Dark Prophet Tongueless Monk crosses the great divide
By: Katei Cranford
Music in the Triad can be a many splintered thing. Sonically speaking, the space between the Triad’s two major cities feels far-wider than the 30 or so miles that make up the geographic reality. Winston bands often pocket around Winston. Greensboro bands pocket around Greensboro. Occasionally, more often these days, they’ll cross paths for a truly Triad bill.
A case in point can be found in Winston-Salem experimental rock band, Dark Prophet Tongueless Monk. They’re hitting the road this week to support their new album, with a closing show that crosses the “great Triad divide“ on Sunday at OPOTW Studios in Greensboro. At its core, according to their Facebook, “DPTM is the creative outlet for singer-songwriter Jacob Leonard.” These days, the lineup has grown to include Dane Walters on drums with Caleb Gardner and Jared Draughon on guitar and bass.
The upcoming OPOTW show isn’t the first instance of Triad mingling. For their album release show, DPTM recently hosted Greensboro’s most melodic noise-boys, The Bronzed Chorus. Flash to a few weeks later, the album, Insides, is out in the world and DPTM is outward bound and have tapped Virginia’s Sunndrug as tourmates for a handful of shows around North Carolina and Virginia. It all starts Thursday night at the Milestone in Charlotte.
“I would have to say that for me, a lot of local acts inspire me to continue being a musician. Like 1970s Film Stock, we know he’s married and then we see him put on a badass rock show,” Gardner told The Arrival Magazine.
1970s Film Stock is the solo-project from Winston-Salem pedal-fuzzer, Eddie Garcia, who himself recently crossed the Triad divide for a show at OPOTW, and interviewed DPTM about their latest release for WFDD. In the interview, Leonard touches on the evolution from solo endeavors how the band blossomed soundscapes that otherwise may have gone unexplored.
“My bandmates encouraged me to really embrace my voice,” Leonard told Garcia. “And the poetry written for the songs, to make it upfront and clear. So I did. And I think it’s really working out for the best.”
Their latest release is a reflection of their solidified formation. As Leonard said in an interview with The Arrival Magazine, “It was time for us to release a record that represents us as a band. We had a two-piece record before that. So we needed something representative as to what we are [now].”
For Leonard, the new record is “about inspiring one another. That’s what we do for each other. And it’s, even more, to say that when we see a local band at a bar, it’s our goal to inspire them to go further. And hopefully, they do the same to us.”
While promoting an album is a practical aspect of touring, there is something especially inspirational in hitting the road with band buds to create and share experiences with entirely new audiences.
Regarding the upcoming run, Sunndrug’s Chris Raines said: “We’re very excited to be back on the road with our friends in DPTM.” Beyond personal connections, both bands align thematically over heavy tones and issues surrounding self-reflection.
It’s been a few years since DPTM last played Greensboro, they’ve run the small gamut of what was then the dominant independent show-spaces: New York Pizza and Hellraiser Haus. For the upcoming show, they’ll sample Greensboro’s newest outlet for underground music: OPOTW Studios, a solid DIY event space in the Glenwood neighborhood.
Representing the Greensboro element will be Hulk Homeless, the self-proclaimed “Jesus of the Wild.” Homeless is the alter-ego of Matt Goshow, who blends a variety of genres into a wild hip-hop set.
Each city in the Triad holds its own blend of talent. We’re best when we mix, especially looking toward the future of music communities.
“In all seriousness, we always look to the future people,” Leonard told The Arrival Magazine. “We try to keep a progressive mindset and image in order to be good inspiration and role models for the future musicians and future people of our planet.”
Catch a little Triad band collusion in the present on Sunday with DPTM, Sunndrug, and Hulk Homeless at OPOTW Studios located at 1333 Grove St. in Greensboro.
Katei Cranford is a GSO rock-n-roller and all-around Triad music nerd. She chats up tunes and towns as hostess of Mostly Local Monday, a radio show that runs like a mixtape of bands playing NC the following week. You can catch her on WUAG 103.1FM every Monday from 5-7pm or via live stream at www.wuag.net.