‘Turtle Tongue’ tune
Mix ‘70s funk with a touch of classical guitar then add the attitude of punk with the chaos of metal – this is Turtle Tongue, a band composed of seniors Andy Cohen, Matt Hawkins and Cody Vontran.
“We all have really different influences, my main influence would be jazz and classic rock, Cody likes punk and a more hardcore style so we blended it all into our sound,” Cohen, who plays bass, said.
Cohen said that the band likes to infuse different styles to be more of a freeform jam session, an experiment of expression and sound.
“We all like these psychedelic sounds and imagery so we try to combine that with the ferocity that metal and punk have just to create this awesome sound,” he said.
Lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Hawkins said Turtle Tongue emulates bands like The Black Keys, which does not fit into a particular genre and encapsulates different styles.
“I guess you could call it alternative rock, we like to call what we do psychedelic blues, but we definitely bring that psychedelic feel into our music and well go into these spacey jams and turn a three minute song into a seven or eight minute jam session,” Hawkins said.
Before Turtle Tongue started playing at venues like the Recher Theatre and The Brass Monkey Saloon, Cohen and Hawkins played side-by-side in a different setting.
“I met the guitar player, Matt, back in sixth grade and we were always doing musical stuff, we even sat next to each other when we played trumpet,” Cohen said. “We were always in band parallel to each other but never did anything together.”
Both musicians went their separate ways throughout high school, playing with various bands.
“I was on my own musically then we were at a party one night and we were like let’s start a band,” Hawkins said. “It was as simple as that. We were playing bass and guitar in his dorm room and started practicing and it got a little bit, more serious when we found Cody, our drummer. We got together for the first time and we really just clicked and it was this rapturous moment, it was great.”
The band’s name, however, didn’t come as easily.
“Our guitar player’s friend had a picture with a turtle sticking its tongue out and we thought the turtle tongue was pretty cute” Cohen said. “We thought Turtle Tongue was original and decided to go with it.”
Although uncertain about what future the band members will have after graduation, Cohen said he is eager to keep jamming.
“All of us now are seniors and I’d say next year I’d like to play with the band, it’s just been so much fun to play with them,” he said. “Even if we all had grown up jobs, like I might be working in a school in a couple years, we’d still like to get together on the weekend and jam out.”
Hawkins said that as far as his audience’s experience goes, it’s all about having fun.
“All of our songs have various levels of meaning it just kind of goofy and as long as the audience is having a good time,” he said. “I’m having a good time, that’s what makes me want to get up on stage is seeing people dancing and smiling I want people to really feel the groove of the music.”
Turtle Tongue is getting ready to release a new album, “Coco Pelle,” which should be out next month. The album will be available on Facebook and SoundCloud.