The Northwest is known for a regional sound culminating in, and resonating from, Seattle. But one of the area’s more promising up-and-coming bands hails from Kitsap’s own backyard.
“I’d say we are a Seattle band, but we hide in Hansville,” said Dave Perry, guitarist and singer for BlackBeatBlue.
With only one album and no touring — rather, appearing on local stages — BlackBeatBlue has garnered considerable attention. The band has proved popular on the underground circuit. That popularity has led them to a Sept. 6 concert at the Gorge Amphitheater.
Their success has been long in the making. The band spent nearly a decade playing local stages such as the Manette Saloon in Bremerton, Helter Skelter in Poulsbo and the Filling Station in Kingston. Over the years, the group traded various members before settling into its current lineup of Perry, bassist Michael Poole, and drummer James Capponi, who contribute to its distinct sound.
As guitar wails dance over bass riffs along the ebb and flow of chaotic drums, BlackBeatBlue screams out of the Northwest’s indie heritage. At first-listen to songs such as “Darkness Falls,” or “Animal,” it is easy to hear the dense influence of the ’90s — an eerie mix of metal, punk, rock and more.
Perry embraces the comparison to grunge-era artists.
“We get compared to Nirvana, or what people think an evolved version of them would be,” he said.
But BlackBeatBlue is not merely an echo of their influences. The group successfully combines their diverse styles to branch off of the Seattle sound and into BlackBeatBlue.
“Us three are pretty varied. We have a hard rock sound,” Perry said. “I have a ’90s Seattle grunge influence. Our bass player, Michael, has a metal background. And our drummer, James, he plays anything from classic rock to ’90s.”
To seal the deal, local recording legend Jack Endino — the man who engineered records for Nirvana, Mudhoney and Soundgarden, to name a few — recorded the band’s 2012 debut album, “Completely Different Animal.”
Endino came across the band five years ago while they were performing at an event in Kingston. He liked their sound and later recorded them, Perry said. From there, a series of fortunate connections were made and BlackBeatBlue began building quite a buzz throughout the Puget Sound.
They played the recent Seattle Hempfest and have opened for Saliva in Enumclaw. Jolene, a DJ with 99.9 KISW, caught their sound and helped introduce the band to the station’s audience.
“Jolene basically blew up Seattle with us,” Perry said.
BlackBeatBlue has since earned two KISW honors: Band of the Week on the BJ Shea show; and Cockfight Hall of Fame for Dec. 3-11, 2012.
“Last December (Jolene) put us in for the KISW Cockfight; local bands’ songs go head-to-head each night,” Perry said. “And our song ‘Darkness Falls’ won seven days in a row. We were undefeated.”
BlackBeatBlue has also been chosen as the featured band for the pilot episode of Seattle Music TV, an upcoming program showcasing local music.
On Sept. 6, BlackBeatBlue will take the stage at the Gorge Amphitheater for KISW’s Pain in the Grass music festival, also featuring Alice in Chains, Jane’s Addiction, and Jack Endino’s band, Endino’s Earthworm.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” Perry said. “Having our name on this event is big.”
For Perry, it all adds up to a fantasy become reality. As a stay-at-home dad, his full-time gig has been his kids while he also crafts songs for weekend shows. Now, those weekends take place in front of larger and larger audiences.
“Music has been my whole life,” he said. “I stay home a lot and take care of my kids. I feel like Cinderella — I clean up all week and then go rock on the weekends.”