In the studio with Gondwanalande

Gondwanaland was a “super continent” 150 million years ago. Due to plate tectonics it gained an “e” over the millennia and morphed into an experimental rock band now playing music every Monday on Trinity campus. The band, comprised of four UVM freshmen, started playing music together in October with a guitar, a single tom drum, computer effects and vocal loops. They play with two drummers and a combined total of eight instruments ranging from the xylophone to the harmonica, with all the traditional rock instruments in the mix. The current lineup, Shane Kerr, Sophie Cassel, Elliot Hughes and Nick Earl, tend to exchange instrumental roles with every song. Their music can best be described as cultural jam, but with a mind bending psychedelic guitar, tribal drums and abstract bass lines, the “culture” could only be that of Gondwanalande. The members list less prehistoric influences ranging from the violent percussion of Japan’s Boredoms, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd and the psychedelic folk music of Six Organs of Admittance. The vocals in the most traditional sense aren’t. “Sometimes we like to have talking over our music,” explained Kerr, “like a Martin Luther King speech or something.” But Cassel was quick to remind him of the band’s sense of humor, “or the ‘Unforgivable’ clip from Youtube.” They are primarily improvisational in that, other than maybe a vague idea of which of their many styles they will use in a set, they don’t hear the song before the audience does. Kerr philosophically jests, “Our music is for the moment, by the moment.” The band’s music greatly reflects not only substantial talent but also their friendly “down to earth” chemistry. Gondwanalande performs every Monday around 7:30 p.m. in Hunt Hall with an array of Christmas lights, lasers, and coffee. If you’re looking to throw a party that will put you on the map, this is your band and I want to be there.