MORRISONVILLE - There's no reason to be afraid of spiders - at least these ones.
Jar'd Spiders, a local grunge cover band, has been gaining popularity in the area over the past few years. The band was initially the brainchild of brothers Steven and Cody Stansbury of Peru, who had been playing lead guitar and drums, respectively, for years. Rhythm guitarist and vocalist Evan Ormsby of Schuyler Falls joined the two in 2006 and, soon after, bassist R.J. Reyell of Beekmantown came on board. Jar'd Spiders was complete.
However, that wasn't always the band's name.
"When Steve and Cody originally started the band, they went under the name 'Shades of Seven,'" explained Ormsby. "But, when the band began to grow into a more solid structure, they decided that with the addition of me they wanted a band name that represented all of us all as individuals as well as band members."
Jar'd Spiders was a name the Stansbury brothers felt best represented the way each felt because "we always felt like a spider in an aquarium, like we were just living everyday waiting to be fed and always watching from the inside out as the world moves by," said Ormsby. "Everything changed when we got together and started playing on stage, we broke down the walls and unleashed the energy that we all had inside."
The band plays mainly covers, being greatly influenced by the '90s Seattle grunge scene that faded away with the untimely death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Grunge acts like Nirvana, Bush, The Foo Fighters, and Mudhoney and punk acts like The Ramones and the early years of Green Day have inspired the musical style of Jar'd Spiders. Heavy metal and rock acts like Pantera and Avenged Sevenfold have also lent inspiration to them, said Ormsby.
"I feel our music greatly stands out, because the music scene around here consists of many great metal, country, and rock bands, but grunge is a generation that grew up and disappeared, but in our hearts it never went anywhere," he said.
The band's first gig was at the former Koinonia Center on Elm Street back in 2007, playing with a few other local bands, said Ormsby.
"Even though there was only like seven or eight people there, those few people were really enjoying our music," he said. "Seeing people dancing because of what we were playing was a great feeling for us and it gave us the confidence to be the band we are today."
Since then, Jar'd Spiders has played other smaller venues like the Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 1466 in Beekmantown and Marrow's Store in Altona, but has even been offered to play a few showcase shows at Higher Ground in Burlington, Vt.,
"Which is a huge honor for us," said Ormsby.
However, the four still really enjoy playing this side of the lake, he added.
"As a band, we all aspire to branch out and get our name spread to other places and other people, but Plattsburgh is our home and the people here are our friends," said Ormsby. "It is a small town but it makes being heard easy, and it is always awesome when we look out and see all of our families listening to us and dancing to our music because its all of our families that supported us and help us get gigs as well as get to them. Without our families, we would not be the band we are today."
The band is still trying to find its "musical footing," said Ormsby, with the hopes of one day recording an album of their own music, but until then, the four are "very content" with where they are as a band. What has them excited, though, is an upcoming show at Cocktails in Morrisonville, where they'll be joined by bands like Muffy and the Schwettbutts, Sappy, and others.
"We're all very excited to be in charge of putting on such a new event," said Ormsby, adding the idea is to reestablish a grunge rock following. "It is a change in the known music scene because a majority of the world has forgotten about grunge, and the bands that made the '90s so unique ... Sure, grunge bands are not in huge demand, but we hope that with the more shows we schedule, the more popular they will be in the future."
(Editor's Note: Jar'd Spiders will perform at Cocktails next Saturday, Feb. 5, from 2 to 8 p.m. Check out the band on-line on MySpace and ReverbNation.)