Memory equals music for local rock quartet

Burlington-based band In Memory of Pluto describes their origin as “a quintet of sock-obsessed aliens playing rock and roll and trying to get home.”  They evolved quickly.”[Our schtick] wasn’t even that cool,” Zach Jandl said. They decided to take themselves seriously.The band, formed in 2007, consists of two brothers and three of their friends they found at St. Michael’s College. “[After college,] we turned into a bunch of kids who wanted to engage in some really serious music making,” Jandl said. The band continues to evolve, dropping an electric mandolin, switching vocalists and, recently, losing a guitarist due to a move. At a recent practice, the band was at a crossroads. “The band is figuring out what to do and writing new songs,” Billy Jandl, remaining guitarist and brother to Zach, said.At their makeshift practice space inside of a storage unit, the band developed a new song. Doubling as their new rhythm guitarist, lead singer Seth Gallant played backup to Billy’s melodic riffs, while Zach and drummer Ryan McGrath provided a tight and talented rhythm section. All four contributed to the untitled new song, collectively deciding on which bass riff to use and when Ryan ought to unleash some “boom booms” or “half-speed cowboys.”  “The songwriting process is a long sequence of nobody getting what they want,” Billy said. After a bit of jamming, McGrath agreed that he liked where the song was going.In Memory of Pluto is currently writing new material, they said, and their EP “1994” is now out.The shift from a five-member band to a quartet was sudden and came after a long period of touring — 93 shows in the past few years, which is a large amount for a small local group. The band’s feelings about tours are mixed, but are usually positive.”Tour is like vacation and homelessness,” Zach said. Yet, the lead singer focused on positives of touring.”No matter what happens on tour, the shows always make things right,” Gallant said. “Even after sweaty, 100-degree nights spent sleeping in [the] van next to a prostitute and her van, music is worth it.”And, touring is more than chilling and playing. “You come back from [tour] and you’re better off from it,” McGrath said. In Burlington, they’re happy to be part of a scene they helped create. When In Memory of Pluto began, rock bands played small venues and played alone. Since then, more bands have emerged. The local bands, regardless of genre, played together and supported each other, Zach said. When Zach gets an invitation to play, his first thoughts are whom can he help out and how he can make this show better.It is this friendliness, along with the band’s considerable talent, that ensures a bright future for In Memory of Pluto.