Even though this local band you may or may not have heard of literally has no live music links on the internet for me to share with you — and the photo attached is the only live shot of the band that they (and myself) could rally up to use for this article on the internet — I can assure you they exist in real life and have been rocking above and underground like real ones in the indie-punk archives of Bend. Because who really needs the internet, anyways? If live music is what we're here for, then that's exactly what you're going to get with these guys.
Arney has been playing the guitar since his teens, drummer and "arranger" Hans Schopen (no he is not a composer from the 1700s) played drums in a metal band on the island of Maui for 13 years and bassist Matt Jackson has been in bands-o-plenty over the years: a Weezer cover band called "Weez-It" — which also included local legend Taylor Morden, director of "The Last Blockbuster," a Portland-based surf-rock band called the "The Planet Crashers" from '09-'14, and more notably, Jackson also plays bass in The Color Study, another local band.
Over the past five years the band has been shreddin' house shows (lots of fond memories at Loco House and secret shows at a local blacksmith's shop who shall not be named) — handfuls of venues around town such as Silver Moon Brewing, Brown Owl, Spoken Moto, Open Space Event Studios and Boneyard Pub; to name a few.
And as Schopen phrased it, "You haven't made it in Bend until you've played M&J [Tavern]."
Via For Real has built strong roots in the community, even outside of the band's day jobs. As Arney owns the ever-so crafty Ale Apothecary (where the band rehearses once a week), Jackson works in local agriculture, and Schopen hails at Monkless Belgian Ales. The band holds a heavy pint of musical influences — each member brings their own original tastes to the group's sound; everything from Scandinavian death metal to Primus, Los Straitjackets, Dick Dale, The Velvet Undergound, Minutemen, Link Wray and early '60s surf-rock bands like The Pyramids.
The band and I chatted at Arney's Apothecary. We joked about how we may have created the setlist for the Bevel show due to my drilling of questions surrounding which songs of theirs were their favorite to perform. Schopen's favorite is "Dragons Slayer." Arney fancies "Foxeight" — inspired by a George Saunders story about a little fox making friends with human dystopians. Jackson favors the track "Magic Arrow" because of its complicated bass lines that resemble the works of Les Claypool [Primus] and Mike Watt [Minutemen]. There was talk by all three members about a new song titled "Stranger" that may have its live debut at their free show next Wednesday.
We also discussed the pros and cons of Bend's local music scene. On one side of the coin we've got quite a supportive mecca of local musicians who show up for one another.
As Arney shared, "There's a lot of camaraderie. People in the bands show up when they can, it's really cool. I really appreciate it." On the other side, we seem to live in a place that comes off far from cash poor during a night out on the town — but folks still seem to cringe at any ticket costs. "It's super diverse per capita," said Jackson. "But there could be a little more support from the community beyond just moral support."
If you can't make it to their show next week, don't worry... because plans of recording are in fruition. "It's worth the wait," Jackson mentioned. The band has plans to record with Scott Oliphant of The Color Study hopefully later this year.