It’s not too often that one hears a rock ’n’ roll band that can seamlessly connect different styles and different decades, but West Palm Beach’s Static Momentum might just fit the bill.
Started by songwriting duo Kurt C.L. (vocals) and Tom Rehnberg (guitar) in 2015, Static Momentum has grown into an enterprise that seems like it is destined to rescue the synths and vocals of 1984 Euro new wave yet update that sound with their 2000s alt rock influences.
With the additions of drummer Cory Dorman and bassist Rob Bustler, Static Momentum officially performed for the first time in August 2016. Likened to bands ranging from The Killers to Dead Kennedys, Static Momentum released their roaring self-titled debut EP in May after a year of writing and steady gigging.
After listening to the EP Static Momentum, naturally TVoS had several burning questions for the band. To our luck, we got ourselves into a Messenger convo with Static Momentum frontman Kurt C.L. and got some answers.
TVoS: How and when did the band get together?
Kurt C.L.: Well, the band started out as a songwriting duo with our guitarist Tom [Rehnberg] and myself back in 2015. We met earlier that year playing a game of bar golf (which I don’t recommend anyone ever do), and over the next few months we just started talking about our love of music. From May 2015 until the end of the year, we wrote songs together and recorded demos, and then when 2016 came along, we decided to recruit the rest of our lineup. We found our drummer Cory [Dorman] in March of that year and our bassist Rob [Busler] about three months later. Our first official show was in August 2016, and we’ve been steadily making progress ever since.
TVoS: Did you go through many band names before you arrived at Static Momentum?
Kurt C.L.: We considered a lot of ideas, but Static Momentum was the first name we settled on. Right when Tom and I started writing songs, we went to thinking about what to call ourselves. Tom took some of his ideas, some of my ideas, and some ideas he got from asking totally random strangers in downtown West Palm Beach and made a list of potential band names. We each then posted the list on Facebook as [a] poll. Only a few people responded, but it came down to Static Momentum and Drawing Blanks. Tom found out that Drawing Blanks was already taken, so we became Static Momentum.
TVoS: When did you start writing songs for your debut self-titled EP?
Kurt C.L.: We never actually sat down and wrote songs specifically for the EP. We’re pretty much always working on new material, so when it came down to deciding which songs to choose for the EP, we had plenty of options. Out of the five songs, two of them (“Blue, Grey & Yellow” and “Here in the City”) were written in the very beginning back in July/August 2015. “The Ledge” and “The Summer Electric” were finished around when we started playing shows in August/September 2016. “Gatling Gun” had just been finished right before we went into the studio, and we all loved that track so much, we decided to make it a last-minute addition.
TVoS: You’ve been likened to a mix of The Killers and Dead Kennedys. Is Static Momentum influenced by either of these bands (or both)? Who would you cite as your biggest influences?
Kurt C.L.: I’d say those bands are definitely somewhere in the mix of influences. The thing about our band is that our individual influences are pretty varied across the rock and alternative spectrum, especially from the 80’s through today, so it’s tough to pin down a true, conclusive list of top influences. Our main goal is to use our collective influences and create a new and original sound that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
TVoS: What do you start with first – lyrics or melody?
Kurt C.L.: This isn’t true 100% of the time, but it’s usually the melody first. Our typical songwriting process is that someone introduces an instrumental idea, like a guitar riff or a bass line. Then once everyone starts playing and building around it, I’ll try and hunt for the melody by singing random phrases until I find it. Oftentimes, however, one of those random phrases sticks out and becomes a starting point for the rest of lyrics. We do have a couple non-EP songs that started with lyrics.
TVoS: Have you encountered any challenges with being a South Florida-based rock band?
Kurt C.L.: None yet, but I think that’s because we’re relatively new and still just trying make a name for ourselves in the South Florida scene. That comes with its own set of challenges, but I’m not sure whether those challenges are unique to the South Florida scene, or if we’re just experiencing the same growing pains that all new bands go through nationwide. We have heard that Florida is a tough place to break out of as a band, so as we (hopefully) expand our reach, we may start seeing what everyone is talking about in that regard.
TVoS: Now that the EP has been released, does Static Momentum have any band goals for the second half of 2017?
Kurt C.L.: As long as we’re busier today than we were yesterday, we know we’re doing well. We just filmed an episode of BalconyTV Miami (which you can view here) and we already booked time in a studio to start recording our follow-up record. Right now, we’re thinking it’s going to be an LP, on which half the tracks will be recorded in studio and the other half recorded live at a future show. As far as what we would like to achieve by year’s end goes, we’d obviously like to start playing shows in other parts of Florida and out-of-state. There are a couple South Florida festivals that we’d like to catch the next time around, like SunFest, Moon Fest, and the Respectable Street Block Party. Of course, if by some stroke of good fortune we can achieve something on a grander scale that transcends all of that, we’ll definitely welcome it. But above all, the goal is to always make sure the arrow’s pointing upward and that we’re frequently passing a new milestone.
Sounds good to us.