Band carves out sound with mishmash of genres

The Carvers Surf & Stomp Combo | Star News Play
By Nikki Mastroieni
StarNews Correspondent
Published: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 at 9:16 a.m.

About a year ago I moved to North Carolina from New York, a self-proclaimed music aficionado with an unwaveringly particular taste in rock ‘n’ roll.

I didn’t expect to find the same sort of musical scene I had loved and lived back in New York, until one night when my sister took me along to a show by The Noseriders, a Wilmington surf rock band, downtown. That night, my Southern world took a turn for the awesome. Could there possibly be a cooler gang of guys on the planet?

Turns out, there is (though The Noseriders remain a very close second). Their name is The Carvers, and they’re based right here in Wilmington.

The band formed about one year ago, when its members – Ben Moore (bass/vocals), Jason Delamar (lead guitar/backing vocals), Steve “Steviemack” Harrington (drums), Seth Moody (keyboard/backing vocals) and Brian Drake (rhythm guitar) – all came together after nearly 20 years of running around the same musical scene in Wilmington.

“Our circles, spinning around and sometimes intersecting each other’s, all the while working on our respective projects (and) respecting and grooving on each other’s respective projects,” Delamar said. “And then one day, BAM! It all comes together. Timing is key.”

Delamar said it was Moore who was primarily responsible for getting The Carvers together.

“Ben had the vision. (He) feeds me and everybody lots of obscure bands and songs from God knows where,” Delamar said.

It was also Moore’s idea for the group to wear matching blazers and shirts emblazoned with their name and logo. This stage image subtly harkens back to the early rock ‘n’ rollers and surf and garage rock greats that the band is so heavily influenced by. They could be mistaken for The Sonics up on stage, or for a bunch 1950s prep school kids on graduation day.

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here,” Delamar said, “just tapping into some tried and true styles.”

The band members all have an interloping musical history. Moore and Delamar played together in The Palm Readers. Moody and Drake currently play together in The Noseriders. Harrington has sat in on several sessions with The Noseriders and, during his college days, Delamar was an avid fan of Moody’s then-band with Brian Weeks, Summer Set.

Taking all of that into consideration, Delamar notes that “what really sets us apart are the nuances we each bring to these traditional styles each time we play them. You’re not going to have a mishmash of creative guys like this together and not get something uniquely its own. I think we challenge each other and play well off of each other, and that adds all kinds of new colors and dynamics to what we’re doing, even if it is in a familiar vein.”