Rock takes the funky side

Josh Holz

UVM students going to Nectar’s this week should expect funk.

The Fritz will be performing at Nectar’s in downtown Burlington April 15 and 21 as part of their spring tour. The Fritz’s website describes their genre as “funk rock.” “It’s an interesting combination of genres,” sophomore Dan Berenberg said. “I’ve never heard of it before.”

The band consists of Jamie Hendrickson on guitar, Jamar Woods on keyboard and main vocals, Jake O’Connor on bass, Michael Tillis on drums and Mike Evans on percussion.

“Music is catalyzing,” exchange student Gorka Garde  Inchausti said. “Seeing concerts is a way of coming out of Burlington’s cold.”

The band makes it a goal to warm the crowd up. Hendrickson said the crowd’s energy is a big part of their concerts. “We try not to stray too far from music people can dance to,” he said. Improvisation is a way of being creative while putting on a show the crowd likes, Hendrickson said. “Improvising is tricking yourself into being creative,” he said.

Being creative involves everyone in the band, Hendrickson said. While he and bassist O’Connor do most of their songwriting, he said everyone adds something. “Writing is really cooperative,” he said. “Everyone throws in their ideas.” Hendrickson said he would describe their sound as a rock band that plays funk. “Some of our songs sound like straight funk,” he said. “Others are more aggressive rock.”

Years of playing and working with other bands have let them find a sound they like, Hendrickson said. “Slowly we’ve figured out what kind of band we are,” he said. All of the band’s members started as music students at Jacksonville University, Hendrickson said. They moved to Asheville, North Carolina together and formed The Fritz.

“We wanted to pursue this dream we started,” he said. “It was an ambitious thing to do, but it worked out for us.” As advice to music students, Hendrickson said not to be afraid to do something that’s difficult. “I turned down better gigs for a few years in Florida to do what I believed in,” he said. “Anything worth doing is pretty tough.” Having the same group of people to play with is a magical thing, Hendrickson said. “We love piling into our van, going to a new city, making new friends and playing our music,” he said.