As it redefines northwest folk, the Portland-based band Ascetic Junkies is riding a wave of consistency after releasing two albums and is planning for the release of a third possibly this summer.
As it redefines northwest folk, the Portland-based band Ascetic Junkies is riding a wave of consistency after releasing two albums and is planning for the release of a third possibly this summer. The band’s full-length album is called One Shoe Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and the group put out an EP called Don’t Wait for the Rescue Squad. The band moved to Portland from the eastern United States and will play tomorrow night at Backspace with Ezra Carey and Norman.
Started by lead vocalists Kali Giaritta and Matt Harmon, the band began as a compilation of their creativity and has developed a full sound with collaborative layers and pieces. Giaritta and Harmon are joined by Matt Huiskamp on bass, Graham Houser on banjo and Stephen Colvin on drums.
“Kali and I met in college back in Boston and we started…playing each other’s songs…just messing around with an acoustic guitar, figuring out harmonies and stuff like that,” Harmon said. “We were in another band at the time but we ended up moving into this house with a couple friends who play banjo and cello in 2007.”
After moving in, Harmon and Giaritta decided it was the perfect environment to start a band and continued to work on the original songs they had been perfecting. Since then, Ascetic Junkies has performed around Portland and the members have enjoyed every show. With the band’s increased show opportunities, it has found that Portland offers not only first-rate talent on the local indie level, but a community that is excited and willing to support each other.
“Lately I can’t even think of a show that we’ve played in the past year that I felt like wasn’t a good show,” Harmon said. “We’ve just been feeling great about all the shows we’ve been playing here. But especially…getting the chance to play at the Doug Fir a few times in the last two months, all those shows have been just fantastic.”
Backspace is known to be a fun venue that embraces high-energy bands. The Ascetic Junkies will not only fit into that theme but give the under-21 community an opportunity to catch an entertaining performance as the band is also joined by Portland songwriter Ezra Carey and Willamette Valley folk quintet Norman.
“One of my favorite things about seeing other bands live is that…if it’s a good band you get to sit there and see someone else do what you do and see how they pull it off,” Harmon said. “In general we like to drink a little whiskey before we play and see what happens, we like to be as energetic as we can.”
The energy can be expected tomorrow night as Ascetic Junkies takes the stage at Backspace. Combined with a popular all-ages venue, Saturday is sure to bring a talented and enjoyable show to northwest Portland.