Hyland avenues

By SARAH TOMLINSON  |  February 2, 2006

At the same time, Hyland was honing his songwriting skills as the guitarist in Fashion Colt, whose line-up also included Mittens bassist/guitarist Andy Brooks. That band held down local stages for four years in the late ’90s before calling it quits and using their leftover funds to host a co-ed bachelor party at the Glass Slipper for their former drummer, Evan Haller. It was with Fashion Colt, Hyland says, that he and Brooks developed their songwriting and performance philosophies. “We realized we didn’t have to jump around on stage to convey a song and entertain people. If the song is good enough, you don’t have to hide it by jumping around and doing other things.”

Headband’s stage presence is certainly more slouchy and understated than theatrical. It’s the offbeat charm of their songs that takes center stage — at least when the drumkit isn’t falling over. And that ethos carries over to their CDs, the latest of which is Olde Tyme Rock ’n Roll. Each disc has a handcrafted cover with one-of-a-kind designs rendered in construction paper and color photographs.

Hyland, meanwhile, has found time to form Appletown Gun Shop with former Runner and the Thermodynamics frontman Marc Pinansky on bass and Chris Hemmeter, who played with Pinansky in the late-’90s mod-rock band the Zips, on drums. They already have a notebook full of song ideas that Hyland’s been stockpiling over the years. He says AGS aren’t all that different in sound or approach from Headband, but they do have their own sensibility — it’s a split personality of sorts. “One’s like a real kind of psychedelic thing. And the other is kind of an AM-radio thing. It’s like Syd Barrett meets John Denver.” Hyland aims to be more pro-active with Appletown Gun Shop and avoid Headband’s 10-year gestation. AGS debuted just last July but have already assembled a solid set of mid-’60s-influenced garage rock that they’ve recorded onto free CDs to distribute at shows. They’ve also done a five-city East Coast tour.

But if Hyland’s feeling the urge to step things up a bit with his music these days, he’s at ease with his path so far. This is the musician, after all, who wrote the slacker ode “Lazy Bones” for the latest Headband release. “I could have gotten more done. But at the same time, where I am right now, I don’t really have too many regrets of not seizing moments.”

___

On the Web:

Headband: http://www.myspace.com/headband
Appletown Gun Shop: http://www.appletowngunshop.com

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