They call themselves the Energy Band. Spend ten minutes with them, and you definitely see why.
You may have seen them playing with Kirk Brown and reigning calypso monarch Ian Webster, who are the front line for the band, and also backing many local and regional artistes. You may have seen them rocking out on stage, and wondered who really were these six guys. Today you get to meet the crazy, multitalented group that is the Energy Band.
Twenty-seven-year-old Marlon Braithwaite, the musical director, has been with the band for almost four years. He plays keyboard and is also a vocalist. Dwight Callender, 23, the drummer, has also been with the band going on four years.
Twenty-three-year-old Rahn Phillips recently rejoined the band after taking a leave of absence to purse studies in Hollywood, California. He is the guitarist. Twenty-five-year-old Michael Knight, who in Rahn’s absence was the guitarist, is now the keyboardist. He also runs the drum machines.
Pierre Dominique, 25, is the bass player; and Corey Wilson, 24, the newest addition to the band, is a keyboardist.
And get this. All the members of the band can play more than one instrument. Talk about versatility!
And they are not just versatile in being able to play more than one instrument; these guys can play in any genre as well. They recently backed several gospel artists at the international Queens Of Gospel show held here in Barbados.
“People can see that we can play any genre. Most people think we are a soca band, or reggae; but whatever you throw at us we can deliver and execute. You can bring anyone from anywhere. The Energy Band can get the job done,” Pierre said.
Dwight agreed: “For me, looking from the inside and outside of the band, this is the most versatile band in Barbados.”
Rahn, the most comical one of the group, said it took a special type of musician to be in the Energy Band.
“The way I see it, the Energy Band is setting a standard. We play music. Once its music, we can do it; no matter what it is. And that is the standard you must set.
“We aren’t lazying about not doing anything. We are practising; we are making things go; we are making things happen. And if you want to be anything else, well, that’s why you’re not in the Energy Band,” Rahn said, much to the amusement of his bandmates.
These guys will tell you they are much more than a band; they are a family. Even from basic interaction it is clear they all share a special bond.
“We all have different personalities, different vibes; but beyond a band we are brothers. So it is a lot easier for us. We gel well together. As you can see,it not just a band. We lime together.
“We come by Rahn just about every day. It’s just beyond the music for us; it’s a family. This is an everyday thing for us,” Dwight said.
And it is this strong brotherhood that makes everything else smooth sailing for the guys. Two of the guys, Corey and Rahn, have day jobs; and Pierre is a student at the Barbados Community College; but musical director Marlon said they all understood each other and worked with one another to suit.
“Its not really hard to get to get together. For us as a band we can choose a time. It’s only two of us with a day job –– a nine-to-five; so once it’s after their time for work, it’s good. Sometimes you may find a challenge with an artiste who wants to rehearse mornings; but other than that, it’s good. We find the time,” Marlon said.
He added that rehearsals were always fun with the guys, especially since everyone would come with ideas, and all ready to work hard.
“Depending on the gig, I would look to various members of the band. Like if it’s alternative, I would go to Rahn and ask if what he thinks, because he’s the rock man. Dwight knows soca real good; so I would go to him; and so on.
“As bandleader and musical director, I don’t force anything on anyone. I get ideas from everyone and pool them together; and it’s great,” Marlon said.
Overall, all the members are thankful for the opportunity to do what they love, day in and day out.
“Being able to be around different artistes, different personalities, we learn the ins and outs of the industry. All of these opportunities that we get we are thankful for; and we put everything into it,” Michael said.
Rahn agreed, adding they were doing quite well because they all took their jobs very seriously.
“I like to make music with people who play music. When I went away, I learnt drive. I learnt work ethic. You can’t be lazy with this thing. You just can’t. A man once told me, ‘If you’re not putting in 40 plus hours a week, it’s a hobby’. Since I’ve been back, the men only got harder.
“We work together, and we work apart. Everyone has to be pushing equally as hard, so the group can push just as hard as it needs to be,” Rahn said.
And they are telling fans, well-wishers and onlookers to expect greater things from the Energy Band.
“Look forward to better music; everything for us is growth. We’re accustomed to producing. Every time we go in the studio, we look back on the year . . . and try to make it better. We are just about growing,” Marlon said.
And relaxing on a cool Sunday afternoon, as is customary for the band, rain threatening in the background, Rahn related what was to come from the band.
“What essentially we are trying to do as musicians is make the people move. That’s our job. We are looking to make our entertainment package better and better every single time. See the storm that’s brewing in the background, we want to make it move like how the wind is moving the leaves. That’s how we’re doing it.
“You have not seen anything yet. If you thought 2014 was full of surprises, 2015 will be even better,” he said.
We wish the Energy Band all the best in their future endeavours!