They hail from Brooklyn, the venerable mecca for up-and-coming artists and musicians toiling in a city shrouded in certain uncertainty. But one Northeast duo traveled south to find peace, solace and relative success amid Spanish moss and the welcoming musical community of the Hostess City.
It's a tale of trial and tribulation, of overcoming hardships and sticking together for Garrett Deming and Paul Burba of Broken Glow, who return to the Wormhole on Jan. 7 for their live album release party with Cousin Sleaze and Mysterium. Though, really, they never left at all.
The band plays every open-mic night at the Wormhole and at many gigs around town - a city they unrelentingly credit with their continued success, but most importantly, their happiness.
Savannah over Brooklyn? Some might argue that, career-wise, that's just not the way a band makes its stake in the industry. How did you begin and end up here?
Garrett Deming: Our guitar player at the time, Brenner, got a job running a studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. So we would go there and rehearse and record and we wound up meeting some great bands. We lived in this really cool loft building that was full of artists and musicians and models and just every kind of creative, under-35 you could imagine. It was wild.
So we were in Brooklyn a couple of years. It took us both about a year to get down here.
Our lead guitar player, Brenner, had passed away about a year and a half ago. Being in New York anyway, there's a lot of pressures. It's really expensive and it's difficult, but after a tragic loss, I was feeling like I needed a change of scenery.
We wound up digging it so much I told Paul that he had to come down here.
Paul Burba: I was just kind of biding my time up in Brooklyn because they were semi-planning on coming back up. Then things went south with how I was living and what not, and they heard about it and saved me from the end of my rope, so I came down here about six months ago with two backpacks and a bicycle. We left pretty much everything else up in Brooklyn, including my kit.
When we first got down here, we were going to the Wormhole every week because they do open mics every Monday and Wednesday. That was the only practice I was getting.
You referred to the scene up there as more cut-throat, and found yourselves more at home here. How would you describe the difference to someone who hasn't been to the big city?
Deming: One thing that I've gathered from being down here is that it's a little bit easier to get people in on a community effort, I think, because New York has that reputation, that hub of culture or whatever. People in New York lose sight that there's a world outside of New York, and I certainly fell victim to it.
I find that here, in general, people are doing it because they love to do it. Not that they don't want to make it their main pursuit, but I think the fun of it is easier in a place where people aren't necessary vying for spots ... It seems to me people do it down here because it's fun, because they love to.
Paul, what did you mean by "end of your rope?"
Burba: I was going through a rough breakup. I was kind of in between ideas, didn't know what was going to be happening. As I was going through all that stuff, Garrett and I started talking, and so he told me to pack up and come down to Savannah for a few months and to figure it out from there.
How has that, inevitably, affected your music?
Burba: The last year I was in Brooklyn, I was practicing every day. The drums was one of the things that was getting me through the days after Brenner passed away and my breakup, and stuff like that. It just got too hard. It was too weird. It was too strange. I played with a couple of different musicians up there, but it wasn't the same. I wanted to get back to playing with Garrett.
As soon as I got down here, I fell in love with Savannah, and the the culture and the people. As soon as I got here, it felt like all the stress melted away. It's very refreshing to know that everyone is super supportive of what everyone is doing, that everyone is more acknowledgable of each other.
With that said, you describe your music as "rock 'n' f***in' roll."
Deming: Through the five years that we've been a band, we've seen some really awesome times and we've seen some real hellish times. And we're pretty affable, clownish, easy-going guys. But we definitely - Paul was talking about using the drums as his release - I definitely can echo that, being on stage being that catharsis. We all do go through s**t ... I think it's important to find positive ways to deal with those things, so we do that through our music. But, as a result of that, the music is loud.
The band, in its current incarnation, is somewhat of a testament to the last-man-standing idealism.
Deming: Yeah, for sure. We definitely feel that way. We've had band members leave for all kind of reasons and for the most part, we're still friends with the guys who've played with us. But for us, it's like, I don't know what else I'd be doing.
And this upcoming performance, live album release, illustrates some of that.
Deming: Yeah. The upcoming album is called "Taking It to the Hole." We're calling it that because it was recorded live at the Wormhole. The tracks are from the November Art March.
Burba: I want to put out a general thank you to Savannah and the people here, because it's been very therapeutic here and it's very much renewed my faith in humanity. It's a great place. I can't say enough good things.