Provo-based funk-pop band We Are the Strike will release its second EP at Velour Live Music Gallery on Saturday, March 22.
Since its explosive Stadium of Fire performance in 2013 as an opener for Kelly Clarkson, We Are the Strike has polished its band identity and prepared its five-song EP. In conceptualizing its brand and musical direction, band frontman Chris Crabb takes a calculated approach.
“Step one, as an artist, is identifying your talent, ability or craft,” Crabb said. “Step two is understanding that craft and putting parameters around it so you’re creating within a box. That gives you direction and focus. Step three is to create products within the scope of that brand.”
We Are the Strike has successfully created an identity for its craft. The band is known for its jazzy, big band feel and its high-energy, swanky showmanship. One way it distinguishes itself from all other Provo acts is with its unique style, according to Trevor Harmon, Provo musician and avid We Are the Strike fan.
“I’d say few other bands dress as well as We Are the Strike,” Harmon said. “No, really though. I’m confident that they could pursue alternate careers as Men’s Wearhouse suit reps and be successful.”
But We Are the Strike’s entertainment value branches beyond its slim-fit suits and snazzy bow ties. We Are the Strike is the complete package, providing a highly engaging performance every time it hits the stage, according to Harmon.
“Between the impressive performances of each musician, witty stage antics of Chris Crabb and the ‘Fudunkadunks’ (horn section), and the band’s overall excitement for every song, you walk away from a show both impressed and entertained,” Harmon said.
Crabb sees so many artists today mimic currently popular musical styles, trying to ride a trend’s coattails. We Are the Strike embraces a different method.
“Our goal is to create outside-of-the-box of popular music at any given time and make that music more preferable than what is currently popular,” Crabb said.
We Are the Strike defies another norm by frequently releasing music in small quantities at a fast pace instead of releasing full albums.
Crabb said this helps the members create digestible, high-quality, brand-consistent content that keeps their audience engaged. The band’s well-received punchy singles like “Fell For a Killer” and “Robbin’ Me Blind” serve as a case in point.
“Albums are hard for the modern-day consumer to wrap their head around,” Crabb said. “It’s too much media at one time. So we release less content and try to keep the fire burning, one product at a time.”
We Are the Strike will debut new songs and play revamped older songs on a decorated stage at Velour for its EP release. The band often performs at theaters and large stadiums, so Velour’s smaller venue will add intimacy to this show, according to saxophone player Myles Lawrence.
“This is your chance to actually see the sweat roll down Matt’s face as he plays the drums, or study the intricate patterns of Jake’s five o’clock shadow, or you could be the one that Chris reaches out and sings ‘Enough’ to,” Lawrence said. “And someone truly lucky could catch some spit as it falls off of Marcus’ trombone slide.”
The show is on March 22 at 8 p.m. at Velour Live Music Gallery (135 N. University Ave. in Provo). Buying online tickets is advisable, as the show will likely sell out.