From a text to a band

BY MCKENNA PAULUS | MAY 15, 2014 5:00 AM

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In the technology world, smart phones are at the forefront of what seems to be an ever changing and evolving area. In the case of Dan DiMonte and the Bad Assettes, Dimonte’s smart phone’s mistake outlined the origination of the band’s name during the formation of the group.

“It was based on an autocorrect in my phone, and I was texting someone. I have so many great musicians in my band and all these really great people, and I was saying I have like every single bad a** that I know,” DiMonte said. “And it changed it to bad assets, and I went back and put the ‘ethos’ on the end of it, so it was an autocorrect fail that came up with the band.”

Java Blend will host an exclusive hour with Dan DiMonte and the Bad Assettes at 2 p.m. Friday at Java House, 211 ½ E. Washington St. Admission is free.

Every member of the group is from the local music scene, and a few of them have graduated from the University of Iowa. The band usually consists of either six or seven members, and DiMonte said they try to incorporate some different instruments into the traditional set.

“I play guitar, sing, and play trumpet and piano as well, and I have a sax who also sings,” DiMonte said. “Then the rest is pretty standard rock instrumentation, the bassist sometimes plays his upright bass, and we used to have a trombone player.”

The band has been together for a little over a year and has played its reggae- and rock-influenced music a few times in Iowa City at such local venues as Yacht Club and Gabe’s. Guitarist Dan Padley said the members have enjoyed their experience in Iowa City.

“I do enjoy playing the venues in Iowa City, if only for the ease of travel,” Padley said. “But venues like the Yacht Club have been really good to us over the last year or so, letting us play every couple months and allowing us just to do what we do.”

Since the band members have only been together a short amount of time, they have not been able to play with each other a lot. However, when they do, every show seems to be different, and bassist Blake Shaw said improvisation plays a big role in their performances.

“One of my favorite [things] though is how different every show we play can be,” he said. “I think what I’m trying to get across is that the band members as a whole are all good listeners. Being able and willing to improvise and play the same music differently every night is a fun and exciting time as well as challenging.”

Another part of their live shows is the connection the members have when they play together. They have been friends long before they started the band, and those relationships pay off, Shaw said.

“These guys are some of my best friends, and when you get friends like that together, it’s always a good time,” Shaw said. “Live onstage is very relaxed for us, and you’ll find us often conversing with the audience and getting everyone involved. This is all [DiMonte’s] music originally, but the whole band has contributed their talents, ideas, and love, which has truly made the music become more alive and feels like we all made it together. When we’re onstage, we own the music. We love it.”

Java Blend Presents: Dan DiMonte and the Bad Assettes
When: 2 p.m. Friday
Where: Java House, 211 1/2 E. Washington
Admission: Free

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