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November 26, 2011

Stilly Studio: Wildhorse Firehorse

STILLWATER, Okla. — A new trio of artists has recently released their first album, an extensive instrumental record that is the result of three years of work.

Wildhorse Firehorse is James Box, guitar, Brian Isaac, drums and percussion, and Ryan Lauerman, bass. The three met while students at Oklahoma State University and through a previous band. After that band took a break, Isaac and Box pursued their own music.

“And I’ve been recording stuff by myself and he’s been recording by himself and we just kind of met back up,” said Box. “We were doing similar things.”

Box describes the name of their new joint venture.

“It just sounded like a good name,” said Box. “I heard it was a guy, his nickname or his CB handle was Wildhorse and his truck was Firehorse and he had a personalized license plate or something, so I was like, ‘That’s perfect.’”

The group’s first album, “Periods,” features 19 tracks - so many, in fact, that it can’t be released on one CD. The group is releasing it via iTunes and Amazon.

“We’re really just trying to explore all the boundaries of music and how far we can go in each direction,” said Box.

The album is titled “Periods” because all the tracks were created in a three-year period, either by Isaac or Box or both.

“I think right now it’s not the most accessible, but I think that’s a good thing in the Stillwater scene,” said Isaac. “I think it’s good to bring something different to the table. We do have a lot of Red Dirt and country artists here. We do also have some guys trying some electronic stuff, which is really cool, and so we’ve kind of mixed both of those into our music, which does bring, still, a natural and organic feel.”

Box said they are working on new music — with lyrics.

Isaac explains the reasoning for the new album being instrumental.

“Basically, to create a soundscape; kind of tell a story within a song without using vocals,” said Isaac.

He said the group’s first live show took place in July at The College Bar in Stillwater.

“I think people were taken aback a little bit right when we started, but got more into it as we played,” said Isaac. “More and more people showed up and we could tell that a lot of people appreciated it, so that was cool.”

They’ve performed on “Oklahoma Live,” a television show in Oklahoma City.

Isaac and Box were influenced by various groups growing up. Box said he listened to such artists as Blink-182 to Pat Metheny.

“Huge differences in that, but that kind of gave me my basis for how I approach the guitar and studying with jazz scales and all that, but still bringing like a rough aspect to it and not focusing too much on the technical stuff,” said Box.

Isaac said both their musical tastes have branched out as they’ve gotten older.

The goal of the group is to record more songs and play as many shows as they can, said Box. Isaac said he wants to spread the group’s music and make more people aware of their work.

“I think something that everyone should know (is) that we are different than what’s out there right now and I think that James, since he writes a lot of improvisation, I think that it would be beneficial to come to the live shows once we get them booked, because every show will be different in a subtle way,” said Isaac.

For more information on the group, find Wildhorse Firehorse on Facebook or email them at wildhorsefirehorse@gmail.com.

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