.”
But that’s not to say the band will ever forget where they come from. Tab Wakley, the band’s lead guitar player, spoke about where it all began. “The founding members of the band were from Grand Ledge and we wanted to come up with a band name that paid some sort of homage to our Michigan roots,” Wakley said.”And Off the Ledge was the first idea we came up with that wasn’t completely cheesy sounding, so we stuck with that.”
Influenced by bands like Dave Matthews and fellow Michigan native Jack White, the band draws from those sorts of sounds. “Those are totally unconscious influences; we don’t set out to sound like any particular artist ever,” Wakley said. “The album tells that story from the bluegrass folk-inspired “Who You Are” to “Asylum,” which is our homage to the ‘90s grunge bands we grew up with. “Overhaul” has an influence of Led Zeppelin that is undeniable.”
Off the Ledge has a blues-based rock and funky alternative sound that incorporates their varied backgrounds and musical tastes of its four members.
“All the members of the band have some sort of formal musical training ranging from band and choir experience to having actual music degrees,” Wakley said. “That plays a role in the way we write and sound as well.”
Keeping their sound local, the group recorded with producer Ryan Wert at Lansing’s own Elm Street Recording Studio. “Going to his studio is like walking into a big-time record label studio; set up with soundproof rooms and a lot of impressive high-end equipment,” Wakley said. “It definitely gives you the feeling of being a real band-recording and a real studio, which is exactly what it is and the finished product reflects that.”
“Wherever we Land” is all about the musical journey the band has been on, with changing lineups and the ever-changing set-lists, and where the band intends to go from here. “We’re just going to see where this whole project takes us and wherever we land we’re going to have fun doing it.”