Local band brings new style of music to Tempe

Fans filled the Stray Cat Bar and Grill Sunday night as one of the Valley’s newest underground hip-hop bands, MIC Control, took the stage.

An energetic crowd of about 40 gathered to listen to the unique sound and style of this newly formed group.

The band consists of lead vocalist Derek Davenport, 25, lead vocalist Cory Hill, 26, vocals and lead guitarist Joe Hafey, 23, and drummer Mike Ross, 26.

After meeting through mutual friends and the once popular online site, MySpace, Davenport and Hill came up with the band’s unique name: MIC Control, which is an acronym for “mind I can’t control.”

“Our name was definitely a rushed decision, but I think it really explains who we are as a band,” said Davenport.

While all of the band members were traveling on separate musical paths at the time, the group says, since meeting, things have just naturally fallen into place for them.

“We’ve been jamming with live instruments together for almost three months, but we all have been doing music for a long time, just not collectively,” said Davenport.

The guys use several different types of beats to create their distinct style by adding softer chords with a hip-hop mix.

“I think their music is new and fresh; it’s not your typical radio music,” said Cristina Valenzuela, 24, a loyal fan.

With just three months of practicing, the band is already recording and has full hours worth of music done.

The band members said they have made a great amount of progress in such a short time period, and promise that their music will only get better as the group grows.

“This band is going to go as far as they possibly can; they have great potential,” said Candice Campbell, 30, a fan. “They are passionate about music and you can see that in every performance.”

Not only does the group write their own lyrics and record their own songs and backing music, but they also book their own shows. All four members also work part-time jobs in order to pay for band expenses.

“We each do a lot of work, and everyone takes care of the band right now,” said Hill.

The group is planning on an album release before the end of the year, and hopes to tour soon after. A digital album is currently located on their website, giving a small preview of the band’s music.

The band opened with a crowd favorite called “Lost,” and because they don’t always play from a set list, most of their shows are done in an improvisational style.

“It’s kind of like artistic poetry with a set of drums in the background,” said Valenzuela.

During their performance, Davenport rounded the stage as Hill jumped into the crowd to dance, while both remained rhyming in unison.

The show lasted around 50 minutes, with the crowd cheering for just one more song. Put on the spot, both Davenport and Hill began rapping, while Hafey started to beat box.

“Sunday nights are a hard night to get people here, but they still draw in a good crowd. A lot of our returning customers come to hear them play,” said Dustin Peterson, 25, Stray Cat employee and audio engineer.

Campbell explains how she comes out every Sunday because she really enjoys the show.

Besides playing at the Stray Cat every Sunday, the band also has plans to open for Ikey Owens of the Mars Volta at Club Red in Tempe on October 7.

The band is currently without a manager and takes on all the responsibilities themselves.

“Everything that we’ve done so far has been at the average man’s tools. We don’t have any crazy connections; we use what we have and we make the best of it,” said Hill.

Right now, the guys say they just aren’t ready for a manager but aren’t completely opposed to the idea as well.

“We don’t really have much to offer them, except the fact that we wont quit on them,” said Hill. “We need someone who is willing to help and won’t compromise our style.”

The band has played a variety of venues including the Déjà Vu bar in Phoenix, the Scottsdale Stadium and a tattoo expo in Glendale.

With a loyal fan base, plenty of talent and a creative style, MIC Control looks to continue its successful performances.

“Every show is different,” said Hafey. “No matter how many times you come out to see us, you’ll never get the same performance twice, and you’ll always leave satisfied.”

Reach the reporter at alicia.diaz@asu.edu


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