The Pariahs may be a new band to you, but it’s not because they haven't been around. The band has been playing shows around Portland for the last few years, exploring different genres, perfecting their lineup, and crafting the sound that represents them today.
When Brandon Lindsey (guitar), Shandon Fox (drums) and Frank Irwin (bass) started jamming together, there was not a lot of direction—just a recognition of respect for one another’s playing and a desire to share ideas. In fact, if you saw a show in the beginnings of the band, you witnessed a show that was more rock oriented with basic chord structures. At that time the band even had a different keys player and emcee fronting the band. Adding Andre Burgos on keys (Brown Calculus, Tribe Mars) seemed to redefine the current direction of the band. The band recruited Burgos out of admiration for his jazz stylings, allowing for things to open up and take shape, which seemed to create the perfect space for their missing link and current emcee, Wes Guy.
Guy, who grew up heavy into the Soulquarians (the legends who produced records such as The Roots' Things Fall Apart, D’Angelo’s Voodoo, Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun, and Common’s Like Water For Chocolate), already possessed a prerequisite knowledge that would align perfectly with The Pariahs. As their frontman, Guy brings a dynamic to the mic, not only rhythmically with his rapping but also melodically with his singinging, which is complementary of the canvas that his fellow bandmates create behind him.
This band is built on a mutual respect for one another's playing and a trust for one another’s musical instincts. And when you sit in a room with these guys, you really start to understand how genuinely excited they are to play music with each other, as well as share this journey with one another.
If you dig Oddisee & Good Compny or Black Milk & Nat Turner, The Pariahs are surely up your alley. The band’s debut EP Introducing The Pariahs is due out on Saturday, March 24 and they’ll celebrate that same evening at Mississippi Pizza.
They Don’t Want Us
Back and Forth