“Eclectic, Electric Jam Band” Wins Local Competition, Music Mania

Before you ask, the name comes from a drawing. 

After one of their first times playing together in the Music Room last year, the All Day Breakfast Buffet Band was approached by a friend, Meredith Finn, with a small pen sketch of four of the five band members. She came up with the name as the caption for the drawing, and it’s stuck.

“It’s memorable, too,” said Christian Zieger, lead guitarist and vocalist for the band. “People like it, it makes them smile.”

Since that show at the Music Room last year, the band has become more prominent in the area. In late March, the group won Music Mania, Music Room’s annual competition of area high school/college bands. Their prize- a recording session at the Music Room’s studio and a gig at Music Fest on June 9.

Mark Jeffe, board member of Music Fest, says that the competition “allows (the board) to represent Music Fest as more than a one day event” and helps the area outside of the boundaries of their summer festival. Because the judges of the Music Mania competition (this year comprised of Jeffe and other board members and members from local band .22 Calibre) had no specific criteria from which to judge the competing bands, they had free range to score the bands how they saw fit. The All Day Breakfast Buffet “blew us away,” said Jeffe. 

“It was a very difficult competition to say that there was one winner over any of the others, but they had a large ensemble, their music selections were strong, from a musicianship level they were very, very strong, and it was just their night.”

The best way to conceptualize the band is through Zieger’s description of their sound, found on the Music Fest website for their performance at 11th Frame lanes on the 9th. “In the cathedrals of your mind and courtyard of your dreams,” it reads, “this eclectic electric jam band takes you on a journey of spirit and whimsy.” They “serve up jams so good,” the band insists, “they should work for Smuckers!” 

Zieger continued in the interview to describe the sound. “Like breakfast, I think that the name kind of derives from all these different influences. We have elements of some jazz, blues, soul, rock and roll, folk, and even Dixieland.” (They quasi-compared themselves to FISH and The Grateful Dead.)

The eccentricity of their descriptions can be found in everything the band does. The group consists of A.C. Furtney, ukulele and vocals, 20; Charles Olszewski, bass, 18; Christian Zieger, lead guitar and vocals, 21; Evan Perry, drums, 21; and Riley Reger, rhythm guitar and vocals, 19, all of whom grew up in the area. The five were friends, self-proclaimed “local curmudgeons,” for several years before they got the chance to play together at the Music Room on the evening of Finn’s sketch, and they’ve been “very happy as a quintet,” said Zieger, ever since. 

Winning the Music Mania competition in March was very exciting for the band, but they weren’t nervous about performing-  the night before the competition they played a two-hour set at the venue, and an hour before the competition they played a party at Reger’s house. The band possesses a cohesiveness that they attribute to their success and have played multiple times together at a variety of gigs. 

“Already on stage we had this mindset that we have this collaborative ability,” said Reger of the competition, “and we just had fun with it.”

Furtney agreed. “We were definitely in our element.”

That sense of community is Perry’s favorite part of being in the ensemble. “Everyone has their own unique role, and you just capitalize on that,” he said. “There’s a sense of belonging and a desire to play better, play harder.”

“Everyone is encouraged to take chances,” said Zieger, “and interweave their style. We listen to each other a lot while we’re playing… If I hear something that Evan’s doing on the drums then I can pick up the pattern and vice versa. It’s that way with everybody.”

The band is primarily self-taught in their instruments of choice. Reger picked up a guitar at 16 and taught himself how to play. Perry learned from Reger’s guitar lessons, but switched to drums. “I still wanted to play with (Reger) but he was getting far better,” joked Perry. “He had a drum kit in his house so I picked that up.” Zieger and Furtney both, coincidentally, received guitars as Christmas presents at age 14. Zieger took years of lessons but credits the Grateful Dead for his investment. 

“The way Jerry Garcia phrased things… It took me over. It was like being hit on the head with a hammer,” he said. 

Furtney started out in grade school on drums, trumpet, and glockenspiel, but fell in love with the ukulele when he picked it up at Reger’s house and has been playing ever since. Olszewski also learned instruments in grade school, primarily the violin, but taught himself everything else from there.

The boys were concurrent in what motivates them- the music itself. “It’s a lack of a better thing to do, lack of any other direction in life,” Reger joked. 

The dream for Olszewski- “To make it my life to play music. Not even a lot of money, just enough to get by.” 

Similarly, Reger wants to support himself through music “while also travelling,” to which all of the band members nodded their heads. 

For Perry, improvement is a key motivator. “I want to always be progressing, getting better, finding something new to pull from and some new source of inspiration.” 

Zieger waned sentimental for his reasoning. “The money is secondary for me,” he said. “I want to touch people’s hearts and do it in real time. I don’t care if I die tomorrow- if I’ve already touched people’s hearts, then I’m living.”

To which all of the band members nodded their heads.

The next performance for the All Day Breakfast Buffet band is a ticketed show this Saturday, June 2, 8 p.m. at the Music Room. They’ll be playing 11th Frame lanes on Main at 2:30 p.m. on June 9 for Music Fest, at which time they’ll have CDs available of their music. Find them on Facebook at “All Day Breakfast Buffet Band” and at their website alldaybreakfastbuffetband.com. 

East Aurora Advertiser, May 30, 2018 | Hyperlink

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