Mylo Ranger's Not a Jam Band; Host Album Release Party Tonight at the Funky Buddha

This August, young upstart alternative folk Boca band the Stonecutters decided to change its name to Mylo Ranger. The title is derived from a character in an old Western lead singer Myles Corvalan saw as a kid. Since that time, this five-piece, consisting of former and current FAU students, are out with guns 'a blazing. With laser like focus, the group completed its debut album, Nameless Number One, in a matter of months and is releasing it tonight at the Funky Buddha. 

We rounded up these five trailblazers -- lead singer/rhythm guitarist Myles Corvalan, lead guitarist David Pitruzello, percussionist/guitarist Jason Hester, bassist Bobby Humphreys, and harmonica player Barron van Deusen. The wisecracking bunch rapped to us about their debut, FAU's music program, and how the heck a band can survive in Boca Raton. 

New Times: So tell us, what is it like being a young band in Boca Raton?

Myles: There's a couple small watering holes in Boca, so there's possibility for gigs. In Delray there's an excellent scene, and it's growing. 

Jason: For all the money in this town, it's a shame it isn't bigger, because I've lived in a place where there's not nearly the kind of wealth, but the music scene is much bigger and thriving.

Describe your affiliation to FAU?

Myles: Davey and me are current music majors. Jason graduated from FAU with a degree in commercial music. Jason more or less recorded and produced the album, so there's some practical knowledge put to use. Davey's a music ed. major, who wants to teach guitar someday. Davey calls it his backup plan. 

Has majoring in music helped you guys in any way?

Myles: It's helped me creatively for sure. It's given me new ideas to formulate lyrics and songs. The business side and the intro to law has been a huge help as well,

Do you receive support from FAU?

Myles: We actually rehearse on top of the parking garage, so students hear us playing and come up to check us out. We've made a lot of new fans that way. We've seen a ton of support from FAU students, especially in the music program. We do have a fantastic fan-base there, yeah.

How would you describe your sound to someone that's never heard of you

Myles: We're an overarching genre of alternative rock that takes strongly from folk, rock, and blues. Although I've always said that we sound like what happens if you lock the Foo Fighters in a closet and make them listen to Neil Young for a week. We are what they'd record once they were let out.

I hear a bit of barbershop choir sound, is that intentional

Myles: That is one of the cornerstones of our sound, because all five of us can sing well. 

Jason: Even the dumb ass drummer! 

Being that you have a folk sound and are performing at the Funky Buddha, are you guys often affiliated with the jam band scene?

Myles: We try to avoid being a jam band overall.

Jason: We don't mind having solo sections, but we really focus on playing "songs." We're more finite. We will play a song that's two minutes long because that's how the song is.

David Pitruzzello (AKA Piz): I love jam bands, personally.

Barron: What I like is that we craft our songs through jamming but then refine it until we have something solid, you know?

Myles: We do like that sort of thing, but we don't focus on it.

Jason: And we're not fucking playing "Free Bird." 

Pitz: But I love Skynyrd!

So no "Free Bird, we get it, but do you do any covers at all?

Myles: Yeah, we've got a few. It depends on the venue.

Pitz: We do unforgivable things to get the crowd dancing.

Exactly what kind of unforgivable things?

Pitz: Favors. Of any and all kinds.

Jason: When we do covers, it's usually geared to the audience we're playing to. We want them to enjoy the show as much as we do. Some songs we do are "Down Home Girl," "Wagon Wheel," "Little Lion Man," "I'll Follow You Into the Dark," and "Under the Bridge." We're working on a secret cover medley for tonight's show.

Catch Mylo Ranger tonight with Julia Formica and Hello Elevator. Doors open at 8 p.m. at the Funky Buddha, 2621 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton. Costs $7 door, $5 with valid student ID.

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