West Oakland, to many, conjures images of dingy, rundown, graffiti covered streets on the edge of town; dangerous and wild. For the Hypnotist Collectors, it provides the perfect backdrop to their unconventional lifestyles and the music they create. The Collectors are one of many new bands making their home in the farthest western streets of Oakland. This group of four have been playing their style of rootsy, countrified rock n roll since their first gigs in 2009. Evolving initially from the songwriting project of front man, Augustus DeVandry, the band solidified their lineup in 2010, which includes Roger Poulin on guitar, Eddie Lang on drums, and Brian Fernald on bass. In a scene dominated by garage, psychedelic, and avant garde bands, the Hypnotist Collectors definitely stand out with their cozy and yet edgy sound of jangly guitar riffs emanating from vintage amplifiers. Or perhaps it’s the somehow familiar melodies, phrasing, and compositions that any lover of authentic expression will find comfort within.
Self-released on June 2nd 2011, there debut album, Worn Out Factory, was partially written as Augustus traveled throughout the United States for three months in late 2009. Not long after returning to the Bay Area, he got a call from friend and drummer Eddie Lang. Casual jams of the new songs ensued and were joined by fresh Boston transplant and new housemate, Brian Fernald. The band started playing out almost immediately, traded in a lead violin for the scorching lead guitar courtesy of Roger Poulin, who five months prior had relocated with long time friend Fernald. The four of them have been playing increasingly larger venues in San Francisco and Oakland for the last year and gaining a reputation for their live energy and musical camaraderie demonstrated on stage.