Grand Rapids band Head Trip debuts psychedelic sound in Mount Pleasant



The Grand Rapids-based band hasn't quite yet made a dent in Mount Pleasant's meager music scene, but as of November, Head Trip will officially have made their debut in this small town.

The band consists of three of its original members, having survived the past four years together: Grand Rapids senior Bradley Hartwell, the singer, and 22-year-olds Grand Rapids residents Mark DeSatterlee, bassist, and guitarist Mike "Bones" Klompstra.

Milford senior Aaron Moll joined as their drummer this past summer.

In their senior year of high school, bandmates DeSatterlee and Klompstra asked the eventual lead singer Hartwell to join the band.

From then on, between the funk-rock sound and Hartwell's vocals inspired by the likes of Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the genre transitioned to something of psychedelic proportions.

Their first album, "The Ticket," was released earlier this year and gives the listener a sense of the group's influences, but also gives an even greater sense of what the band is capable of doing.

The second track on the album, "Kinda Blue," was written after Hartwell spent hours on end listening to the Miles Davis album of the same name.

Further into listening, a variety of sound and influences are shown in the songs like "Wonderful Alice" and "Blue Collar Blues."

Throughout the album, the combination of differing influences and tastes of music from each of the members is recognizable from ska guitar riffs, blues chords and rhythms to metal-type rock, hints of jazz and slightly rap-style sung lyrics.?

If the rhythms are not enough, listen to the lyrics carefully. The song "Wonderful Alice" is based on the well-known Lewis Carroll novel, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

Moving down the list of tracks, "Gravity" is not the usual love song or "life" song like artists Sara Barielles and John Mayer's identically-titled tracks. This is based on the actual force itself.

Hartwell said he wanted the lyrics to more or less tell a story.

"I want it to be like watching a movie for a while. You want to do something that isn't reality . to get away," he said.

The band is hopeful for a new album to be released in the next year or two. In the meantime they are working hard on producing new material for shows.

Hartwell said the most gratifying part of performing is the fan reaction.

"There was a show where people knew our lyrics in Big Rapids," Hartwell said. "That's a trip. The most powerful feeling in the world is when you put that (microphone) into the crowd and they start singing."

To see Head Trip in action, check out their first Mount Pleasant show on Nov. 22 at Rubbles, 112 W. Michigan St., and people can listen to the band at their Web site headtripsounds.com

lifeline@cm-life.com


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