Members: Matt Williams, guitar; B.J. Fegely, drummer; Tim Varnel, bass; Jason Robison, vocals
Who we talked to: Robison
How did you guys get together? In 2002, I think the first lineup got started. B.J. and Matt . . . came out of another band and basically from that they kept four of the members of that old band and became Render. I ended up joining two years ago. It's gone through some changes over the years.
Describe your sound and style. We're all influenced by several different things, but at the same time we're influenced by similar things. In today's world, you can tell where a lot of bands come from . . . or what they are emulating or what style you can tell started it. With us, it's interesting. I like to call it hybrid rock. Every song's a little different from the others.
What groups or artists influence you? A big one is Faith No More. The man behind Faith No More Mike Patton is a huge one. That's the man right there. He's done a lot of things. There (are) other bands that influence the guitarist like Shades Apart and Kings X. Our drummer is a big fan of The Who's drummer (Keith Moon), and he's also a Pearl Jam nut. We all love Alice in Chains, so it's all over the place.
Is there anything on the radio that you can't stand? We all like music in general. We don't care for the Nickelback bands. It just doesn't do anything for us. (We don't like) the real easy, cheesy generic rock. We cover a wide scope of music.
They recently released the Grammy nominations. Anyone you like nominated? I did not catch that. I guess with Grammys I feel like it's kind of gotten weaker over the years. I remember in the '90s and stuff it was really fun to watch. It was a whole different scene, I guess. Not to say that there (are) musicians that are probably in there that are . . . worthy of their awards.
Like any other local groups? Oh, my goodness, yeah. We're good pals with Chuggernaut (and) a band called Backfeed. They're a newer band. They've been fun to jam with. Ninetail guys have always been cool. We haven't played a show with them, but I really dig . . . where they're at and where they're going. There's a lot of stuff on the scene that's really cool. We try to get along with bands. Every now and then, you run into the ego band that thinks they're Van Halen. (The scene) is not as tight as it was. It seems like a lot of times, an (opening) band gets done playing and you get up there and the band is gone already. I noticed that . . . at shows. If we had a good support system, we could . . . get people like more riled up for shows.
Where do you guys play? We seem to hit (WaterWay) a lot. The Blue Room's been really good to us. They gave us a bunch of dates for the year. Our last one coming up is the Dec. 19 show. We've also played Smalls in York. We're playing there (Dec.) 20. We do Chameleon Club a lot. In the early days . . . I lived in L.A., so I got to play Whisky (A Go-Go) and this part of the band got to play CBGB (in Manhattan). So, it's like wow, we got both coasts kind of.
What's coming up for you guys? Actually, we did make a three-song demo. We've been doing shows where money has been coming in, so we're trying to put the money up to see if we should decide if we should do some recording. We're also going to be part of the Millennium Music (Conference) in February.
Asking for any albums this Christmas? I asked for Queen's "A Night at the Opera." I watched the thing on VH1 about the making of that, and it just blew my mind.
- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF