Bands From Different Lands:
You Bred Raptors?
By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine
July 24, 2014 — You Bred Raptors? is a dinosaur obsessed, three piece “prehistoric post rock” band based out of Astoria, Queens, in New York City. Founding, and sole remaining original member, Pete Rains, started the group in 2010 with nothing but a drummer and himself playing the eight string bass.
“I wanted a band with no guitar and no vocals, and it would have been better to have a band that won't get sued by Universal Pictures eventually, but what are you going to do,” said Raines.
YBR? cellist Bryan Wilson added, “No, we won’t get sued. That shit is totally fair game,” referring to the band’s name “You Bred Raptors?” a famous quote from Jurassic Park.
The band’s sound shares similarities with quite a few big-time touring and festival acts, but another artist who Raines thinks the band is fairly similar to is film score composer Hans Zimmer. Both Zimmer and YBR? create highly dramatic music incorporating orchestral instruments. They both also score films, Zimmer, however, is world-renowned for films like Batman Begins, and YBR? is just getting started as they prepare to score the Troma film series.
The band’s music is highly reminiscent of the bands which Raines and Wilson said they take influence from: Explosions in the Sky and Russian Circles. They are also quite reminiscent of Tempe legends Small Leaks Sink Ships for a more Phoenix-centric comparison. What separates them from SLSS, however, is the funk. They mix the post rock sounds, with a bit of heaviness and smooth it all out with the funk.
“They’re pretty funky for white boys,” said one African-American fan who caught a bit of their show at a New York subway station.
YBR? also tries to add a bit of intrigue to their live shows. The band doesn’t have vocals, so there is no lead singer, and the way Wilson and Raines switch-off on leads there really is not a clear front person. So in an attempt to add more of a theatrical feel to their performances, the three-piece wears masks which they switch out in between songs. The masks generally don’t match exactly, but they are always part of a set.
“The masks were done before the band. I was doing that as a solo artist, they provide anonymity for some of us for others its just a good theatrical thing to put on. We don’t have vocals but we want people to see a show we don’t want to stand there stoically,” said Raines.
Wilson’s cello lends a haunting quality to the music and makes for some unique sounding leads with the absence of a lead guitar. While Wilson may never be the ‘Jerry Lee Lewis of the cello,’ his musicianship is top-notch, evidenced by his degree in cello performance and composition from the California Institute of the Arts.
Drummer Patrick Bradley also brings a unique quality to the table having earned a minor in music from the University of Indiana. What Bradley adds has nothing to do with cornfields and white basketball players, despite the fact that he is Hoosier. His focus in drumming lies more in jazz, hip-hop, and grooves which helps to create the ‘funky’ YBR? sound.
Wilson and Bradley are both major parts of what Raines described as the best lineup of YBR? yet.
“I truly believe we fit in perfectly. Bryan (Wilson) and I are a super awesome creative writing team and Patrick (Bradley) is a positive force in the band, and a good guy. A lot of shit can happen when you are in a band a lot of bad stuff and we need someone to put a positive spin on everything,” said Raines.
Raines is the only musician in the group who was not formally trained. The eight-string bass player is self taught, and quite frankly he is amazing. He can solo on his bass as well as any guitarist out there, but can also sit back and provide a rhythm and flow to allow Wilson or Bradley to shine.
The band is currently a part of New York City's exclusive “Music Under New York,” program where they are given a permit to perform at designated subway stations including Union Square, Grand Central Station, and the Port Authority, among others. They also have two albums and an E.P. all named after Jurassic Park characters. The albums are Muldoon and their most recent offering Hammond, and the E.P. is titled Grant.
Their biggest show to date was opening for the Protomen at the Santos Party House in Manhattan, which is owned by Andrew W.K. They have also been able to muster up the funds for some short, five-day tours. But with a new album on the way, You Bred Raptors is hoping to hit the dusty trail in a much bigger way by the end of summer.
Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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