Just in the past year, neo-soul indie pop three-piece Eugene have established themselves as a household name in the local music scene. Originally from New Orleans, the band relocated to Albuquerque last balloon-fiesta season and have since found their way to a plethora of venues such as Sister Bar, Burt’s Tiki Lounge, and Launchpad.
The band is comprised by Emmanuel Catanzariti on guitar/piano/vocals, Kendall Jones on bass, and Marshall Broyles on drums.
“The original line-up fell apart after some time. Kendall is from Albuquerque but I met him in New Orleans, where he was studying briefly. When Eugene moved to the southwest, a lot was different.” Catanzariti said.
With only Catanzariti staying in the band after a significant line-up change, he recruited Albuquerque natives Jones and Broyles to finalize Eugene’s second iteration.
“I had a lot of solo material that I would play with [the old line-up].” He said. “But I think it’s different now. With Marshall and Kendall on board, they’ve changed the sound of Eugene in a positive and new way. It’s allowed us to put fresh life into the band as well.”
Eugene released their first E.P. “Not Even Noon” in July 2015. The four-track mini album is defined by a rich sonic environment that utilizes a healthy amount of piano and garage-rock overtones, while still employing a neo-R&B tone and feel.
Catanzariti named the band after his grandfather, who was an artist himself.
“Eugene was my grandfather’s name, and is my middle name. He was a sculptor and painter in the 60’s and 70’s. Although he passed away before I could meet him, I’ve always felt influenced a lot by his work. It’s a fitting tribute to him, and a nice way in going about the band.”
A notable aspect of the group is their respective musical backgrounds. All three members are guitarists by trade, with Jones and Broyles adapting to different instruments to better define the sound of the band as a whole.
“It’s a lot of fun playing bass now.” Jones said. “I actually played lead guitar for a little while with the old line-up. When we moved back here, we just didn’t have a bass and you kind of have to adapt.”
“Drumming is great too, I’ve learned so much this past year and I’m still picking up pieces. It’s fun to try out different things with this group, they’re phenomenal musicians. The personalities of our instruments are pretty important and that’s why we wanted to continue the band.” Broyles said.
Broyles had to adapt the old drum lines, as heard on “Not Even Noon”, to fit his abilities as a drummer.
Eugene’s evocative jazz licks and pseudo-acoustic vibe feels more closely resemble artist’s like Norah Jones and Fiona Apple than other rock formations. The group often makes room for each member to solo in between their verses and riffs, often times bending songs backwards with extended outros to make the most out of certain build-ups and chord progressions.
As for future plans, Eugene is currently self-producing their first full-length LP to be entitled “Cush” and aims for an early 2018 release.
“We expect a late winter release for the album. It’s nine tracks so far, and we have two singles and a music video planned for release as well. This new line-up has allowed us to explore space a lot more, and we’re proud of how it’s turning out. It was a comfortable recording process and the songs are very reflective of that.”daily newsletter to get more of our best original news.