Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
It’s rare to find a band that’s wholly original. You can almost always think of an act that might be an inspiration. That, however, is not the case with The Either, an electronic rock trio based in New York City that features traditional Chinese instruments, and modern synths.
I was at The Bowery Electric for The Either’s Underneath EP release show, and lemme tell ya, in 17 years of covering music, it was a totally unique experience.
Here’s why I will definitely see them again, and why you should be in the audience, too …
1. You’ve never heard anything like them
The Either consists of Zongli on vocals and keys, Jiaju on the pipa, and Yang on the erhu. Unless you’re a scholar of traditional Chinese instruments, you probably haven’t heard of those last two, and even if you are a scholar of traditional Chinese instruments (totally my site’s wheelhouse in terms of audience), you probably haven’t heard them played in this way.
With electric versions of their instruments, Jiaju, who performs with picks taped to her fingers, plays her pipa like an electric guitar, and Yang plays his erhu in such a way as to imitate a cello. All of this goes on with Zongli on keys, as the trio creates a radically unique mix of electronic rock, progressive metal, and dream pop.
The Either is the sound of the past manipulated, and enhanced, to create the sound of the future, and it’s wild to hear.
2. You’ve never seen anything like them
To say the members of The Either are instantly recognizable is an understatement. The trio have a futuristic, Mad Max, thing going on with their performance outfits, and overall look, and it’s a perfect visual representation of their music.
The Either are not of this world … or they’re at least not of this time.
3. Their fan base is crazy dedicated
Despite The Either being a relatively new project for each of the members – the band formed in June of this year – they already have quite the dedicated following. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I saw an audience so transfixed by everything that was happening on stage, but there I was, right there with everyone else in the crowd, unable to take my eyes and ears off the band.
The Either keep their audience locked in, and on this particular night, after their set the band attempted to say hello to as many of those attentive fans as possible.
To find out when, and where, The Either will be performing next, check out their Facebook page for show dates.