The guitars shred. The rhythms rise like a rumbling tsunami wave. But the songs also soar with brain-burrowing melodies, uplifting and bittersweet. And it’s all tied together by passionate conviction. That’s the contemporary hard rock sound of Quarterfly on its third album and Rock Ridge Music debut, “Do You Believe.”
Based in Spartanburg, SC, Quarterfly has built a loyal following throughout the southeast and mid-Atlantic areas through a hands-on, DIY approach by all four band members when it comes to marketing and promotion coupled with live shows that always connect with the crowd. Now comes this powerful and compelling new work, which will surely earn Quarterfly more fans throughout the country and around the world.
“This album is the strongest one so far, musically, with songwriting and expression of who we are at this moment, what we're about,” says frontman-guitarist Kip Darby.
Darby, a former tour manager for a band in the mid-’90s, formed Quarterfly in 2004. He knew the importance of maintaining his industry contacts, as he became musician. “Where we’re from, here in the south, there’s no music industry where you can just go downtown to be part of it,” he says.
Darby had been in one regional band and became friends with bass player Tim Morelock in a rival group. “We always wanted to get together,” Darby says. “Things hit the wall and we started this up.”
Guitarist Jeff Jennings came on board next and the drum slot saw a few players until the arrival of Rob Lutz. The band had played the Google search name game, finally coming up with Quarterfly from a mistake when Morelock saw a misprint of the word “quarterly” and happened to say it out loud.
“The first record was ‘hello industry,’ the second got us more attention regionally and hopefully this one will get us there nationally,” says Darby.
“Do You Believe” was produced by hit-maker Greg Archilla (Buckcherry, Matchbox 20, Collective Soul, Edwin McCain), reprising his association with the band for its 2007 release, “Quarterfly II.” In addition to recording with Archilla in two different Nashville studio sessions, the group also tracked with metal kingpin Michael Wagener (Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue, Metallica, Queen), and recorded at Edwin McCain’s Whitestone Studios in Greenville, SC.
The band’s edgy yet tuneful music reflects several decades of rock, bridging them all. “In my early teens, an uncle introduced me to bands like Boston, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Kiss,” Darby says. “When I started teaching myself how to write songs, play guitar, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains were big-time influences.”
The album leads off with the grind and cut of “All Lies,” following by the foreboding title track. Also plumbing the darkness of emotion is “Addiction,” contrasted by the confessional ballad “Not Like Me,” which shows the band’s more reflective side in a waltz tempo. The closing “Last Chance” is an epic anthem of resolve driven by pinging guitar, a charging four-on-the-floor beat and sweeping vocals.
“We write all the music together,” Darby says. “Once we have the music together, I work with the melodies and as soon as I find one, I start zeroing in on the lyrics, but everybody’s got input, they can and do write lyrics, too.”
As the band’s new album arrives on Rock Ridge, Quarterfly is looking forward to playing more, touring more and rocking crowds with the focus and drive that’s already brought the group this far.
“We want to capitalize on everything that’s happened so far and keep building,” Darby says. “We just want to grow and let everybody know that Quarterfly’s got what it takes.”