Breakthrough Magazine, Delious Kennedy (All-4-One)
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say, that in less than 3 years, this band will have secured a label deal and will be on their way to becoming a household name. All hail the future Ambassadors of Pop/Rock music…SUITE 709!
From the first time I heard this band I was instantly hooked. I’ve been in the music business for almost 20 years now (I’m still 25, don’t hate!) and my ears are very critical of new music that I hear. I usually will find something wrong with an emerging band, but Suite 709′s music is different. It’s original, it’s well produced, it’s melodic and the lyrics actually say something. Their image is also interesting. A couple of pompadour hair styles, a few 70′s porn mustaches and VOILA! people are talking. Suite 709 (Jirod Greene, David Butler, Ross Falcon, Dietrich Schmidt and Zach Boston) hail from the musical city of Austin, TX, where they’ve built up quite a fan base. With their impressive showings at SXSW in 2011, they are now ready to release their debut CD “KEYS” on July 9th (7/09). For any lover of music, this CD is a must for your collection. A little bit of Maroon 5, a pinch of James Brown, a dash of John Legend and you have a sound that becomes uniquely Suite 709. I had a chance to talk with this guys and below are excerpts for our interview.
First of let me say that I’m an instant fan of your guys music. One day a week, I go over to this music company in Los Angeles called TAXI and I critique music. I came across a submission that had 3 of your songs on it and I just blew my lid. This is some really good stuff.
What has been the response so far to your music?
Jirod: A lot of our friends and family that heard our music really enjoyed it because it’s fresh. People are saying that it’s something that you’re not hearing on the radio these days. So I guess fresh would be the word to sum it up.
How did the band get together?
Jirod: Oh Delious, do you really wanna hear this story?
I don’t know when you put it like that, but go ahead.
Jirod: Ok, There was 2 different bands in Austin, TX. Different sets of friends from different home towns came together and formed Suite 709. You have one group of friends who were home town friends, and another group of friends who went to college together and another set of friends who were in another band, so it’s like 3 sets of friends coming together to form Suite 709. That’s the short end of it.
So you were in different bands?
Jirod: We were. One Progressive/Rock band and the other was Pop/Rock.
So how did you settle on what is to be know as the Suite 709 sound? Was there bickering concerning the direction you wanted to go or did you automatically say this is what you wanted to do?
David: I think it was a combination of just maturing as an artist and coming into the sound and also just finding our way as musicians and as songwriters. Every once in a while it would resonate. We had a couple songs that had a soul vibe that resonated really well with some of the earlier stuff we were doing. When we were forming this new group, we kinda looked at some of the past stuff we’ve done and said Hey! that stuff really resonated well with us as a group, so we just started experimenting and we definitely went through a period of time where we were finding that sound and then really kind of discovered it and really kind of found our voice during the recording process and started to get it out there and start writing more.
My favorite song is “Miss You the Most (True Love). When I heard this song at the office, I stood up and started clapping. (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN)
Suite 709: (Laughter)
Jirod: Coming from you that means a lot. You’re talking to an All-4-One CD holder right here. I tried to imitate you back in the day, when I was in elementary school, (OUCH! LOL! Still 25 dammit!). You have such a deep rich voice, so I appreciate that. Thank you so much!
Thanks man, I appreciate you for saying that. When that song came on I started rocking from side to side. Really, Really good song. I was jealous cause I wanted to sing it myself. I can hear your influences in the music. I can hear John Legend in the Keys, and a bit of Maroon 5. Jirod, who did you listen to growing up? Was it a James Brown, Terrence Trent D’arby sort of thing?
Jirod: Well definitely James Brown. I grew up listening to, Michael Jackson, Jodeci, Boyz II Men and people like that. As I got a little older, I started listening to Otis Redding and Sam Cooke trying to discover the grit in my voice.
Your image is… not a weird image, but a distinct image. Is this an image that you purposely developed? Are you gonna stick with this image?
Jirod: The pompadour was inspired by James Brown. I have locks, so I just really dig a classic old school vibe with a new school twist. My idea for the band, as far as image goes, is just staying fresh and just changing it up a little bit sometimes.
To the other band members, in meeting up with the image that Jirod had planned for himself, was that something difficult for you guys to follow or was that something you had no problem following?
David: Yea, it kinda occurred naturally, we’ve always functioned as a unit and wanted to be cohesive and yet at the same time it was important to have our individual styles. So you’ll see that in all the different images and when we perform live and in some of the other photo shoots. We’ve always been interested in the fashion side of things and marrying the fashion with music.
Is there one main songwriter or are you all songwriters in the group?
Jirod: Pretty much. Usually the guys will find a feel for the music instrumentally and then I’ll listen to it and then write. Sometimes the other way around. More often, David will play something for me on the guitar, record it, and then I’ll go to my room and write to it.
What was the background on the song “She Don’t Even Know”? (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN)
Jirod: Well that song speaks pretty loudly today with women who go through rough situations with men who don’t appreciate them. It’s usually that one guy waiting in the rafters, that one guy who could be her Knight in shining Armour, but she’s blinded by the bad boyfriend.
What was your inspiration on “Miss you the Most (True Love)”?
Jirod: That just comes from a long distance relationship. A lot of people think that long distance relationships can’t work, but it’s the little things that make them work. If you’re in a relationship and it’s worth keeping, you have to rely on small things like sending letters, looking at pictures or listening to a song that attributes to that person that you miss.
So what is your goal? Are you trying to stay independent? Are you trying to do a major label deal?
David: I think we’re pretty open to a lot of different things. Right now, we would love to just grow the fan base. We do really well in the Texas area. So, what we’re looking for in the immediate next steps is something that can get us launched on more of a national level. Whether that being finding good support or getting with good management, those are the immediate next steps.
A national level is definitely something that Suite 709 should be on. I’m hoping that upon their discovery, the machine that is the music business these days, doesn’t affect the quality of music that these guys are able to make.
You can find out more about Suite 709 from their webpage www.unlocksuite709.com and be sure to “LIKE” their facebook page www.facebook.com/Suite709
Most importantly be sure to support their music and buy a copy of their debut CD “KEYS” when it’s released on July 9th, 2011.
Music Connection Magazine, Sarah Whited
Contact: 512-940-7241; Suite709@gmail.com
The Players: Jirod Greene, vocals; David Butler, guitar; Ross Falcon, bass; Dietrich Schmidt, keyboard, vocals; Zach Boston, drums; David Dalton, Alto Saxophone; Shane Walden, Trumpet, flute; Joey Dalton, Trombone.
Material: If James Brown, Dilated Peoples, and MGMT had a love-child, it would be Suite 709. This over-the-top group evokes many descriptions: big-band spoken-word, Motown soul-funk with electro-pop influences, orchestrated theme rap, even campy dance rock. However, the word that best explains the band is BIG: big style, big sound, and big performance. Mixing hard orchestral synth hits, deeply syncopated drums, a brass section, and distortion rock guitar, topped off by Greene’s hip-hop/soul vocals, this eclectic group performs mostly original compositions tailored to their unique sound. However, there are a few cover songs hiding up their sleeves, such as a funked up version of the White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army,” which features a twisted drum groove injected with soul.
Musicianship: Greene’s vocals dominate the mix, ranging from smooth crooning to shouted rapping. Though he possesses neither an operatic range nor the gritty power of a hard rocker, the passion that imbues Greene’s voice, combined with smart lyrics, make his vocals shine. Schmidt displays exceptional skills on the synthesizer, switching deftly between multiple keyboards and patches while twisting and bouncing to the beat, often also singing backup at the same time. The lead guitar and brass compliment each other melodically, and synth effects are chosen well to fill in the harmonic balance and fit emotionally. Despite the unusually large number of members, this group is well synchronized and tight.
Performance: Greene’s dramatic gestures, all-out dancing, eccentric vocals, and wild outfit left no doubt that he was completely invested in his performance; like a bullhorn, he projected explosive energy into the room, and the crowd reacted enthusiastically to his magnetic, showy personality. With a garter belt around his bicep and a single glove reminiscent of the King of Pop, Greene definitely took the lead as the voluble, sweaty, un-ignorable head of the group. However, other members also poured their souls into the performance; the winds bounced and trumpeted, the keyboardist slammed the keys with enthusiasm, and the drummer played with abandon and flair.
Summary: This passionate, genre-hopping group is an example of a successful blending of many types of musical energy into a unique yet accessible sound. Their shows are loud, hot, and ultimately entertaining, with a “big” feel that would be at home in a stadium.
Study Breaks Magazine, Jenny Baker (US Weekly)
See Page 20-21: http://www.studybreaks.com//current-issues/AusNov2010/pageflip.html
Your feet hear it and instinctively start to tap. Tapping gives way to a rhythmic step as the rest of your legs wake up your hips with a gentle sway. Your whole body can’t help but move with a shimmy from your shoulders, and when the sound hits your ears, a soulful rock melody, your brain quickly searches for a swing dancing partner. The horns come in and you’ve traveled back to 60s silhouettes and kitten heels. You’re on the dance floor with Suite 709.
Jirod Greene, lead vocals, describes the band’s sound as a blend of Jackson 5 and John Legend. David Butler expands, “We are a band that is doing soul music, music that makes you move, makes you dance. We feel like as far as bands go, we are mixing soul, rock and R&B in a way that others are not.” Anyone that has been to a live performance by Suite 709 will agree that the show never lacks energy.
“Suite 709 is a place we go to create music. When people go to party or do big executive
things, they go to a suite. Suite 709 is our creative place to write music,” says Jirod. Suite 709 has
a wonderful blend of make you move music and make you think lyrics. Good lyrical writing is
hard to come by in this time of “housed up” pop stars like Ke$ha brushing her teeth with a bottle
of Jack. A personal favorite, “She Don’t Even Know,” is about a girl that should leave the guy that doesn’t treat her right and realize her self worth. is is relief from the popular message that love is about sex in a club or accompanied by domestic abuse. Thanks, Eminem.
Words do no justice to the performance quality found at a Suite 709 show. All of the boys bring an interesting style to the mix. Classy meets funk in the best way possible. Vests, ties, and outrageous hair set the stage. The music gives strings to the crowd’s puppet limbs and nothing short of an all out
dance party erupts as Dietrich Schmidt theatrically switches from keys to guitar. Jirod does a mix of dance, jump, Michael Jackson-ing and the audience tries desperately to follow his lead. The result is an audience begging for an encore that never ends.
Rock stars are known for outlandish but cutting edge hair. Suite 709 doesn’t disappoint. Jirod has perfected what he calls the “conch.” Yes, like the shell. “I’ve perfected this look. It takes exactly five minutes and requires 36 bobby pins.” Well ladies, Study Breaks is working hard to catch him in the act, so be checking the website for the video “How-To Conch It.”
Endearing Passionate Supporters
With such stunning good looks, excellent hair and impeccable musical ability, Study Breaks was curious about whether the boys had any crazed stalker fans. To that the band pleads the ?fifth and explained that they love all of their endearing and
Suite 709 on the National Scene
The group is also moving and shaking on the national scene making appearances and networking at various exclusive events. Last month Jirod and Dietrich were seen at a private Moet & Chandon party in Chicago where they were meeting with Legendary R&B performer/songwriter Ne-yo. NBC Chicao captured a few picture pics of Ne-yo and Suite 709 in VIP.
The Austin Times, Katie Warner
Since their debut at SXSW 2010, The Austin Times has followed Suite 709, http://theaustintimes.com/2010/08/the-flavor-of-soul-suite-709 Throughout the past year, news of this band has spread like a viral wild fire. The band has sold out venues such as the Parish and Antone’s; received accolades from critics calling them “best new band in Austin’ and “a rare treasure in today music history” http://www.examiner.com/music-in-austin/austin-music-examiner-end-of-2010-picks and was ranked as one of the Top Ten Best New Bands in Austin by the Austin Chronicle http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Awards/MusicAwards – all without any sort of album or recording.
Over the last few months, word of Suite 709’s fresh new sound has fallen on the ears of Platinum Producer and Songwriter Dwight Baker http://www.matchbox-studios.com/ Baker approached Suite 709 to collaborate with him — specifically to record an album to be launched on the national scene.
Now, you, as a fan, have a chance to be a part of the next phase in Suite 709’s journey as they begin their launch on a national level, by joining the movement. The Band has teamed up with Kickstarter, www.tinyurl.com/suite709kickstarter the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world, to create a campaign, with a very short and aggressive deadline of April 30, 2011. If the band does not raise the $10,000 necessary to cover the cost of the album, the project will not be funded.
“A lot of our friends have raised money using Kickstarter and we knew we didn’t have the money to fund this ourselves. It’s really expensive to record an album on this level and we didn’t have the resources so we thought that what better way to get the fans involved,” says Dietrich Schmidt (keys and vocals).
Unlike a traditional fundraising campaign, where individuals donate a lump sum towards the total cost of the album, “You are the Key to Suite 709” campaign has taken a different approach. Essentially, you, the fans have the opportunity to invest in Suite 709 at the ground floor, by pre-purchasing the album and other special perks from the band. There are different levels of contribution, from as little as $25 to as much as $10,0000. Examples of some of the rewards include:
VIP access to Suite 709 CD Release Party
Private listening party in the studio
Guest list spots to Suite 709 shows for an entire year
An original song written on a topic of your choice and recorded just for you
A private show at your house
Lifetime VIP Access to any Suite 709 Show in the World
However, there are only a limited amount of these investment opportunities available and all payments must be received by April 30th to qualify for the Kickstarter campaign.
This Industry EP will contain songs preformed over the past year plus some songs written over the last two months. CLICK HERE FOR A TEASER OF ONE OF THE SONGS ON THE EP http://soundcloud.com/katalinatx/suite-709-sound-clip-2
If you have never experienced a Suite 709 show, this is a band that is getting major national attention. “Suite 709 has a fresh sound that is extremely relevant right now. This record is definitely going to attract some major label attention,” says Baker. “While we are writing ‘pop music,’ it’s not in the current vein of pop music, it’s not the ‘I’m cheating on my boyfriend, cheating on my girlfriend,’ or ‘I’m getting completely blacked out drunk at a club.’ This is feel good music, songs you can sing and dance to, songs that make you feel better for listening, songs that you can’t help but smile or move to when you listen to it. That’s what we’re going for, because that’s what translates a good vibe, and that’s what we want to present to fans and do with our music in general,” says Dietrich Schmidt.
But outside of just Suite 709, there is a huge reason to join this movement. Like in the 90’s with grunge music coming out of Seattle, and in the past five years or so, with music coming out of Brooklyn, there are a pocket of bands, from Austin that are really drawing some national attention. By supporting artists, such as Suite 709, you are helping propel a movement of Austin Indie artists translating to the national scene. “It’s really bigger than us, it’s a great thing if any band can get national attention and launch out of the Austin music scene,” Says David Butler (guitar).
HEAR MORE FROM DAVID BUTLER AND DIETRICH SCHMIDT FROM SUITE 709 http://soundcloud.com/katalinatx/interview-with-suite-709-audio
In less than a month, the band has already raised almost $8,000. With a little more than a week to go, there are only a few investment spots still available. It is uncommon for bands this young, who have not yet recorded an album to receive attention from top producers in the industry. However, it does not matter how talented a group is, if they do not have the means to get exposed and get their music into the hands of the right individuals in the industry to help forward their career. You have the opportunity in the next week to not only help fund one of Austin’s own and drive them creatively, but also guarantee yourself a copy of the album and your spot at shows to come in the future, that are sure to sell out. Be the Key to Suite 709 and join the movement.
For more information on how you can Join the movement:
1.) Go to our kickstarter page (click here: www.tinyurl.com/suite709kickstarter or head to www.kickstarter.com and search ‘SUITE 709′)
2.) Watch the Suite 709 Kickstarter video
3.) Pre-purchase the album and other exclusive offerings
Click here to hear audio footage of interview of Suite 709 at Matchbox Studio http://soundcloud.com/katalinatx/david-and-jirod-from-suite-709
By Katie Warner
Austin Times Staff
Music Connection Magazine
Suite 709 was voted as one of the Hottest 100 unsigned bands of 2012 across America by Music Connection Magazine in L.A.
Austin Live Music Review, Andrew Miller
The pride of every band is the music, and there is no better way to show off the sweat, blood and tears than when a group lay their heart on the line with the release of their debut album. Suite 709 owes their fans a lot more than just music; their debut album was funded in part by their fans, gaining Suite 709 the ability to show the world their music. With this being said, from the moment the band walked on stage the night of July 9th (7.09, clever right?), they continuously praised every member of the crowd packed together in the inside stage of Stubb’s barbeque.
Having missed the first act, BK and Mr. E, we were pleasantly surprised to arrive at Stubbs as The Vettes were starting their set. With the lead singer clad in a pleather outfit, large jewelry and a feathered hair dress, she was seductively prancing around the stage immediately drawing us to the indie dance sound. Having driven from their hometown in New Orleans for the CD release show, their talent, energy and connection on stage gained the group more fans in Austin, including us. As we spoke to the lead singer after the show, we were informed that the Vettes were all siblings; yet another intriguing aspect of the group. Following the second act, The Canvas Waiting took the stage with their emo, post-punk and indie rock sound. While watching the group entertain the audience, it was no secret they are heavy hitters in the live music scene. They gained the attention of the crowd and had everyone singing along with the group during the 80’s hit song “Bizarre Love Triangle, ” putting more of a unique, trendy spin on the once top 40 song. Although we are a fan of the group and have seen them before, “Bizarre Love Triangle” was the most memorable song of the night and the members of the band looked as if they were just going through the motions of playing yet another show for their friends.
With the Canvas Waiting’s short set finished, Suite 709 quickly loaded their equipment on stage and as they unraveled the banner behind the drum kit, the crowd erupted in applause. Walking through the crowd and onto the stage, in a grand entrance, the lead singer Jirod Greene appeared with his dreadlocks propped up in a pompadour and Lego heart pinned on his vest jacket. The first song of the night “Dance All Night” was a perfect opener as it grabbed the limbs of the audience and thrust everyone into a giant dance party in the dimly lit basement bar. With the momentum high from the first song, the group kept the crowd pleased with the song “Rockets.” Although the slower tempo proved to be a risky move after such an energetic introduction, it was another crowd favorite with bodies swaying and singing in front of the stage. Following “Rockets ” the group broke into the poppy, yet soul inspired song “Apples and Oranges.”With the previous five songs originals, Suite 709 tried their hands at a cover song and the execution of the cover “Crazy” by Gnarles Barkley completely blew us away. While the group started with light organ and clean guitar chords, Mr. Greene’s powerful vocals began the song and after a few bars of the into, immediately thrust into the momentum of the popular song and even, broke into the chorus of “Grenade” by Bruno Mars and mixed in lyrics of “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce, finishing strong with the final verse of the amazing cover. “Miss you the Most,” a song about long distance relationships slowed down the pace of the show yet again, yet allowed the audience the chance to try and get a little bit closer to that certain attractive someone standing next to them. As the show came to a close, it seemed the group saved the best songs for last. “She Don’t Even Know,” the single from their new album proved to be one of the best songs of the night with its moments of fluid, upbeat guitar and smooth vocals leading the way.
With the set list coming to an end, the energy of the last song immediately reflected the intense energy of the first one. Mr. Greene kindly warned the crowd that his erratic, crazy behavior could potentially knock lose the 30 bobby pins holding up his still perfect pompadour and with the cautionary, yet playful words the group blasted into “I Like It.” As the song was nearing an end, Mr. Greene exited the stage just as he had entered: through the crowd. Although the band constantly thanked the fans on stage, they all met at their merchandise table to personally thank their fans and sign posters and/or CD’s. Leaving the venue, we kept thinking about the amazing performance and we immediately plunged the debut EP into the CD player in our car. If you have yet to see this band live in Houston or Austin, we highly recommend seeing them live.
QRO Magazine, Tammi Myers
Most of our afternoon was spent at Shiner’s Saloon after stumbling in just looking for a place to grab some lunch. It was very Texan – wooden wagon wheel tables, cowhide-covered chairs, animal heads mounted to the walls – but also a little rock and roll. I embraced the intimate atmosphere and the lack of a real stage and was ready to experience some unknowns who turned out to all be pretty local.
One thing that Shiner’s Saloon did that I wish all of the venues did was they had a booklet on every table and bar that outlined the participating bands – including a bio, photos, etc. It came in handy right away to identify the band already on stage as Suite 709.
Two immediate reactions that took precedence to the music itself: the band’s energy and the band’s style. They get the best-dressed award from me for the weekend – all in dress shirts and vests or ties, all looking very sharp. And although I felt it was probably inappropriate to ask, I really wanted to touch the lead singer’s hair. Or at least just examine it closer to figure out how it was balancing and staying so perfect as he jumped around and danced with the beats.
If you asked me to identify Suite 709′s style of music during their set, I probably would have changed my answer every time they played a new song. It often went from funk to pop to hip-hop to rock and roll to soul… catching on yet? All of the songs were catchy and I think the unique style probably helps them reach all kinds of fans. It didn’t matter what kind of music you’re normally into, you were bound to hear something you liked from this Austin band.
In addition to best dressed, I’d also give this band the award for our best stumbled upon unknown artist and that is what SXSW has always been about for me.
The Daily Texan, Julie Tran
Since making their debut at South By Southwest last year, Suite 709 has built a devoted following that reaches far beyond its Austin base. With help from fans, the band successfully raised $10,000 to fund their recently released debut album, Keys. Never afraid to wear hooks and pop melodies on their sleeves, Suite 709 has made an album that serves as Austin’s answer to Bruno Mars, retaining his same soul without resorting to hackneyed lyrics or saccharine music.
Keys is an unadulterated throwback to soul, rock, pop and funk when music could avoid irony, when love could be dopey and cheesy but still true and when experimentation meant adding another instrument.
“She Don’t Even Know” features a stomping beat and an infectious hook about a girl oblivious to the perfect man in front of her. “Rockets” soars on lead singer Jirod’s Greene’s “oh, ohs” and the gentle tings of a xylophone. Listeners are bound to sigh at the engagement-song-ready chorus of “Miss You the Most (True Love)” (And I miss you the most when our favorite song comes on/When we’re talking on the phone). The album ends on the triumphant album highlight “Apple and Oranges.”
Throughout, Greene’s soulful vocals easily capture the excitement but also the disappointing sides of love, while the melodies effortlessly blend genres, from blues to soul.
The Austin Times, Katie Warner
Suite 709, Austin’s newest band, has been compared to “John Legend meets The Jackson 5;” a fresh flavor with just a hint of vintage to round off a sound that stretches across several musical genres. Infectious rhythms, hooks that stick to your brain, and soulful vocals combine to produce a sound that moves through your body and makes you want to dance. The sound of Suite 709 is “a nod to several genres of musical influence, but definitely a fresh sound intended to make music lovers dance. Suite 709 is a tasty concoction of R&B, jazz, a bit of Rock, and a touch of Soul,” says vocalist, Jirod Greene.
Comprised of two sets of childhood friends, the makings of Suite 709 began as early as middle school. Vocalist, Jirod Greene, guitarist, David Butler, and bassist, Ross Falcon played together in one band, and then later merged with keyboardist, Dietrich Schmidt to create The Ars Supernova, which was named one of the “top 5 rated best new bands in Austin,” In 2009, several of the members of The Ars Supernova began discussing with fellow friends and musicians the idea of creating “a sound that was reminiscent of Motown yet fresh and relevant to today’s popular music scene.” Drummer, Zach Boston, had played in the band, Plane of Existence, with Dietrich prior to ‘The Ars Supernova era.’ and the horns section was composed entirely of friends that played with Dietrich and Zach in their high school band . . . and thus Suite 709 was born. Needless to say, “all the musicians that comprise Suite 709 are fairly comfortable being on stage and performing with one another at this point,” says Keyboardist, Dietrich Schmidt.
This level of comfort and familiarity is evident when seeing Suite 709 perform live. Without having a single recording, logo, or band photo to their name, the group hit the ground running with their debut at SXSW 2010 which included four showcases, followed by a series of private shows.
Along with the launch of their new website, the band hosted a SUITE 709 UNLOCKED: AUSTIN “SUITE PARTY” #1 at the Parish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhhQvTuhGFw .
While you can read reviews of the band and descriptions of the sound, it is difficult to capture in words, or for that matter, pictures that accurately depict a Suite 709 performance.
It is something you have to experience yourself. Perhaps one of the reasons is because the lead vocalist, Jirod is by far the most animated performer I have seen or attempted to photograph. The entire band seems to be constantly moving around, and enjoying themselves including Dietrich who at the time of their last performance, played flawlessly, even with a broken clavicle.
This seems only appropriate since the name “Suite 709” was selected because it “is a place we all go to share our ideas, write our music, and have a good time,” says Jirod. “Suite 709 is a new direction for all of these musicians and different from what a lot of bands are doing in Austin right now. While ‘Pop music’ is almost a bad word in this city, Suite 709 embraces it as music that all people can enjoy, and more importantly dance to . . . music that makes people move.”
By Katie Warner
Austin Times Staff
Rebeccamendations: Rebecca Otis
So, here I am with a Local Musician Spotlight for a local quintent called Suite 709. They call themselves “Austin’s Newest Band”. And, I can understand why. They bring a totally different sound to the Austin music scene. It’s not Indy. It’s not Acoustic. It’s not Rock. It is what I would call ‘Funky Pop’, and let me tell you, it’s catchy! After all, that’s what I consider to be one of the defining characteristics of Pop (short for Popular) music.
How do I know about this catchy new getup? I heard two of their songs, was pleasantly surprised, and felt a “Rebeccammendation” was in order. To quote myself in response to Suite 709′s jams, “I like the combination of jazzy, pop-y, and the diverse instruments and sounds they have going on all at the same time!” Take a listen on the music tab of their website and you will hear brass, a piano/keyboard, stylish vocals, and beats that make you want to move, even if it’s just tapping your toe.
The band is made up of two sets of long-time friends ( 1) vocalist Jirod Greene, guitarist David Butler, and bassist Ross Falcon and 2) keyboardist Dietrich Schmidt and drummer Zach Boston) who have played with one another in different musical acts for years. The horns section of the band, one of the strongest distinguishing factors of their live experience, is made up of accomplished jazz musicians who played in the high school band with Dietrich and drummer Zach. You can tell history, experience, talent, and friendship back the music they make and although so many sounds are occuring at the same time, they all fit together to produce tracks that are clean, unpredictable, professional, and always waiting to reach new ears.
Reminds me of: Maroon 5. High energy. Young, casual, but clean. Classy and polished. Full of fun beats and fresh vocals.
Check them out this Friday at their Suite 709 Unlocked: Austin’s “Suite Party” #1 at The Parish at 9 PM. Tickets are $10 and the event will also feature local bands Mothers Anthem, Eyes Burn Electric, Canvas Waiting, Paco Estrada, and One Love.
Austin Music Examiner
Austin Music Examiner brought mention of a new Austin band, Suite 709 making their debut in AME’s SXSW recap. AME got in touch with frontman Jirod Greene to bring you a closer look into Suite 709: where they came from and their plans for the band.
Austin Music Examiner: If you could summarize Suite 709, what would that look like?
Jirod Greene: Myself, David Butler, Ross Falcon, Dietrich Schmidt, and Zach Boston came together to create a sound, that in many ways is a nod to several genres of musical influence, but definitely a fresh sound intended to make music lovers dance. Suite 709 is a tasty concoction of R&B, jazz, a bit of Rock, and a touch of Soul. With the band’s official debut at this years SXSW Music Festival, the men of Suite 709 have set their sights on being one of Austin’s premier bands. With catchy, yet original tunes, Suite 709 puts on an explosive and very memorable live performance.
Austin Music Examiner: How did the band get started?
Jirod: The band was an evolution from one musical project to the next. A few fellow friends and musicians wanted to create a sound that was reminiscent of Motown yet and fresh and relevant to today’s popular music scene.
Austin Music Examiner: How did the band get its current lineup?
Jirod: Myself, David Butler, Ross Falcon, and Dietrich Schmidt were all a part of one of Austin’s top ten bands of 2009, The Ars Supernova. Drummer Zach Boston, who previously played in another band, Plane of Existence with Schmidt joined shortly thereafter. The five of them came together to create the Suite 709 sound.
Austin Music Examiner: What is the story behind the name “Suite 709″?
Jirod: Suite 709 is a place we all go to share our ideas, write our music, and have a good time.
Austin Music Examiner: Suite 709 officially debuted at this year’s SXSW, how was that experience being able to debut on such a massive level?
Jirod: It was a great experience debuting at SXSW. Suite 709 worked so hard at writing and preparing week after week until we had a solid set that we were all proud to showcase. Our friends’ support was incredible, and having new ears hear our music and for complete strangers to hear us and stay tuned in to us for our entire set was amazing. The hard work and preparation definitely paid off during SXSW for Suite 709.
Austin Music Examiner: What does the band have in store for this year?
Jirod: Like Jay-Z said on “The Blueprint: 3″ ‘it’s all about progression.’ We’ll just keep moving forward. Making music that our supporters will enjoy, and dance to as well. We’re actually in the studio recording our EP. We look forward to playing numerous shows throughout Austin, and we’re looking forward to mapping out a national tour sometime this year.
Austin Music Examiner: How can fans keep up to date on Suite 709 news?
Jirod: Fans can keep up with Suite 709 by visiting our official website and follow us on twitter: @Suite709.
With everything Suite 709 has to offer in a single package, they make themselves a band to watch and follow. Expect to see major things come from this band in the coming years.
Austin Music Examiner will be following Suite 709 closely, so subscribe and stay up to date on Austin’s newest band, follow @ATXMusExaminer on twitter, and become a fan of Austin Music Examiner on facebook.
Suite 709 Unlocked
Once upon a time, there was a band called The Ars Supernova–a genre-defying group whose electrifying stage presence, philanthropic tendencies, and unique combination of bold and soulful rock put their name on Austin’s music scene. The band unfortunately dissolved, but, out of their ashes rose Suite 709– a brand new music project by some of The Ars Supernova kids, who plan on making their official Austin debut next Friday, May 21st, at the Parish. Not only will the “Suite 709 Unlocked” party give you a chance to check out what this new band has to offer, but it will also treat you to a number of other Austin talents (including Eyes Burn Electric, Mother’s Anthem, The Canvas Waiting, Paco Estrada, and One Love). Basically, you probably shouldn’t miss this show.
To give you a little insight on what you can expect… Suite 709 is Austin’s newest band, and they describe their sound as “a fresh flavor with just a hint of vintage to round off a sound that stretches across several musical genres.” Comprised of Jirod Greene (vocals), David Butler (guitar), Ross Ralcon (bass), Dietrich Schmidt (keys), and Zach Boston (drums), this 5-piece group churns out infectious rhythms, hooks that stick to your brain, and soulful vocals to produce a sound that will put your asses on the dance floor. Influenced by Pop and R&B (in their words, “a la John Legend with some hints of Jackson 5?), Sound 709 will surely revive the same surging performance energy that they previously became known for. Come next Friday, expect fresh new hits, horns, and lights… and a lot (a lot) of dancing.
Austin Music Examiner
“Following The Vettes was the debut of brand new Austin band, Suite 709. Right from the get go, Suite 709 was an instant hit, blending together what has been said by Suite 709 frontman, Jirod Greene to be a “tasty concoction of R&B, jazz, a bit of Rock, and a touch of Soul”. Glancing into the crowd, one noticed that this band had every single foot there dancing, proving this band is here to stay, and thankfully so. Austin Music Examiner has spoken with Suite 709 to bring you a little more information on the band, so stay tuned to find out more.”
Study Breaks Magazine
I imagined coming home to Austin would offer relief and rest from my summer adventures in California and Hawaii. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. This city has the uncanny ability to fill every night with random shenanigans. Come out this Friday to see one of my favorite bands, Suite 709 at the Parish! Tickets are only $10 and this show will definitely deliver. I’ll be that crazy girl obnoxiously dancing in the middle of the dance floor!
As a UT grad student and an avid crossword puzzler, I often find myself picking up the Daily Texan. Though I have but one purpose for the paper, it’s not unusual for me to accidentally read some actual articles on my way to the syndicated puzzle in the back. Last week, I happened to notice an album review for local pop-rock band Suite 709. The review was mainly complimentary, doling out a B+ for the EP, and described the music as “an unadulterated throwback to soul, rock, pop and funk when music could avoid irony.” That sweeping generalization aside, it piqued my interest as a fan of all four of those genres.
I already had Suite 709 on my radar, though, having been tipped to their sugary goodness by a Sounds Under Radio fan. That connection isn’t surprising to me, since both of these bands are incredibly radio- and TV-show-friendly. Whereas SUR focus more on the ballad-y melodrama, though, Suite 709 go more for uptempo lite funk. They say in interviews that they are inspired by Motown and want to bring that style to a contemporary aesthetic. In that regard, I don’t think they’re succeeding. I guess I can see the Motown influence, but their music sounds more like 70s Philly soul to me. I hear the O’Jays and the Spinners as filtered through the soulful Adult Alternative of Maroon 5 and Train. “Apples and Oranges” is probably the best example:
Suite 709 – Apples and Oranges
You can hear the electric piano, the vaguely funky rhythm section, the build to the big horn-filled chorus and the positive lyrics affirming true love – combining elements from all of those artists mentioned above. This isn’t music that’s going to win much love from the Eastside hipster crowd (like Sounds Under Radio’s music), but it’s high quality feel-good music that should appeal to a wide swath of music lovers. Apparently, it already does since Suite 709 has been drawing consistently bigger and bigger crowds here and around the country. If you want to check it out for yourself, head over to their website where you can get a copy of Keys for the small price of an email address. Let us know what you think!