By: Mara Kalinosiki – Staff Writer
You’ve heard of The Rolling Stones, The Who, and The Flaming Lips – now get ready for The Dead Licks. This grungy garage rock band is made up of four UD juniors: guitarist Jack Grbac, bassist Johnny McNamara, drummer Jimmy Gallagher, and guitarist/ vocalist Tom Inzinga. Their easygoing rock vibe adds color and intensity to the music scene on campus.
The men formed their band slowly and casually, having met in a variety of ways around campus. Grbac emailed ArtStreet’s Street Sounds to inquire about recording, to which Inzinga replied. Inzinga and Gallagher had been friends for a while before getting together to play music. McNamara heard that the friends had a drum kit in their house, and asked about it at a party.
“I asked if they wanted to jam,” McNamara said. “I didn’t even know they were in a band.” From there, The Dead Licks were born.
“I used to hear about bands on campus playing around at houses and stuff,” Grbac said. “It was cool to hear that people were playing music. There are actually a lot of people playing around Dayton.”
Gallagher and Inzinga live together in the student neighborhood, which is where the band practices most days. Luckily, “everyone that lives there is good about putting up with us,”McNamara joked. The band also spends time at Street Sounds, where they are currently practicing and recording.
The Dead Licks joined that crowd when they formed their band last year, and they’ve been playing shows around campus ever since.
They often play packed house shows, complete with lighting, fog machines, and excited audiences. The Dead Licks play with a soulful combination of fun and intensity, which makes for memorable sets.
“We just want the audience to have a good time,” Gallagher said. “Our friends love when we play, and we love to play for our friends.”
While the members of The Dead Licks have vastly different interests (their majors include communication, business economics, civil engineering and accounting), the common thread lies in their love of music. “It’s the common factor between all of us,” Grbac said.
When asked about what type of music and aura they go for during their shows, the band offered a variety of answers, which fit well with their go-with-the-flow vibe. From “basement garage rock” to “bluesy” to “experimental” to “do-it-yourself,” the guys wear many different hats.
They have a few original songs that they perform live, with the rest of their set made up of covers of Pearl Jam, Cage the Elephant, Black Sabbath, The Animals, The Rolling Stones, and more.
While The Dead Licks have been focused on live shows since their beginning, they are now working hard on their demos.
“We’re going to record some music before the end of the semester, before we go our separate ways over the summer,” Gallagher said. “We’re taking a lot more time recording now. So it’s a different approach.”
You can find The Dead Licks’ music on Soundcloud, with their new recordings also being released on Spotify in the near future. Their upcoming shows include an outdoor Thursday Night Live, an April show at Flanagan’s Pub, and a show in the Oregon District, as well as appearances throughout the student neighborhood. Since this year’s Woodstock on Woodland concert has been canceled, The Dead Licks are also looking to collaborate with other student bands on an event to take its place.
Photo courtesy of Dead Licks