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VISITING ACT ‌ Expanding Horizons

Guster plug in and move ahead

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Guster: Newly expanded 2006 version
  • Guster: Newly expanded 2006 version

When alternative pop/rock band Guster started out nearly 14 years ago, they were an acoustic-based trio consisting of two guitarists and a hand drum percussionist. Ryan Miller (vocals, guitar), Adam Gardner (vocals, guitar), and Brian Rosenworcel (drums) kept that incarnation for several years ... but eventually evolved into a fully electric, multi-instrumental quartet (including a proper drum kit), leaving their acoustic days far behind.

"At that point, they probably had been a band for close to eight or nine years," says newly-added guitarist Joe Pisapia. "Naturally you're just going to ask, 'Oh, what's next? What else can we do? What other colors can we use?' You kind of graduate from the eight-crayon box of Crayola to the 32 to the 64."

The change from acoustic to electric was monumental, but the switch from trio to quartet was also significant. Pisapia, whose previous band — Joe, Marc's Brother — toured with Guster in 2000, was already friends with them when he joined the band as an additional touring player three years ago. Everyone thought the addition of Pisapia would be temporary, but two years later, he found himself entrenched in the writing process for Guster's newly-released studio album Ganging up on the Sun — a collection partially recorded at the new guitarist's home studio in Nashville.

Pisapia feels that his new position in the band has had a positive impact on the rest of the guys.

"It kind of lets the band breathe a little more, but they can breathe more with their own parts," he explains. "And I come from a history of being in a three-piece band myself. I always dreamed about if we could find somebody to come in and sort of lighten the burden for us, so it made it easy for me to be that guy for them." —Leah Weinberg

Guster share the bill with Ray Lamontagne and The Fruit Bats on Mon. July 17 at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach at 4640 Highway 17. Tickets are $29.50. Call 843-913-3740 or check www.hob.com for more.

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