Local Band Connects Communities Through a Universal Language
This isn’t about an ordinary garage band trying to make something out of themselves from their mother’s basement.
By Alonzo Clark
RALEIGH- Can’t consider all underground bands to be generous. Alternative Rock band FrogHollow chose to benefit communities by meshing their talents to have a fundraiser event on May 24 at Nickelpoint Brewing. All the proceeds raised goes to Hope Connection International, a local nonprofit organization that provides services to victims of different types of social needs.
Think of Modest Mouse mix with a Weezer type feel. Relaxed and poise, the lead guitarist and vocalist Alex Goettge takes off his shoes and began the event with an introduction following a strum of his guitar portraying a calming character- like Winnie the Pooh hanging out with Kurt Cobain.
All hail to the three musketeers of the night, Goettge, drummer Marc Whitehead and bass guitarist Lou Rance Jr. practiced only for a week before mounting their feet at an unknown stage. Within seconds, the crowd grew from five to at least 20 people.
“Essentially, one of the ideas that we have when we first started this show, we knew it wasn’t going to be a big return for it,” said Goettge. “We didn’t do it for any sort of monetary return necessarily and it just came as a good opportunity [in which] we realize this is going to be a community event if anything.”
Nothing stops these Wilson County and Raleigh natives from their hard work, especially the family bond they already had.
Since 2013, Goettge and Whitehead have been playing melodic pieces together. The scales were smoothly played from the guitarist, letting the bass lead the band to another level.
And don’t forget the drums. The master of drums (Whitehead) captive the audience as he strikes his sticks against every drum counterpart.
“I only been with them for a month,” said Rance. “I knew Marc was serious…I haven’t talked to him in 10–13 years, I just knew he was serious about it so I said I’ll come over to see what’s up.”
Whitehead and Rance's friendship continues with the journey through music. “We actually moved up from Asheville probably 2–3 years ago and [we] got back up and started playing again,” Whitehead said. “We (Alex and Whitehead) were looking for a solid bass player and couldn’t find one. And I remember my buddy Lou played bass… and he finally looked out.”
Instantly the positions were communicated clearly. “I came over to the guitar, Alex already had that part down,” said Rance. “Alex is sick, so I kind of move over to the bass and it just kind of worked out for us.”
For the love and passion of what music can do, they knew how to tie in what they created to get others to come to support a great cause. Music also brought them together.
“Another thing I like to say to this is I like these guys,” Rance said. “We all work together really well, they are open to criticism, they are open to ideas, they don’t tighten up or get defensive.”
Goettge expressed their collaboration of thoughts on their non-profit decision process.
“The people who are coming are coming to facilitate a relationship with each other and with the music that can arise from its community,” said Goettge. “So we reached out to a couple of nonprofits to see what is it in our community that we can express that can be shared and that demonstrates really solid, important and significant needs for not only the individuals in the community but for the individuals who depend upon that need in the community.”
For Rance, the reason for this event hit home.
“Honestly man, I struggled with addiction and I had to get rehab and everything,” said Rance. “I did it for 6 months and I’ve been cleaned for three-and-half years, [the] nonprofit [idea] really touched me on a personal level.”
Rance spent his time in recovery at a Salvation Army, where they also provided services for those in need.
Hope Connection International gives back hope for anyone who needs counseling, group therapy sessions to cope with addiction, and means for living conditions. Also, they are a liaison for other nonprofit organizations in the Raleigh area where they get the chance to help.
“That what is all about it. It’s about the community. Everyone needs to have a hand in their community,” said Rance. “We all are a part of it and if we don’t help each other who is?… It is about lifting your brother up, it is about lifting your fellow man up. We are our brother’s keepers.“
Alonzo Clark is a Raleigh native who craves for the sounds of Alternative music. Read, listen and expand your music collection with him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @alternateeradio and @mralcspeaks