Music is a powerful thing. It moves, unites, motivates, ignites, cleanses, the list goes on. For Brett Treacy, guitarist and lead singer for Everest Cale, music puts him in a different emotional place entirely.
“When you hear it, it makes your whole body sink and you feel as if you’re learning something, like somebody else has felt that,” Treacy describes. “It’s like this sinking, low feeling that makes you happy because you know you exist.”
Treacy maintains that this melancholic, existential place he finds only helps to improve his music and his mood. In combination with the band’s passion and talent, his relationship with music helps lend Everest Cale its unique style and retro influence. A perfect combination of rock and heavy-hearted lyrics, the band puts on a show that simultaneously moves the crowd and portrays the atmosphere in Treacy’s head.
“That zone that I get in when I hear it is my favorite zone to be in, so I think that’s why it makes me happy,” he speculates. “because I feel the most comfortable when I’m in it. It’s like my comfort zone. I think the best music and performance comes from that place. Not just me, but in general. It just tears you apart because it’s the most truthful expression of music.”
Treacy’s intense connection with music is apparent in his stage presence and lyrical composition. His entire musical style is self-described as “very emotional” both when writing and in his live performance.
“I’m a very emotional writer and very emotional presence onstage,” Treacy admits. “If I’m listening to something, I want it to be meaningful. Usually I like bands that have really good lyrics like Bright Eyes, Bob Dylan..”
Though Treacy admittedly prefers his music on the depressing side, his Everest Cale bandmates don’t always share his taste. This characteristic of the group evens out their style to create a more complex, interesting and musically superior sound.
“I think our musical taste varies, and I think that’s what makes working with them so awesome,” Treacy says. “I wouldn’t have thought of what they thought of. The way I maybe hear it in my head, it would be more stripped down and more mellow, always. Depressing music is what I really get off on.”
He says that inspiration for the band’s music comes from different members’ musical tastes and methods. When these varying interests come together, Everest Cale’s fusion is born.
“Jeremy (Kolmin) and Aaron (Nystrup), they’re both really classic rock dudes. They’re where that sound comes from,” Treacy explains. “They’re all over the place but they use techniques, like Jeremy works in a music store so he’s got all this awesome gear. His guitars are very vintage and his tastes are vintage, but he’s got these pedals that keep us still relevant.”
Drummer Nate Becker shares some of this rock influence as well. Treacy notes that he may look like a young kid, but when it comes to drums, he can rock out with the best of them. Not only do each of the members bring a different set of interests to the group, their skill sets combine perfectly as well.
“I bring all the songs complete to the band in my own personal way, but it’s such a democratic environment,” Treacy says. “Especially Aaron, he’s very, very well musically trained and he’ll be like ‘No, we need to add a bridge here, we need to change this D to an F, this is too simple…’.”
Learning to accept feedback and incorporate adjustments is just as difficult for musicians as for other artists, but Treacy maintains that once he moved past this issue, he and Everest Cale have benefited notably.
“Maybe a year ago it was hard to take that criticism, but now it’s like a blessing, it’s the best thing in the world,” he admits. “There just has to be a formula. It’s been that I’ll complete a song and I’ll bring it and sometimes they can be harsh, but they’re right. Maybe it’s not a bad song, but it’s not an Everest Cale song. I’ll just write and I’ll write whatever’s coming to me. They’re good about keeping it in the scope of what the band sounds like, and if it is in the scope of what the band sounds like, they’re good at making it more complex with layers or dynamics, so the whole band really writes everything.”
With a team like this it’s not surprising that music has come to represent much more to Treacy than a creative occupation, especially since each band member has a full-time job, ranging from bartending to music retail to writing sports articles for the Wall Street Journal.
“When I wake up, if I’m in the worst mood or the best mood, it’s always still music that I’m singing. Even if I’m at work I’m usually daydreaming lyrics,” Treacy notes. “Sometimes I think , ‘What else would I do?’ I could be happy doing other things, based on my personal life, but I think for extreme self-realization and happiness, it’s music. There’s no other thing like it.”
Everest Cale only drives that idea home with throwback guitar riffs and legitimate rock beats behind Treacy’s strong voice and deep lyrics. Don’t stop, Everest Cale. Don’t stop.