Down North visited Linfield for the March 14 Pro Cat Cab and displayed its unique sound they call “alternative soul,” which invited a sizeable turnout for the performance.
“We’re a spin-off of a genre. We feel like we’re a soulful band, but we have a dynamic range of everything,” bassist Brandon Storms said. “We have something for everyone, one for the kids, one for the rocker, one for the person who just wants to dance.”
And dance they did. Front man Anthony Briscoe busted out moves in the vein of some of his favorite performers Michael Jackson and Prince. The band wowed audience members with their energetic performance.
“The main singer and the whole band had lots of high energy and some amazing dance moves,” sophomore Megan Beach said.
For three years, Down North has been working in the Seattle music scene to promote its individual sound and draw attention to the soul genre.
“The soul scene in Seattle is growing. It’s always been there, but now it’s starting to take the spotlight,” Briscoe said of the burgeoning genre in one of the country’s largest underground music scenes.
Storms and Briscoe, along with guitarist Nick Quiller and drummer Conrad Real, admit that they practice “almost never,” preferring to treat performances like live rehearsals.
“We know how the songs are supposed to sound in our heads, but you have to recreate it every time,” Storms said. “We played a fairly new song today and made a couple of mistakes, but you just have to roll with it.”
The band writes and creates original music, with a few songs written by Briscoe’s sister, who recently passed away. Briscoe grew up performing in churches with his sister and mother as a way to make money through donations.
“Ever since then, that’s the only thing that I knew, I thought everybody did this,” Briscoe said. “I knew that this, performing, is how I wanted to do things, how I wanted to make money.”
One song in particular, “So What,” written by Briscoe’s sister, is about interracial relationships, and the performance had an added power due to the recent passing.
“I’m not good at writing lyrics. She was always a lot better than me and would help me out a lot,” Briscoe said.
The band currently has an EP out with a few of its songs, including its hit “Heartbreaker.”
It is also in negotiations with legendary producer Ken Scott who has worked with bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Elton John.
“These negotiations with Mr. Scott put the brakes on everything,” Storms said. “He’s been in retirement for five years but has continued to look for ‘the band,’ and he told us that we were that band.”
With exciting opportunities in its future, this band promises to bring soulful spirit and infectious energy to its music.
“The first job of any band is to define your sound and define your image, that’s a really deep subject for this band,” Storms said. “You have to really believe in your product.”
Olivia Marovich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.