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Sounds of Buffalo: Rabbit Jaw

This interview all started when Buffalo photographer Glenn Murray posed a riddle to Queenseyes:

“What do you get when you combine a lead vocalist who is a Bolshoi-Ballet trained dancer, three Buffalo-brewed, talented musicians and props that include a mermaid tail, body paint, skull, billiard-ball and a birdcage?”

“RABBIT JAW!”

Erin Bahn – vocals

John G. Brady – guitar

Mike Reville – bass

Louis Lambros – drums

What is the name of your group and what led to the naming?

Erin Bahn: The name of our band is Rabbit Jaw. I think rabbits are kind of mysterious animals. They are symbolic creatures. I was walking my dog Baci one day. My dog is small and bopped right up to a couple of rabbits and they didn’t run away. The rabbits simply continued eating the grass. My dog wanted to be their friend. As we visited together, I found myself looking at one of the rabbit’s jaws. That rabbit expressed a lot of life in its jaws. I thought of “Rabbit Jaw” and wrote it down because it seemed like a good name for a band. I talked to John G. Brady about it and he agreed. So I made a wish on that name and here we are. Rabbit Jaw!

When did it form?

Erin Bahn: Rabbit Jaw formed in April 2018 and had its premiere performance at Trimania on April 14, 2018.

Who writes the music?

Erin Bahn: We perform mostly covers right now. We will soon be performing originals.   John G. Brady is a great songwriter. I, at times, will work with my lyrics to make them more personal to me. I enjoy words. It will be cool to work with original material.

How would you describe the sound?

Erin Bahn: Rabbit Jaw is rock incarnate.

John G. Brady: I would describe it as a melodic rock group.

Louis Lambros: I would describe the sound as eclectic.

Mike Reville: Minimalist driving guitar rock. We’re disciplined and aren’t afraid to play difficult tunes. Our guitarist and drummer are extremely talented musicians, skilled in jazz and blues, and that adds a dimension to our sound that really shows through in some of the slower, lounge-y tunes. But we’re not just about the sound.   We’re about Erin’s outstanding stage presence and infectious enthusiasm before a crowd.

Where are you from originally? If not from Buffalo, why are you here?

John G. Brady: I am originally from Buffalo.

Erin Bahn: I have lived in NYC. I have lived in Moscow, USSR. I grew up in Ithaca, NY. I stand with Buffalo now. Rabbit Jaw is a Buffalo band and it was born by the light of the moon. Why am I here? Law School brought me here… the rock n’ roll people of Buffalo made me want to stay.

Mike Reville: Personally, Buffalo, then Cleveland, then back.

Louis Lambros: I am from North Buffalo.

What are some of the band’s influences?

John G. Brady: The band has a ton of different musical influences. I think that anything you’ve ever heard or played goes into that musical moment.

Louis Lambros: To me I think the band’s music fits performance art. I think our band is influenced by performance art.

Mike Reville: My own: late 60s, 70s psychedelic rock. Steppenwolf, Jefferson Airplane, Iron Butterfly, Deep Purple. Then late 70s punk (NY Dolls, Sex Pistols, etc), new wave. Years back, Jazz Fusion. I religiously attended live music events at the Continental.

Erin Bahn: Dance, animals, punk rock, new wave, no wave, ocean wave, theatre, art, courage, struggle, dreams, tutus and light up shoes… and we must never forget the butterfly flapping its wings!

Are you schooled in music? From where?

John G. Brady: I am self-taught. I learned how to read music. I learned how to play classical music. I have worked with some really great musicians and they are like teachers sometimes.

Louis Lambros: I had a wonderful mentor. His name was Louie Marino. I also had other people who I learned from.

Mike Reville: Not really. Some formal training in classical music (bassoon) at UB, Buff State and Crane School of Music, Potsdam (summer study) following high school. Music didn’t work for me so I switched to biology and later again to other studies.

Erin Bahn: I take voice lessons with Paul Waara at the Community Music School. I take guitar lessons with John G. Brady. I have learned a lot about music through my dancing. I learned from Merce Cunningham and John Cage to listen to the music of life.

Where is your favorite place to play/sing in Buffalo? Where would you most like to play/sing in Buffalo?

Mike Reville: Except for charity events, which are great, I haven’t done it often enough to know. I do like small clubs. The Sportsman is excellent, ditto Ironworks. But then, we just did the Tudor Lounge and had a ball. Great crowd. Mostly I like playing anywhere with this band, and especially in front of family and friends, who can really add to the fun. You have to love it enough to enjoy the practice sessions. We do.

Louis Lambros: There are several venues I enjoy playing. One of my favorites is Arthur’s Pub.

What’s your day job?

John G. Brady: I am a Musician.

Louis Lambros: I am a Musician.

Mike Reville: I work with a really great team at a long-time Buffalo company.

Erin Bahn: I am a partner at Kavinoky Cook LLP.

What was the last live music performance that you caught?

Erin Bahn: I saw John G. Brady, Robert “Freightrain” Parker, and Paul Siwula play at a party celebrating Ann Philippone’s piano students’ recital.

John G. Brady: I saw Ann Philippone’s piano students’ recital.

Louis Lambros: I enjoy local music. The last band I saw was the Jony James Band.

Mike Reville: Lots of local bands. My wife and I also buy works from local artists – we have great creative talent here at affordable prices.

Do you play/sing covers or all originals? Or a combination of both?

John Brady: We just play covers right now. We will be playing originals.

Mike Reville: We play covers and plan to add originals.

Erin Bahn: We are original people playing covers for right now… but we have originals that are coming soon to a theatre near you!

If you could play/sing with one famous band (any time in history), what would that band be?

John G. Brady: Louis Armstrong

Mike Reville: David Bowie comes first to mind. Not sure why. Suffragette City?

Louis Lambros: Erin Bahn

Erin Bahn: I’d like to play the ram horn in Joshua’s horn section at their big gig at Jericho. Any band that can bring walls down with their music is cool. Walls suck!

Do you have a label? A recording studio? Have you recorded a CD?

John G. Brady: I have my own recording studio. It’s called Reelart. Rabbit Jaw has not done any recording yet.

Where and when is your next gig(s) in the city?

Club 861 | Friday June 15, 2018 | 8:00 PM to Midnight | 861 Military Road | Kenmore, NY 14217

NIETZSCHE’S | Thursday, June 21 | 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM | 248 Allen Street | Buffalo, NY 14201

Stamps Bar | Sunday, July 15, 2018 | 8:00 PM TO 8:45 pm | 98 Main Street | Tonawanda, NY 14150

Central Park Grill | Friday, July 20, 2018 | 9 pm to Midnight | 2519 Main Street | Buffalo, New York 14214

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que | Friday, July 27, 2018 | 10:00 PM to Midnight | 302 Franklin Street | Buffalo, NY 14202

Attitudes | Friday, August 3, 2018 | 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM | 616 West Avenue | Lockport, New York 14094

Anything else?

Erin Bahn: Rabbit Jaw incorporates many facets of creative expression in our performances. I come from a dance background. We want to bring each song to life and let it breath in new ways. This may involve movement, costumes, character development and/or just that effervescent visceral energy that music creates in the live moment. Music is our adventure.

John G. Brady: Rabbit Jaw is a trio with a front person. As a trio, it is a lot about part playing and backing the front person. Part playing is critical. We just try and groove.

Louis Lambros: Enjoy each day.

We have the following fun for folks:

  1. Our website is: rabbitjaw.com
  2. We are on Facebook as Rabbit Jaw
  3. We are on Instagram as rabbit_jaw
  4. We have a channel on YouTube called Rabbit Jaw

Photos by Glenn Murray

If you would like your band featured on Buffalo Rising, please send an email to newell@buffalorising.com. The only caveat is that you must have an upcoming live performance scheduled in a public venue.

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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