How Many Members of Eccotone Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb?

Eccotone's Donovan Ford has utter contempt for your eardrums.

"We're big fans of making things uncomfortable for the listener," he says, laughing. For the Denton-based band, that means being among the loudest in the region. Over the past year, Eccotone have made a name for themselves through their chest-rattling, ear-splitting live shows.

"It's a shtick of sorts," Ford says of their live set. "Really, though, we all just like big amps. We like the aesthetic, we like that feeling in your gut from really loud music, and we just get stupid little grins on our faces when we play together."

The shtick doesn't just apply to their live volume levels, but also extends to their instrumentation. "Our amps were getting too loud for one drummer," Ford explains. "We couldn't hear him anymore. So, we just got a second drummer."

Their sound, and all the gear required to pull it off, makes Eccotone an enemy of simple band/venue logistics. They can rarely play house shows anymore, due to almost instantaneous police appearances, and they just don't always fit in venues.

"We got booked in this coffee shop in Arlington," Ford explains. "They have this nook for live music, and we filled the entire nook just with our amps. Then, the drummers set up in front of the amps, and the guitars just squeezed up against the wall. It went pretty well, actually. No police showed up, which broke a streak for us."

Then there was the time they were asked to play Kerr Hall on the UNT campus by a well-meaning but misled R.A. Their set caused two light bulbs to fall out of the ceiling and was stopped after only one song.

For Ford and his Eccotone bandmates -- Parker Lawson, Miles Debruin and Nick Bosas -- this "shtick" doesn't mean "joke" as much as "identifiable trait." Their music is loud, yes, but it's also surprisingly accessible. Eccotone leave the screaming vocals behind in the interest of real melodies. Well, except for the track "World Record Gold Medal" off of their latest split EP with the Ohio-based band Sign-Off, which clocks in at 10 minutes and contains nothing but nine people screaming.

Their shtick shouldn't be dismissed, because Eccotone aren't alone. Even with other notoriously loud bands popping up around Denton -- such as Bludded Head and Terminator 2 -- Ford stops short of claiming a new movement emerging from the Denton scene.

"Now, there's just a lot of these bands," Ford says. "So instead of being that one loud band that stands out and doesn't really fit, we can all play together."

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Andy Odom