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Hyentyte plays Industry with Dead Larry & the Zombie Girls

BY NICK FETTY | FEBRUARY 20, 2009 7:34 AM

When the seeds of Minneapolis band Hyentyte were planted in 1998, the members thought of themselves as “good friends making good music for good friends.” Eleven years later, the band retains that motto.

On Saturday, Hyentyte will play a show at the Industry, 211 Iowa Ave., with Dead Larry & the Zombie Girls. The latter acts will play from 9-10 p.m., and Hyentyte will take the stage shortly thereafter.

During December 2007, the band played a show at the Yacht Club with friends and local favorites Hunab. Hyentyte’s lead guitarist and vocalist, Vinh Nguyen, felt that the Yacht Club’s hometown atmosphere made it the best Hunab show he’d seen.

“The music scene in Iowa is on the rise,” he said. “You guys have an Iowa Jamband Society, so I mean it’s up and coming and it’s real exciting to try to be a part of it.”

Just before starting high school, Nguyen started teaching himself how to play guitar with inspiration from such groups as Nirvana and Green Day. He spent the rest of high school playing in talent shows and anything else he could get involved in.

Nguyen founded Hyentyte with keyboardist and lead vocalist Tony Molek, bassist and vocalist David Boose, and drummer Marc Ouelette. They met in Eden Prairie, Minn., where they all attended high school. Rounding out Hyentyte’s lineup are rhythm guitarist/vocalist Arthur Begley and percussionist/vocalist Louie Grandaw.

With the members of Hyentyte spread out across the country for college, the group was on hiatus for around four years before the members reunited and decided to start touring and recording.
Kin, Hyentyte’s first album, came out in August 2005, and Boose described it as “more laid-back” and “not too experimental” when compared with the band’s 2007 follow-up, Show of Hands.

Boose started out by playing the cello in third grade, but when he moved to a new school district in his early teens, a lack of a school orchestra forced him to take up the electric bass.

Hyentyte takes its influences from a range of acts and genres, which makes the band hard to categorize.

“We definitely try to rock the funk,” Nguyen said. “Compared with other bands, I guess you could say we’re a mix of the Allman Brothers, Sublime, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”

The Midwest has the highest concentration of Hyentyte followers, who tend to be in their early 20s, but the band’s fan base extends to California and even the United Kingdom. Hyentyte has also played shows in Denver and Los Angeles, but it is something of a staple at Midwestern music festivals. The band has taken the stage at Milwaukee’s Summerfest, the Des Moines Arts Festival, and the 10,000 Lakes Festival in the sextet’s home state.

Hyentyte’s festival cred might make it seem like another boring jam band or just a bunch of guys eager to fill Phish’s shoes. Bassist Boose has no problem promoting the band’s originality while still paying credit to the genre it plays in.

“[Our music]’s organic, it’s new, it’s fresh,” he said. “But it’s familiar at the same time.”


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