Down North is on a mission. The purpose of their mission is to rock the souls of every being whose ears are graced by the electrifying melodies and vocals they embody. Down North is made up by vocalist Anthony Briscoe, bassist Brandon Storms, drummer Conrad Real, and guitarist Nick Quiller. Hailing from all over the United States (North Carolina to the Pacific Northwest), the band members come together to create a melting pot of different cultures, musical styles, and inspirations. This, in combination with their truly unique and fine-tuned sound, has given them the reputation of “the band you don’t want to follow” among the insiders in the industry. However this has not hindered them on their journey as they continue to tour nationwide and garner fans with every show, whether in the deep south, the north east or anywhere in-between.
Anthony took some time to speak with my before heading to Texas to participate in the SXSW music festival where they are currently playing. He told me that although he is not the original lead singer of Down North, this iteration of the band has been playing together for eight years now and has allowed them to develop into a fully cohesive group, which results in a mature and truly vetted sound on their recorded music and live performances. Anthony shared that his vocal inspirations are grounded in names such as “King of Pop” Michael Jackson and “King of Soul” Sam Cooke as well as many other classic greats which have become the foundation for modern music. Anthony also shared that his writing is heavily influenced by traditional literary and philosophical greats which has helped him to precisely portray his messages in the lyrics of Down North’s songs.
Honestly, I love that Down North can make me want to dance until I die while also putting me in my feelings. I love that I can hear nostalgia in their music through the influences that have shaped the sound of each band member as an individual. And I also love that front man Anthony can tell me a detailed history of Seattle soul music even though he is from the other side of the country. This band is in your face, their songs are in your mind, and their messages are in your heart. There is a realness to this collective, a genuine authenticity of passion that exudes from the stage when they’re playing live and also from the speakers when they’re in the studio. You just don’t hear this kind of music anymore, at least not on the U.S. top 40. However, even though Ryan Seacrest won’t be sharing this band with you during power hour on your favorite radio station that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be there. It means that something has gotten lost in modern pop music, or at the very least left out, and that Down North has found it and graciously brought it back to us.
On March 31st, 2018 Down North will be performing live at High Dive in Seattle. I will be there to interview the entire band and review the performance. This is a show that I am highly anticipating because all musical history and nuanced lyrics aside this band kicks ass. You should be there too.