For a band that practices in a rehearsal studio that doubles as an art studio, the chance to paint the walls with sound at any venue is exciting for the budding shoegazers The Health & Rifle Club.
Additionally, playing at a more intimate venue also provides The Health & Rifle Club the bandwidth to project its sonically soothing sounds to an engaged audience. On Thursday, April 7, they’ll do so at The Rhythm Room with Faun Flora, The Lonesome Wilderness and Lou.
“Because we all have an equal voice in the songs, it comes out,” drummer Palmer Saylor says.
“It feels like it’s an equal investment, which makes it easy for us to put our hearts and souls into the live show.”
The Health & Rifle Club recently injected new energy with the addition of guitarist Andrew Saks. He was a fan of the music before joining, and he’s still smitten every time he takes the stage with them.
“For me — with fresh ears — every time I get into and dive deeper into the songs, I like it more and more,” Saks says. “Personally, I always love to play. There’s an element of playing in front of people that takes a song and gives it new life.”
The Health & Rifle Club songs “Gold in the Throes of Summer” and “If You Need This” remain his top tracks to play live.
Saks uses his fandom to enthrall audiences and strategize how to grow the band. To plot its ascension, The Health & Rifle Club plays gigs with similar-sounding bands.
“It’s surprising to us because the music scene has been an up-and-down, love/hate thing for the past 20 years,” Saylor says. “We’ve found some bands who are very complementary to our sound. We’ve made fast friends with a lot of these people that we’re sharing bills with.”
Still, Saylor hopes to display the band’s originality.
“We’re hoping people find us original,” Saylor says.
“Much like a lot of new bands in Phoenix, we are ultimately striving and navigating our way through the current new music scene. We’re hoping that our listeners hear some unique music, ultimately helping us emerge as some of the new sounds of Phoenix.”
Saks feels that venues like The Rhythm Room offer a better way to appeal to fans and reach the band’s target audience.
“We’re always trying to find an audience,” Saks says. “So, we’re looking for places that make sense and we can reach people. Sometimes, as a band, you’re always looking for opportunities. You can play at the most reputable place in town to four people, whereas you can play at a coffeehouse for 30 to 40 people.”
Following the show, the band plans to hibernate in the studio to record another EP.
“Our battle plan is to put out a series of EPs just to get out as much as we can,” Saks says. “As we mature as a band, especially with the new lineup, the sound will evolve to a certain extent to be more representative of what we have going at the moment.”
The Health & Rifle Club w/Faun Flora, The Lonesome Wilderness and Lou
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday April 7
WHERE: The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix
COST: $8; 21 and older
INFO: healthandrifleclub.com and rhythmroom.com