Chainsaw Kelly has been a fixture in the local scene for a while now. Originally formed in Atlanta, Ga. by a couple of friends who wanted to create music that went against the grain and featured a mish-mash of influences, Chainsaw Kelly moved its headquarters to Pensacola, and the legend has grown ever since.
Having been around for a while and playing shows with many, if not most of, P’cola’s finest, it was only a matter of time before fans of the band’s intense live performances began wanting something to jam out to on their own time. Hence, the Dog Days E.P., a four-song appetizer to the main course coming later this year. Two of these tasty gems were recorded in the studio, while the other two are more raw home recordings. As for what to expect, the best guess would be the unexpected. Chainsaw Kelly’s style is made up of a vast array of influences and makes for a unique musical experience.
“A lot of bands say that there aren’t many bands around that sound like them, but we really can say that,” says one of the multi-instrumentalists/vocalists Michael Daw. “We play a wide range of music, from blues to rock, to surf and whatever else we feel adds to the flavor. I can’t think of any bands in the area that sound even close to us. The closest would probably be Timberhawk, but even they aren’t quite like us.”
The mention of Timberhawk is far from coincidence, as Daw shares a home with Aubrey Nichols and Nathan Dillaha, half of Pensacola’s favorite party band. Even Matt Nichols (drums/Timberhawk) was the original skin-spanker for Chainsaw Kelly. In fact, there are a few contributions by T-Hawk dudes, as the two raw home recordings were produced right there in the guys’ East Hill home.
“The Dog Days E.P. is kind of a taste of what’s to come when we release a full length later on,” Daw says. “We went into the studio and recorded two tracks with slick production and all of that, but the other two were a couple of staples that we recorded during drunken sessions at our house. They have a very raw, live quality, which is cool because it makes the E.P. kind of half and half. You have the cleaner songs and then a couple home recordings that have a bit of a live vibe.”
The guys in Chaisaw Kelly have played with pretty much anybody who would let them share the stage, including many of our most beloved music makers like Unnatural Sounds, Timberhawk, The Spanx and more.
Just because they are a little different doesn’t mean that Chainsaw Kelly is afraid to mix it up with any band, any time. In fact, the band, consisting of Daw, another multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Brandon Smith and “metal drummer” Chris Winskey, has been the sore thumb on more than a few shows, but after it’s all said and done, the band has made new fans every time out.
“I remember playing a show with a bunch of hardcore and death metal bands, then us. We definitely weren’t a close fit with the other bands on the bill, but the crowd was really cool. That’s what it’s all about for us. It’s great to play a show and have someone come up to us and say that they were there to see their friend’s band, or whatever, but they were blown away by us. That makes us very proud, and inspires us to continue pushing boundaries and doing our own thing.”
While Chainsaw Kelly is more or less a local band, not all members call Pensacola home at the moment. “Brandon actually lives up in Birmingham, Ala., so we are at the point now where we basically get paid to practice. Whenever we have a show, he comes down and plays, and that pays for his gas. We hope to get him down here sooner or later, but he has a lot going on up there, so we’re just doing what we gotta do for now.”
Chainsaw Kelly will be having their E.P. release show at The Handlebar with Pioneers! O Pioneers! and Lucid Lions, and it promises to be one hell of a good time. Don’t forget to grab a copy of the Dog Days E.P. while you’re there. In the meantime, check out some of the band’s tunes on Reverb Nation, or head over to YouTube and dig the video for “World Surfer”. Satisfaction guaranteed.
CHAINSAW KELLY E.P. RELEASE EXTRAVAGANZA
WHEN: 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2
WHERE: The Handlebar, 319 N. Tarragona St.