The members of Albany progressive jam rockers Timbre Coup aren’t ones to take breaks from their music.
Since 2009, when the final quartet solidified with brothers Matthew Pickering on drums and Benjamin Pickering on guitar, bassist Daniel Gerken and guitarist Andrew Chamberlaine, the group has made a point of practicing every night, Monday through Thursday. On Fridays and the weekends, the band is usually gigging out, either at local venues such as Red Square or Jillian’s, or on the road to places as far as Syracuse. Until recently, all four members also lived together in the same house in Glenmont — Gerken moved out in September to tend to his new son, born in January.
On top of this, the band’s members all maintain day jobs. But finding time to play as much as they do isn’t an issue for them — after all, the goal is to turn Timbre Coup into the day job.
with Wobble Sauce
When: 8 tonight
Where: Jillian’s, 59 N. Pearl St., Albany
How Much: $8
More Info: 432-1997, www.jilliansofalbany.com
“Honestly, this is the priority, to make a living [with the band] in a business sense,” Gerken said recently with his band mates at their home. “So you gotta give it a go and really make it a priority in order to make money at it and ultimately quit your job. We definitely all still work — you’ve got to supplement it somehow, but we’re heading that way.”
Thursdays at Jillian’s
The band is getting ready to unveil its third studio album, “Knuckles & Valleys,” and tour even farther than they have before — in April the band is playing as far out as Ohio. In January, the group took a break from the live music scene due to Gerken’s new family, but this month they’re back on the circuit in a big way with a Thursday night residency at Jillian’s. Tonight the band is playing with Wobble Sauce and next Thursday Dopapod will share the stage. The last Thursday of the month, Feb. 23, the band will officially release “Knuckles & Valleys.”
“To kind of ease back into gigs, we decided to just — ‘Hey, let’s play every Thursday and see if Jillian’s will have us,’ ” Gerken said. “We’ll be able to host some bands that have hosted us in their hometowns, and hit them back, if you will. And we’re able to warm back up to playing 10, 12 shows in March, and then in April playing about 15 shows. So full steam ahead after this album gets released.”
The title “Knuckles & Valleys” refers to the method of determining how many days are in a month using the knuckles and “valleys” on your hand. It ties in with the overarching concept of the album — each of the 12 songs is named after a month in the year, essentially creating a soundtrack for a year in upstate New York.
In 2009, the band wrote the album’s songs, tackling one per month. The goal was to capture the feel of each month, and as such the album covers a wide range of sounds and feels — from hard rock and metal on “October,” to spacey, psychedelic jams on “July,” the first single.
“You have the biggest spectrum [of weather here] — I grew up in Nashville, Tennessee; we have very mild winters,” Gerken said. “So having the spectrum of upstate New York really helps the album kind of undulate — it’s a total journey. You have hard rock, you have progressive rock, you have acoustic pop-rock, and then you have dance, electronica. . . . Basically, ‘August’ sounds like August — you get a summery feeling from it. “November’s” got very cold lyrics, kind of depression and dark; same thing with ‘February.’ ”
The band recorded with the Pickering brothers’ uncle at their grandmother’s house in Kingfield, Maine, the same location the band recorded its second album, “Check Out This.” That record was actually made up of songs left over from the marathon writing sessions in 2009.
Sharing writing duties
Timbre Coup formed in 2008 — Matt Pickering and Gerken had played together previously in another band, but wanted to incorporate Ben into a new project. But it wasn’t until Chamberlaine joined up, playing his first show on New Year’s Eve 2009, that the group developed into what it is today.
Combining influences ranging from ’90s grunge rock to Frank Zappa to jazz, the four began writing long, progressive songs together. The band still writes democratically, with each member contributing different parts. Although Gerken is the band’s main lead vocalist, all of the members sing in the group.
“It’s like ‘Captain Planet,’ ” Gerken said. “Ben will bring these riffs in, and since we’re frequently getting together — sometimes it’s hard to remember this stuff. I mean, getting together that much is what enables us to remember these hard riffs and be able to elaborate the next day and pick up where you left off, and then add to it.”