Friendship Brigade produces unique sound

Friendship Brigade

Friendship Brigade gets funky at Ace’s Wild Wings in Poland. Friendship Brigade is a five-piece band consisting of YSU music students. Photo courtesy of Kiyan Taghaboni.

It isn’t all about rainbows, smiles and friendship for Youngstown State University band Friendship Brigade.

Friendship Brigade, a five-piece band, consists of YSU music students Kiyan Taghaboni, Mike Rich, Mike Reardon, Nate Gelfand and Joey Amadio. The members combine elements of funk and soul into their music.

Although each member may have a different personality, they all share a common love for music.

Taghaboni, lead singer and a freshman at YSU, talked about how the Brigade formed.

“The other four in the band had come together before as a group of friends just jamming together,” Taghaboni said. “Once they realized they had a good sound, they approached me to sing.”

Taghaboni said that from the first practice, the band created such a strong vibe that members knew they would be a great set.

Friendship Brigade’s genre has a wide range, which blends the elements of funk, soul, alternative and shoegaze, which is subgenre of alternative rock.

Taghaboni talked about the band’s unique feel.

“We’re unique because people haven’t heard the elements we have put together before,” Taghaboni said. “You’ve got a classical guitarist, a funk guitarist, a sick bass, drums and a soul singer. It’s a weird combination.”

The band members recommend attending one of their live shows to really understand their style of music.

Besides playing in various venues around Youngstown, the band competes in battle of the band competitions all across northeast Ohio. Reardon, guitarist, said the band enjoys playing local shows more than out-of-town ones.

“We really like the vibe that our local shows have,” Reardon said. “It’s usually pretty packed around here. We have a really supportive fan base.”

Reardon also said Friendship Brigade set usually consists of originals, but lately the band has begun to cover artists, such as Radiohead and the Roots.

Friendship Brigade’s fan base has grown stronger since becoming a band in the fall. Darien Williams, a freshman exercise science major, said he enjoys Friendship Brigade’s unique sound and live set.

“I’m not being biased because I’m friends with them,” Williams said. “But their music is pretty awesome, and I’m not normally a fan of alternative funk.”