Taking in Blivit's immense, driving sound and elaborate arrangements, you'd never know that something is missing from this power rock trio - a guitar. The Philadelphia based band is fronted by keyboardist, singer and songwriter Jeremy Dyen who cites jealousy as a chief factor that drove him to start experimenting with distortion on keys. "I've always been jealous of the expressiveness on guitar that I feel is missing from keyboards and the fact that it's the instrument that rocks out," Dyen says.
Regardless of his motivation, Dyen has created a unique keyboard style that packs all the expression and punch of a guitar. Bassist Dave Palan and drummer Jay Horvath have found creative approaches to their instruments as well, often strumming guitar-like patterns on the bass or playing unique drum beats to help fill out the sound and support the keys. The result on Blivit's debut full-length release, Unhand The World is a sound that is often much larger than its parts and true to the original definition of the band's name which was taken from Kurt Vonnegut's "Palm Sunday" - "An all-frequencies assault on the sensibilities."
The band's ability to be creative and flexible with their playing is no surprise when you take a look at their combined experience. In a time when most musicians have "day jobs", Blivit's members are full-time musicians playing with numerous bands and on several recordings and even teaching. Dyen's credits include playing on John Legend's Grammy Award Winning, Get Lifted (Sony), and live performances with Digable Planets, G-Love and Special Sauce, and Zakir Hussain. Palan's credits include recording with award winning singer-songwriter Deb Talan, and Horvath also tours with the thrash/speed metal band Single Bullet Theory.
The band credits the variety of musicians they play with as having a great influence on their own music. "My education has always been based a lot on my peers. I've learned so much from the people I play with," says Dyen. And while their accomplished musicianship is an important element, Dyen says they still "focus on the artistic end of things - the art rather than the craft."
Dyen and Palan began Blivit after their previous band Fathead decided to call it quits. With Fathead, they toured the U.S. extensively, sharing the stage with dozens of national acts such as Bare Naked Ladies, Weezer, Ben Folds Five, George Clinton and Parliament, Green Day, and The Roots.
"We all play a bunch of different styles and I think some of that comes across in our music, but I think at the heart of it, we just want to play great rock songs," says Palan. "We try to maintain a focus with Blivit, but it's hard to NOT be all over the map sometimes as we're all very eclectic. A review of our new album described us as 'a little progressive, but no so much that it bounces off the average listener.' When I read that, I thought it was perfect. That's a good place to be. I love challenging music, but not everyone does. If people from both sides of that coin enjoy our stuff, then I think we've succeeded."