I want those pants.
I want the pair of paisley-splattered blue bellbottoms that Trevor Martell—the singer and lead guitarist for local throwback rock collective Patrimony—wore as he sauntered onto stage at Volcanic Theatre Pub. The three-piece, young in years but not experience, played opening fiddle to one of the its many role model groups, Hopeless Jack and the Handsome Devil, and Southern California's rockabilly head bangers, The Chop Tops, on a recent rainy night in May.
Martell might be the grandson of Robert Plant, the next Jack White, or both. Patrimony's music assails the same decade disorientation with classic blues and southern rock influences blaring loud and distorted out of the mouths and instruments of mere babes.
With a high level of polish, it's shocking to find these boys are all still under the legal drinking age.
With Martell on guitar and vocals, Wyatt Phillipi on bass and Jason Allenby on drums, Patrimony has been together since its members were teens growing up in Sisters.
"I wanted to play rock and roll music, and the Sisters community is more toward folk," says Martell sitting outside a coffee shop in downtown Bend. He's dressed as if he might take the stage at any moment, his collared shirt unbuttoned to the middle of his chest, slick black jeans, shiny dress shoes and an abundance of necklaces draped next to his shoulder-length curls. "We love a lot of folk music..."
"But it seems like they make you play it," interjects Phillipi, who is constantly pushing a mane of thick curls out of his youthful eyes. "They don't give you the option. I think I failed Americana class."
Four years as a band means the members not only complete each other musically, but they also finish each other's sentences. And while conflicting musical theories in their hometown may have been frustrating, it didn't stop Patrimony from cranking up the reverb.
"The angst is a good thing," says Martell. "It gave us a reason to start a band, I guess."
Before graduation, Patrimony had recorded its first album, a 9-track offering put together with the help of a makeshift engineer and a quarter-inch tape machine in an out-of-town warehouse.
"We had to take a week off of school and go to Portland," explains Phillipi.
Later this summer, the band will release its second album, b3li3v3, the first with tracks recorded separately as opposed to recording while playing together live.
"It was a disappointment at first because there's a different feeling when we're playing together," says Martell.
"There's a groove you get into," adds Phillipi. "It's a totally different energy."
That energy is one that comes across in the band's spontaneous and often improvisational live performances, their favorite part of being a band, and their specialty.
"The arrangement has to be planned out, but I don't think the way people play things or the way people sing should be planned at all. There's an edge to it," says Martell.
"We love bands back in the day because the touring cycle was a lot different. You would have people following you on tour, but they had a reason to follow you because each show was it's own beautiful thing. It was different every single night."
"You could hear all the mess ups," Phillipi chimes in.
"The squeaks, the talking," continues Martell, adjusting the pack of smokes in his vest's breast pocket. "Now it's different. People are clicking a button to make music, so it's the same thing every single time, because it's perfect. There's no such thing as perfect to us. It doesn't exist. Imperfections make you better."
Clearly not fans of their generation's own laptop rock, the members of Patrimony prefer to look to the past for inspiration in authentic and classic rock and roll.
Failure Machine and Patrimony
Sun., June 8
Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Dr.