Tea Leaf Green

Like Disneyland On Acid

The Set List

By Bryan Washburn

With constant changes, innovations and an ever-disseminating revenue stream, most bands have a murky path ahead of them filled with setbacks and uncertainty as to where their career is headed. And as the path grows darker, most bands choose to hang up their instruments and move on to a different path in life. This is not the case with Tea Leaf Green. With more than a decade under their belt, the California-based quartet is still picking, strumming, singing and banging away, attempting to take over.

“Our goal is world domination, for sure. We’re taking it slow, making our way up there slowly to the world domination,” joked guitarist/vocalist Josh Clark in a phone interview last week.

All jokes aside, Tea Leaf Green — Clark, keyboardist/vocalist/guitarist Trevor Garrod, bassist Reed Mathis and drummer Scott Rager — have found themselves developing an underground following and opening for some enormous acts in the past 13 years.

The band has evolved their jam rock, progressing from playing empty bars to half-full bars to somewhat popular cities. Though Clark admits the songwriting process has become more autobiographical, honest and “whatever sort of meager life experiences I had so far into something meaningful,” the band is also aiming for songs that listeners can relate to lyrically with an open mind and open heart, Clark said.

Tea Leaf Green plans to take their evolving sound into the studio this year to record a couple of albums. But before that, Clark says they are going to “tour like maniacs.” After all, it’s the Tea Leaf Green live shows that are garnering acclaim from fans and critics.

“It is like going to Disneyland on acid. It’s a big rock show with a lot of energy and a lot of fun,” said Clark, who also said the band plays their best shows in Fayetteville where they will be playing Tuesday at George’s Majestic Lounge.

The band might not have had the chance to perform on a large stage at Disneyland, yet, but they have played a few of the biggest festivals in the nation, including Bonnaroo and Wakarusa.

“Festivals are so much fun. You get up there and play for an hour in front of people already in the mood,” Clark said. “The audiences are great, then you drink the free beer and wander around like a madman. Festivals are less like work and more like a paid vacation.”

Despite the festivals and fans — not to mention the number of prominent musicians like Dave Matthews, Trey Anastasio and Gov’t Mule that they have opened for — staying together as a band is what Clark sees as their greatest accomplishment in the 14 years they have been together.

“Keeping the band together is the biggest accomplishment. At this point, I’m a lifer and don’t know anything else,” Clark said. “It’s always an adventure repeating cycles. You go to the same places, same gas station, same dirtbag motel, but in that cycle, it always changes and new things are happening.”

Brian Washburn is the founder of DBW and is working on a way to revolutionize the music industry.

Categories: LIVE! In NWA