Midtown Raleigh News

Psychedelic rock band from S.C. makes its mark on Raleigh

Raleigh band Octopus Jones will perform Wednesday night at The Pour House Music Hall downtown.
Raleigh band Octopus Jones will perform Wednesday night at The Pour House Music Hall downtown. kristenabigailphotography.com

For the band Octopus Jones, moving from Myrtle Beach, S.C., to Raleigh meant modifying its surf-oriented approach to music.

But listeners can still tell the group got their start on the coast.

“Now that we’ve moved inland, we’ve changed our sound,” said drummer Darrin Cripe. “It’s a mixture of ‘60s surf with the late ‘70s (psychedelic) rock and roll.”

With much of the band’s fan base in South Carolina, navigating the challenging waters of the Triangle music scene hasn’t been easy. “It’s taken awhile,” Cripe said. “We’ve had to keep our patience and pay our dues.”

Those efforts are paying off for Octopus Jones. The band plays Wednesday night at the Pour House Music Hall in downtown Raleigh. And next month, they’ll open at Kings for the Philadelphia band Man Man, which has seen national success on the indie scene.

Cripe said Octopus Jones got to know the guys from Man Man by accident. They were touring in Philadelphia, but the club where they’d been scheduled to play was shut down for alcohol violations. Looking for something to do, they found a Craiglist ad for jazz drum lessons, which turned out to be with Man Man’s drummer.

The encounter led to a chance to perform after-hours at a bar where Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Amos Lee was DJing. It’s those connections that make touring worthwhile, Cripe said. “We want to hit the road full time,” he added.

In the meantime, the band members each work day jobs that offer the flexibility for long weekend trips to perform around the region. They’re building support for their latest CD, Phantasmagoria, which was recorded in a rented Northeast Raleigh house and released earlier this year.

The new CD hasn’t been out long, but Octopus Jones already has another full album of new songs waiting to record. That’ll likely happen this fall, Cripe said.

“We’ve been experimenting with all of us singing,” he said.