The future looks bright for former house-party rockers Tea Leaf Green. After their stint as a supporting act during this past fall as openers for jam-rock demigod Trey Anastasio and select shows with Gov’t Mule, the band has funneled their newfound support into a headlining tour, which rolls into the Blind Pig tonight.
Sprouting out of Nor-Cal’s fertile music scene, Tea Leaf Green is a collection of eclectic musical tastes and influences paired with a relaxed but focused demeanor. After meeting in class at San Francisco State University, bassist Franz Hanzerbeak and drummer Scott Rager started jamming with no intention of ever becoming serious about their music. After adding Rager’s high school friend, guitarist Josh Clark, and keyboardist/frontman Trevor Garrod, the soulful quartet was pieced completed.
“We met Trevor at a house party and we’ve been playing together for the last seven years,” Hanzerbeak said.
“At first, we would play at other house parties and the occasional small club.”
Growing up around the diverse milieu that is Los Angeles, their broad musical inspirations are present in their songs.
“Our sound is a combination of our tastes,” Hanzerbeak said. “Trevor is coming from a folky songwriter vibe and (Josh and Scott) are more rock based. I’m rooted in classic rock and hip hop.”
Coming off their fall opening role, Tea Leaf Green heads to Ann Arbor with a new perspective on touring and what it takes to make it big. The blends of musical styles within the band do make practice difficult, but the band finds the tension rewarding.
“They strive to learn new material before shows and they push their band to play well. I (look) up to them and how they go about (their) music,” Hanzerbeak said.
This new mindset has installed a distinct drive in the band on their current tour.
“When you’re on tour, it’s tough to be (really) creative on that sixth day in a row, but whenever we get on stage, we make it exciting,” Hanzerbeak said.
“It took a long time (for us) to get serious as a band; we’ve only been touring for three years,” he added.
There has been an exponential explosion of their fanbase – an obvious mark of their newfound maturity – which will hail a new chapter for Tea Leaf Green, shooting them into the upper echelon of the jam-band world.
Hanzerbeak is excited to start off this next tour in venues that return the band to their roots, with intimate atmospheres that allow them to ignite their tunes on stage with boisterous energy.
As Tea Leaf Green rolls into the Blind Pig tonight, expect two strong sets of jam-driven tunes with lyrics reminiscent of the laid-back west coast songwriters of the ’70s.
Hanzerbeak is optimistic to say the least: “We’re there to put on a good show. If you want to show up and dance and have a psychedelic experience, expect a good time,” he said.