Behind the Beat: Two of a Kind

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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Formed in 2011, the Western Massachusetts folk/ rock duo Indian Oven has never been a group to take itself too seriously. In fact, according to members Sam Carpenter (vocals, guitar, bass) and Griffin Bazzeghin (drums, percussion, harmonica, backup vocals), the band’s shows are often rife with jokes and other antics.

“At a typical Indian Oven show, you could expect to hear a minumum of five bad puns,” says Bazzeghin.

Carpenter adds, “[Audiences] should expect my voice to crack at least once. And for Griff and I to look at each other, confused, at least twice.”

Even the group’s name isn’t safe from ridicule, though Indian Oven was deemed by Bazzeghin and Carpenter the best title for their project after some debate.

“Griff and I hated each other’s band name ideas,” says Carpenter. “[Indian Oven] was the closest thing to a compromise. It’s the name of a street in my home town, Worthington. There is a cliff off the road that Native Americans carved an oven into. We would take field trips there in elementary school.”

“It’s true,” Bazzeghin says. “Sam just has stupid band name ideas.”

Apart from all the humor, when it comes to music, Indian Oven has shown a unique talent for creating infinitely charming indie rock songs grounded in acoustic instrumentation. “When I Was A Child” features sunny backing vocals and a short harmonica solo, while “Fist Held High” owes more to the sounds of Modest Mouse, with a stop-start rhythm and unusual vocal delivery.

Bazzeghin says, “At first, I think, we had more of a folkier acoustic sound. And now we’ve been playing shows all electric with a more indie rock vibe. It’s a little more fun for us and the audience. People like to dance to music, especially when they’ve been drinking.”

As for how Indian Oven usually creates its material, Carpenter claims that many tracks are the products of accidents.

“Usually the songs come from an original mistake that we expand upon,” he says. “I’ll have a chorus with one or two verses and we’ll jam that out. Griff will play some drum beat I don’t care for, and then he’ll play a good one but forget what it was. We focus on melody a lot, though. We don’t have to be super tight so long as the melody is good and you can hear it.”

Unfortunately, due to Carpenter’s current position teaching English to high school students in Thailand, there are no Indian Oven gigs scheduled for the immediate future. But that doesn’t mean the band doesn’t have plans.

“Realistically, we’re in the process of booking a little New England tour for Sam’s return at the end of the summer,” says Bazzeghin.

“We [also] have plans to record a full album when I get back,” Carpenter says. “Possibly using tape as opposed to digital.”•

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