In a dressing room decorated with couches and chairs adorned with the tears that only years of use know, the four members of Southern Bred Co. search for the name “Kurt Cobain.” Four sets of eyes scan the wall while calling out names, only pausing long enough to laugh at the quirkiest of signatures etched in Sharpie.
As the group settles, a fresh, smoky haze fills the space as Tyler Key, lead singer of Southern Bred Co., lights a cigarette. Each member of the band begins their own preparations − tapping drumsticks, adjusting chords and enjoying a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon − as the beginning of their show at the 40 Watt Club in Athens approaches.
Minutes before they are supposed to perform, a friend walks by Southern Bred Co.’s dressing room and asks them about the infamous “Kurt Cobain” signature. The band is enlightened as their friend shares the myth of the signature and how it was allegedly taken out of the wall altogether, explaining the odd hole to the right of the door. With a laugh, the four guys head out to the stage.
What’s the best part of playing in Athens? “There’s always somewhere to play,” says Seth Key, lead guitarist of Southern Bred Co.
Despite only coming together a mere six months ago, the group, consisting of Tyler, Seth, Ryan Moore, and Tom Golden, have already made a presence playing in Athens, with shows ranging from the Caledonia Lounge to the 40 Watt Club.
Though together for a short time, each member is no stranger to performing and playing. Tyler and Seth, biological brothers from Bowdon have been playing guitar together since they were about 14 and 15 years of age. Tom, an agriculture business and agriculture economics major from Swainsboro, began playing bass about 8 years ago. Ryan has been playing drums since he was a child.
“I don’t ever remember not playing drums,” says Ryan Golden, a marketing major from Alpharetta.
Seth began playing with Ryan after meeting through a mutual friend and finding out they shared a passion for music. Ryan invited Seth to play with his band, playing georgiaugazine.com 7
a few shows soon after. When the band began to fall apart, Ryan and Seth asked Tyler to join them for a show at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta.
From there, the three decided to look for a bass player and came across Tom through other mutual friends. Upon first meeting Tom, everyone had felt like they had already known him. Two weeks later, the band came together to play their first show at Amici in Athens.
“That was one of the most fun shows,” says Tom of playing with the band for the first time.
Since the first shows, Southern Bred Co. has been working on writing songs and practicing as often as possible. For the band, focusing on songs and less on individual skill is a key component of who they are.
“It’s about contributing to the song and making it better,” says Seth, a history major.
Southern Bred Co. is a collaborative effort, as each member brings his own spin to the music. As for a genre, the band does not label itself.
“Whatever sounds good,” says Tyler, a 23-year-old pharmacy technician, of the sound that the guys strive for.
Louis Pelot, 37, who has booked Southern Bred Co. for various locations in Athens, like Boar’s Head Lounge and Nuci’s, believes that the band is an “excellent group of musicians.”
“I think that they’re definitely on their way to a bright career in music,” says Pelot, a musician himself from Homer.
Pelot describes the band’s stage presence as “supernatural” and feels that the audience receives them very well. He also enjoys their energy on stage during performances.
For now, Southern Bred Co. is less concerned with creating original material, and more focused on being productive every time they get together and performing as often as possible.
“It’s an evolving process,” says Seth.