Abzurd is a Punk Rock band formed by Chris Ranson and Betamu in 2013. It currently consists of Chris Ranson (lead vocals, guitar) Aidan Pilgrim (bass, occasional vocals) and Betamu (drums, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals). The band started in the independent music scene in Bedford, PA. The band plays mostly garage parties but are willing to play anywhere.
In 2010, school friends Christopher Diehl and Brennon Miller met at a school play where the two bonded over their similar interests, including music. By the time summer rolled in, the two had written their first song together called, "Two," about a girl the two liked. Before hand, Chris had learned to play the saxophone and harmonica and Brennon learned to play the drums and piano. However, by the time the two were 13, Chris had taken up guitar. Their parents constantly mentioned that the two should form a band. "They had everything they needed," Chris's dad said, "They just needed the proper motivation." However, it was difficult. Chris was more focused on a film-making career and Brennon skipped the 7th grade, so when he left for high school, the two were separated. Luckily, inspiration struck in high school. "I was sitting in my room listening to some radio station playing music from the 90's. The MC said, 'And straight from 1994, it's Green Day's Basket Case!' The minute I heard those opening lines, I fell in love, That's when I said, 'This is what my life is now.'" Chris then got Brennon into Green Day and in turn, he got Chris into The Offspring. By the time 9th grade ended for Chris, the two started jamming with each other. They decided on the name Lazer Duck.
"Our friend, Devin, had a key chain that was a duck-laser pointer. We named it Lazer Duck. Our friend Sheldon said he thought it could be a cool band name. And that was that." -Brennon.
Early Years, "Sir Bitchalot," and First Show (2014-Early 2015) Edit
During a family vacation, Chris wrote a song called, "Worthless Scum," the first song he ever wrote for Lazer Duck. By the time he got home, he had written around 10 songs. He showed them to Brennon, who thought the songs suited the band. They decided on the persona of, "Silly but serious. Something that bands like Green Day and The Offspring did well but more modern 'pop-punk' bands couldn't. At the time we were first starting to get the band together, there were bands like Black Veil Brides, Suicide Silence, and Blood on the Dancefloor, who where just introverted and depressing. We never wanted to be that. It's cool to write a song about death but be kinda crazy with it. Don't be so, 'Life is pain,' be, 'Hey, life sucks but I'm having fun with it.' That's what we wanted. To be fun." The band would start practicing frequently in Brennon's bedroom, and wrote songs about anything from girls, to rednecks, to just life in general. The band started advertising for themselves over the summer. However they got no shows because they had nothing to prove themselves with. The band took a break to plan their next move. Meanwhile, Brennon formed a side band with Chris's then girlfriend with no name and Chris tried to form a band with long time friend, Aidan Miller. Chris and Aidan met in middle school on the bus and Brennon met him when his mother dated Aidan's father. Aidan played a little piano and a bit of bass guitar. However, Lazer Duck got another chance at seeing a stage when Chris bought a cassette recorded and some tapes. And in May of 2014, they recorded a demo tape of 10 songs called, "Sir Bitchalot." Meanwhile, Markus from Hat-n-Boots Productions was looking for a non-country band to put on his label. When Lazer Duck sent the tape in, Markus signed them right away. They signed a 4 album contract with full revenue for all album sales. Before they could record, however, they performed with Hat-n-Boots owned band, Midnight Rodeo. This was their first show. People who knew the band were not told of the antics and jokes they would tell and while they weren't off-color, they did surprise everyone with their spunk and energy.
WITHAILA, Aidan's arrival, and Rename (2015-Present) Edit
After their first show, Markus was ready to add the band to his collection of recording artists. Before they started, however, Aidan Miller wanted to join the band as bass player. They agreed as long as he improve his skills on the bass. By the time they were ready to lay down demos, he was able to keep up with the other two. They laid demos for what was going to be a 5 song EP called, "WITHAILA." Markus, who was the record's co-producer and mixer, told the band to record 7 more songs to create an album. And so, in winter of 2015-2016, they recorded their first album.
"Basically, it was like this: we would get to the studio at 5 in the afternoon, practice a couple songs, record like, 3, eat at Best-Way Pizza, come back and record again, play Cards Against Humanity, record again, and then go home. And that's just a fraction of what we did in those 3-4 days of recording the record. On top of it being very cold outside." -Chris Diehl on recording the album.
The album was almost complete. It only needed a name. According to the band, the title is an acronym for, "What in the hell am I looking at?" It is a reference to Markus's reaction to the artwork. On February 7, 2016, WITHAILA was released on Hat-n-Boots Productions. It was made for under $2,000. The first printing featured a cartoon of a drag queen by Dustin Morgan. It also contained no lyrics, though the band fought to have them in the liner notes as Diehl felt he was difficult to understand in the way he spoke. However, they were slated to perform in the Rock The Block festival in Bedford, PA. They also planed on recording an EP. Unfortunately, the band received news that a game studio wanted the band to change their name as they shared, "Lazer Duck," in the title. After much consideration, they settled on Abzurd. The band thought the name suited them so it stuck.
Abzurd has just recently finished their first E.P. Markus, who has heard the songs, says that, "People who loved the first album will love this new release. It has everything the LP had and then some. I think fans will really like it." Chris Ranson has said, "We brought our a game on this one. I kinda wish we had these songs before. We're a lot better than we were before. This is us at 100%."
The E.P., now known as, "Apparently, He Likes It!" is currently out. Consisting of 3 songs, "Abzurd," "Glue," and "K.M.A."
Musical Style and Influences Edit
The band classifies themselves as Punk or Alternative. Their music is reminiscent of many different bands from punk to arena rock. Songs like "Scott Pilgrim" and "Grump" have been compared to 90's bands such as The Offspring, Sum 41 and Blink 182. Whereas songs like "The Weekend" and "Ashes" are more grunge sounding, similar to bands like Nirvana or Pearl Jam. The opening to "At The Baseball Game" shows influence from ACDC and Aerosmith. Their newest effort, "Apparently, He Likes It!" contains influences from all of these including some influence from Social Distortion.
The band has cited Green Day, Blink 182, The Offspring, Sum 41, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Fall Out Boy, Butthole Surfers, Simple Plan, Cheap Trick, Snow Patrol, and The Who as influences on their style and sound.
Band Members Edit
- Chris Ranson (Chris Diehl) - lead vocals, guitar, occasional backing vocals (2013-present)
- Aidan Pilgrim (Aidan Miller) - bass, drums, occasional lead vocals (2015-present)
- Betamu (Brennon Miller) - drums, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals, bass (2013-present)
- Sir Bitchalot Demo (2014)
- WITHAILA (2016)
- Apparently, He Likes It E.P. (2016)
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