words by LIz | photos by emma
If Honey Punch had a soundtrack, there’s no doubt that Fahrenheit 145 would be on it, and smooshed right between artists and bands like Jimi and Zepplin. These guys caught our eye right off the bat and last week we were able to catch them play live alongside other Tulsa acts at Cain’s Ballroom during Battle of the Bands. The band is made up of Will Gibson on vocals and guitar, Jonah Venable on drums, Antony Gavrilko on bass, and Evan Markle on guitar.
Fahrenheit 145 has a definite late sixties-early seventies feel with all those psychedelic rock influences we have been fawning over since, well, forever. And, they’re in high school. HIGHSCHOOL! Do you know how cool that is!? We are dyin’ just thinking about where these dudes could be in just a few years! Fahrenheit 145 is the perfect example of an emerging band that has the potential to reinvent retro bluesy-rock and revive all those ~feels~ from back in the day.
Let’s start from the beginning! Tell us how you all got connected.
Will: Evan and I met while we were in line for the Bernie Sanders rally and that’s a whole ‘nother story, but it was fate. We were really diggin’ each other’s music taste. He had a Café Wha shirt on [which is where Jimi Hendrix got started] and we started talking about that. Then his mom brought up the idea that maybe we should start collaborating. That next Wednesday we ended up going to the same Jimi Hendrix Experience concert at the Brady and we met some cool musicians. We met Billy Cox [bassist for Jimi at Woodstock] and then three days later we had our first jam session and then we kept jamming and hanging out over the summer. We decided to form a band and had some other members but when the last Battle of the Bands happened in November, it didn’t really work out with everyone. I texted those members the day I got asked to play and the drummer couldn’t make it, so I went to my speech teacher and he said “Jonah from seventh hour is pretty good.” So, at lunch I went up to Jonah and asked if he wanted to play in the band and he said yes! The last fun bit, is Antony. We figured out we needed a bassist and I had one guy come out and audition but wasn’t feelin it, so I asked Antony and that’s just how it all happened!
Originally, whose idea was it to start a band?
Evan: We both had an idea, but it changed drastically when we got Jonah. We didn’t have the band name until after him.
Will: We had a band name, but not the band name.
Hint: It was called The Chico Spikes. Kinda sounds like a taco truck but... I’m not complaining.
How did you all get into music in the first place? Did music come really naturally to you?
Jonah: My dad used to play industrial music in Dallas, so it was always a musical household. About two years ago we were borrowing a drum kit and my dad was like “Why don’t you play” and I said, “Why not?” and then he was like “You want to get lessons?” and, again, I said “Why not?” and I started doing that and got insanely attached.
Ant: In middle school I was forced to play an instrument so I started playing the saxophone (*editor’s note* HECK FREAKIN' YAAAAA) and I just really wanted to learn guitar so I started taking lessons. After about six months, I went to this after school program where you get together and learn and practice songs, then perform at Guthrie Green. They needed a bassist so I gave it a try and ended up liking it way more than guitar.
How did you guys decide to embody this particular vibe?
Evan: My mom really likes classic rock, so I’d say that’s part of it. I middle school I first discovered Jimi Hendrix, and to put it simply, it changed my life. From then on, I explored music from the era and I just really...it feels so right!
Will: There’s so many artists that came out of the late sixties and early seventies like Big Brother and The Holding Company, The Doors, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and basically anybody who played Woodstock. If you analyze our stuff you can find a little bit of all of them. It’s all right on that cusp, like 1967-74 is what I’d say. Our last song we played tonight was Take You There, and that’s our whole goal- to take people back to that scene.
What are you guys working on right now?
Evan: We are working on writing and it’s a lot of fun. Generally, I’ll write and then Jonah will have a lot to say about arrangement, and just different suggestions.
Will: They’ll get goin’ and then I’ll figure out what lyrics will go with it. There have also been times where we all have written separately. They will all be ready soon!
Any goals you have your sights set on right now?
Jonah: I think just making music and sounding awesome. Then anything that springs from that would be awesome. We have a lot of band friends, but we also get a lot of support from our friends, especially from Evan’s group of friends in Adair- the Adair pals are here and made shirts for us! So that kind of support gives us a lot of encouragement to go out and do stuff and keep going.
Will: We are fairly young as a band on the music scene- this was only our third gig! Since I was in like second grade, I always wanted to be in a band, and our thing is that we want to record music that we wanna listen to. I feel like at this point, psychedelia is really a niche in music here. We’ve got us and The Shelter People here on the scene and that’s about it. I think our goal is the same as theirs, and that’s to bring that vibe back.