There is something so refreshing about Shorty the Giant. Maybe it's that the band's name is more confusing than descriptive. Definitely part of it is the act's raunchy blend of big guitar blues and modern reggae.
Shorty the Giant is an integral part of the massive, annual Summer Daze day one lineup at Propaganda. Badfish is headlining, but the chunky list of locals on the bill doesn't fail to impress either. A lot of the local talent taking the stage is more reggae focused, so the touch of blues Shorty brings is more than welcome.
Before the Summer Daze series kicks off in Lake Worth, we chatted with the band's bassist Billy Kontos about its special sound, how he feels about the scene around here, and why Summer Daze is important to the group.
New Times: Explain your sound to someone who has never heard your band before.
Billy Kontos: We play the music we love. Heavy blues and rock and roll, with a dash of reggae and funk. We build off that and try to do our own thing with it, incorporating as much energy and soul as we possibly can.
Where did the band name come from?
We were all hanging out at our friends pool when we were in high school, shooting the shit trying to come up with a band name. "Shorty the Giant" just kinda rolled off of our tongues. We gave Shorty a persona that we all related to and our band sprung to life.
The vocals are interesting, so I want to know, what singers inspire the sound?
I really like older blues and rock and roll artists sounds like Freddie King, Johnny Winter, Robert Plant, and Ozzy. I liked the power they put behind their voice and the way they belted, so I try to do the same in our own context of music.
Does the rise of EDM piss you off?
No not at all. Good music is good music.
How does your band fit into the South Florida scene? Do you feel like you have a comfortable place or have to make your own opportunities?
Anyone we have ever played for has welcomed us with open arms. Playing different bars and smaller venues really helps us to be more intimate with our audience as well as our fellow musicians, which helps us grow. However, every musician knows you have to open your own doors every now and then. Luckily, we have awesome fans and friends who make us feel like being on stage playing music is where we belong.
What are you working on? Recording?
We just finished recording a five-song EP that will be released for free before Summer Daze. We are currently working on putting our full length album together, which we are hoping to start recording sometime this year.
What makes the Summer Daze gig exciting to play?
Playing with bands like Whole Wheat Bread, Badfish, and the Hard Richards is something thing we're all stoked about. And it will give us a chance to play our new material to a much larger audience. We are happy to be involved and given the chance to play with such talented people.
See Shorty The Giant at Summer Daze Day 1, 7 p.m., Saturday, June 28, on the outside stage at Propaganda, 6 South J Street in Lake Worth. Live music from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Day passes are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Purchase them here.
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