'Is this us?'
5 Cellars Below reorganizes as Rei-Gurren
By Shondiin Silversmith
WINDOW ROCK, February 14, 2013
(Special to the Times – Donovan Quintero)
O ut with the old, in with the new is the motto for members of Rei-Gurren since they dropped their former band name, 5 Cellars Below, and reestablished themselves early last year.
When 5 Cellars Below disbanded after working together since 2004, the remaining members wanted to keep going, and that's how Rei-Gurren — the names of two of their favorite animated characters — was born.
"What makes us different is we put a lot more effort into our writing," said front man Raemus Catron, 25. "Basically we matured in our instruments."
The Window Rock-based, self-proclaimed "anime-core" band lashes out their sound with a faster tempo, a lot more melody, and longer solos.
Rei-Gurren band members said the songs they are creating now are more energetic, and more fun to play, because they create music based around the things they enjoy the most: anime, video games, and Japanese bands.
"We freaked ourselves out: 'Is this us?'" said Drummer Jeffery Curley, 25.
"Originality," said bassist Reuben Begay about the band's new hallmark.
"It's kind of like a clean slate," said Curley. "Anything is possible now."
"Grown up, but still immature," Catron said is the best way he could describe Rei-Gurren.
Since they started Rei-Gurren they have been able to produce 16 new songs in the first five months, as opposed to before when they would be lucky to produce one or two songs in almost a year.
"We get more acclaim for our sound and our hard work rather than our appearance," said Catron. "We're looking more at the instruments and how we've evolved with them."
Begay said that they've gotten a lot of compliments for their new sound, and "more people are wanting to hear our stuff."
"I'm pretty comfortable being a front man and guitar player," said Catron, who has been singing for the past eight years and playing the guitar for 14 years.
"My voice is convincing," said Catron. "I'm melodic; I use my diaphragm. I don't just throw my voice out there."
Curley originally started out playing the guitar until the band needed a drummer. So he started training himself as a drummer, and now with Rei-Gurren he likes the fact that he gets the chance to play other instruments.
Rei-Gurren agreed that what makes it worth seeing them live is that they all have the ability to switch instruments. Catron moves to drums, Curley to bass, and Reuben to guitar, surprising their fans.
Begay said that one of the fan favorites is a song called "Twilight Princess." He said this song is based on the game "The Legend of Zelda," and it's a song that everyone could enjoy because it's about "Link" trying to fulfill his purpose.
Curley said the crowd response is the best, and the fans react to their stage presence now that they are more energetic on the stage.
"If we get on stage we're just going to be active," said Begay.
Since "shows are really hard to come by. The music scene is basically dead here," said Catron, noting that the band has only been able to play a dozen shows since they started. He hopes that Rei-Gurren and other local bands will help the music scene flourish again.
Rei-Gurren, a drug-, alcohol-, tobacco- and soda-free band, can be found on Facebook.