Grad students to rock out at AASU
Published: Thursday, November 4, 2010
Updated: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:11
Habitat Noise's story is about artistic drive and passion.
Years ago, on a return trip from Los Angeles, Donald Moats founded a small, independent recording studio under the label Habitat Noise with the sole purpose of helping local musicians in their attempts to be heard on a greater scale. Installed as a non-profit organization and still operational to this day, the studio supported local artists for little to no cost.
"I started from the ground up, like most people do, with a small home studio," Moats said. "I worked my way up – did a lot of research into everything so I could keep improving sound quality. I spent a lot of time bringing mixes to different people's stereos so I could find the best sound for certain setups, whether it be folk or rock or country."
As the Habitat Noise label picked up steam, Moats formed a band sharing the same name in order to spread the word about the studio, enlisting the help of his friends and previous band mates, with Chris Horton on the guitar, Lisa Lombardi on the bass, Chris Nelson on the drums and Moats himself playing guitar and providing vocals.
"Originally I wrote all the songs that we played – drums, bass, guitar, vocals, you know," Moats said. "I wouldn't say it was one-dimensional at first, but it was pretty much just my perspective. Now everyone has equal writing parts, and they all bring their own flavor into the mix."
Since the band's inception just under a year ago, Savannah hosted the new musical force, providing most of their venues.
The band is stationed in Savannah due to Lisa Lombardi's and Chris Nelson's master's degree work at AASU. Even so, Habitat Noise makes special efforts to spread into the surrounding areas, packing rooms in small locales like Savannah club The Jinx all the way up to Atlanta venues like The Masquerade.
Recently, the Savannah music community has been buzzing about the band, namely due to their recent increase in local-level touring, paired with the recording and publishing of their self-titled, four-track EP. After the distribution of the sample CD, local musicians like guitarist Jake Griner began to take notice.
"I was shopping around for some equipment in a music store with a friend when I first found the EP," Griner said. "I would say there's a very unique quality to the sound. It's like a mix of genres instead of a mix of previous bands, you know? There's no real way to put my finger on exactly how to label it, but it feels really post-grunge and progressive — almost experimental, to an extent. I dig it."
With the intimate venue-spacing, high-energy performances and familiar nature of the band mates, Habitat Noise functions as a group with perspective, refusing to stress over major future changes or sacrifice quality.
In the near future, Habitat Noise plans on stopping at AASU Nov. 20 for a benefit gig aimed toward the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Their EP is available on iTunes and Amazon, with a full album slated for mid-2011.