This archived article was written by: Angela Oliver
What do horses, stem cell research, music and goats have in common? No, this isn’t a joke off a Laffy Taffy wrapper. These were all issues discussed or mentioned in an interview with up-and-coming band Poetry For the Masses.
Poetry For the Masses is a local band in Price. The members include Ben Bailey (lead guitar and vocals), Dave Claude (Bass) and Sid Gold (Drums). They’ve played in their set up for about a year, however they have all played their instruments in bands and solely for many years. They have recorded one locally successful CD entitled “A Tell Tale Heart,” which you can buy in the CEU bookstore or online. They hope to build a larger fan base outside of Price by playing shows elsewhere and through use of online promotion. Their website is www.myspace.com/poetryforthemasses. Each member of Poetry For the Masses plays an integral part in the feel and sound of the band. They are each unique and distinct in their own ways. That’s what makes Poetry For the Masses so nonpareil and intriguing.
Dave Claude is quite the character. He’s lively and quick-witted. When asked about what his plans and goals were, he answered “I want to be a horse … with stem cell research, anything is possible.” He told an in-depth story about how Poetry For the Masses is going to be the first horse band to play in the forest for squirrels only. Claude has played Bass for six years. He’s played in a variety of different bands and a plethora of genres including jazz, rock, blue grass and folk. His favorite genre to play is jazz because it’s more complex and involves things like improvisation. Currently Claude is attending Snow College and majoring in jazz performance. He’s glad he can be a part of Poetry For the Masses and enjoys playing with them because “the music has a message … it’s a collaboration of different genre’s and it’s different.”
Sid Gold is laid back and has a cool demeanor, yet he’s kind and open. Gold has played drums seven years in a few jazz and rock bands, however he prefers jazz over rock. He enjoys playing the drums because it relieves stress, clears his head and he likes the way rhythm sounds. He said, ” when I play I have no other worries.” Gold first took lessons from Chris Kiahtipes, and enjoyed it, yet he wasn’t all that into it at first. When he was introduced to Tool, and “an actual good drummer”(Danny Carey) he became enthralled and excited about drums. Since then his music has grown and evolved but “it all started with Tool.” Another band he has been greatly influenced by is Pearl Jam, although the style of their music was hard for him to get used to, “they put so much heart and soul in it.” Gold says he’s always trying to put emotion into what he plays, however “sometimes what’s in my head doesn’t always come out the way I want it to.” Gold doesn’t really enjoy playing in rock bands, notwithstanding he enjoys playing with Poetry For the Masses because it’s not all the same, he also has input into what he plays. “The music’s not dull, it actually has character.”
Ben Bailey is the more quiet contemplative type, you can always tell that he’s put a lot of thought behind his words. He started playing the guitar eight years ago and singing even before that. Song writing was always an interest to Bailey, he took up guitar because he saw it as a venue to write songs. In junior high, he always wanted to be in a rock band, and was in a few, mostly as a singer. His first guitar was an electric guitar and he really had his sights set on becoming a rock star. Later he was influenced by his elder brother Sam and Stephanie Grundy, and started writing acoustic music. He was in a couple bands in high school and put out a solo CD his senior year that was circulated mostly through his friends, it was fairly successful and a lot of hard work. Bailey is the songwriter for the band, and Claude and Gold write their own parts to the songs. There aren’t any arguments over the feel or sound of their parts because as Bailey puts it, “we’re all on the same wave-length, and we’re pretty chill.” Bailey has been strongly influenced by Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, America, James Taylor, Dave Matthews Band, Bare Naked Ladies, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Eats World, Tori Amos and A Perfect Circle.
The CD is a themed CD that follows the progression of life’s relationships. While the songs are good individually, it’s very powerful when listened to from start to finish. Bailey feels it’s an honest CD. He said, “I think music should contain pure honesty and be sincere … I think there are a lot of bands out there that are just out to prove a point or write something that will prove a point, or relate to a certain crowd and I don’t think they’re being really honest. There’s no real soul searching there. Honesty makes music more powerful, and I try to express honesty in my music which might be why it’s so free.”