By Charlie Weinmann, Arts Editor
A local band out of Essex, New Hampshire, is playing that classic grungy Brit-rock sound that the Kinks and The Arctic Monkeys made famous, and they are doing it quite well.
Harry Griffin, Justin Arlock and J.W. Ayer, all 18 years old, are the members of The Green Bullets.
Griffin and Ayer originally had a band called Queen Ends Revenge that, according to Ayer, “didn’t go that well.”
After playing a single acoustic show and bombing it, Ayer and Griffin ran into Justin Arlock, now the drummer for The Green Bullets.
“We were hiding out in this little trailer in the rain, and Justin came up to us … and he could drum, so we were like we might as well try something out,” Ayer said.
After their first attempt at forming a band, the three were eager to give it another go, spending the following summer writing material and eventually playing their first show in fall 2011.
Ayer and Griffin have known each other since the third grade, although never really hung out until later.
“We were in some afterschool rec-program and we had a discussion about who’s better, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, and that’s when we were little kids. We never talked to each other again until high school,” Ayer said.
As for Arlock and Griffin, their friendship blossomed over a pack of cards in a cabin during a school field trip.
“Neither one of us was very popular in high school, surprisingly,” Griffin said.
The band has been persistent as they are moving more into the live music industry.
“When we started we didn’t know how to go about it and take it seriously in a way,” Ayer said. “We had a period of time that we played from like 2011 steadily … but then we stopped for a bit and we were all towards the point of finishing up high school … now we are just starting to get back into it, working on new songs, hoping to record soon, hoping to do that as a serious thing.”
“The motivation has helped a lot,” Griffin said. “We’ve gotten more done in the last couple months than we had for almost a year.”
When asked to describe their sound, Arlock says it’s “raw.”
“We’ve been described as a Kinks rip-off band, and then to like, Herman’s Hermits,” Ayer said. “We’ve gotten that one twice actually.”
Jack White served as inspiration for the band at a young age. Griffin was inspired to start playing guitar when he saw the White Stripes live performance DVD, “Under Blackpool Lights.”
The Green Bullets performed Nov. 11 at “Funksgiving,” a funk/rock show hosted by the Memorial Union Student Organization at the Memorial Union Building.
The band was eager to play in front of a new crowd, and was the first to play out of the four bands.
“Funksgiving means sharing James Brown and love and turkey with all of your family members and friends,” Ayer said.
“I think it’s a time to get up but also get down,” Griffin said, “It’s funkin’ awesome.”
The Green Bullets have become more methodical in writing their music since they first began.
“We tried to write a song that was two bass guitars and drums,” Ayer said. “If anything sounds really good to us and catches our ear, we will almost try and one-up it. We take it apart and analyze it.” Ayer continued. “Before, as kids, it was hard to have people take us seriously, in a way. A lot of people who legitimately liked our music were like older people who liked it because of all the ‘60s influences.”
Looking towards the future, the band wants to play more shows where people are enjoying themselves.
“When we are able to go into bars and just play crowds that will actually move around and have a good time” is what Ayer describes as his ideal performance atmosphere.
Before playing Funksgiving, Ayer said, “There’s a lot of people our age into good music. It’s gonna be cool when we play at UNH, because they will probably get it.”