It's been less than two years since the trio first formed, yet they've completed their first full-length album, due out sometime early this year. The cast of characters in this production is concise but effective: Tall, bald, and bearded bassist Tim McMurrin throws down the low end; all-American, South Carolinian percussionist Josh Gambrell punctuates the commotion; and David Blunk provides the firepower--a mild-mannered, ticking human time bomb of a guitarist.
Based on his volatile stage presence, one would never suspect what first inspired Blunk to pick up the instrument. "I learned how to play guitar in church," he confesses. "They had the folk guitars and did the folk mass... so I would borrow the guitars during the week, then play in church for an hour. It was kinda fun--it beat the hell out of just sitting there."
While the music Bastinado creates is faithful to its particular genre, it is also a product of the eclectic tastes of its creators. "I've been listening to Sweep the Leg Johnny a lot," Gambrell reports.
"The bands that I admire most as far as making music are bands like June of 44, Slint, and Shellac," says McMurrin, "But what I've been listening to the most lately is more singer/songwriter type stuff, like the new Johnny Cash, and the new Mountain Goats."
Blunk provides vocals when necessary, and is generally the one to address the audience at shows, though the weight of the band is always distributed equally. Many of their songs are predominantly instrumental, and the songwriting process is always collaborative. "Everyone kind of takes care of their own part," says McMurrin, as we struggle to converse over a pervasive barroom jukebox blasting Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue." "We should do a cover of this song!" he jokes.
"Everybody says, 'Oh, we should do a cover of this song,' but they don't think about the guy who's got to sing it," Blunk responds.