Giganotosaurus Rex was a big f***ing creature that roamed the Earth millions of years ago. It's also the name of a three-piece band that currently roams the Rochester Earth. Gigantosaurus Rex (the band; notice the missing "o") is angular, obtuse, and dynamic. The diamond-cutter precision this band plays with is made more amazing when you consider the largess of its music: a crushing sound created by a mere three musicians. G-Rex ain't a jam band, yet there are points of magic and chaos in which the band forges ahead, locked in the moment. Regardless, everything comes off tight with a nod to the ability to get loose.
The band admirably catches that energy and dexterity on its debut EP, "Providence 3.0," but Gigantosaurus Rex is a full-on live affair, boys and girls. The onslaught begins with drummer Sean Jefferson whose time signatures seem to weave in and out of each other. Bassist Tyrone Allen switch hits between strolling the bottom end to a more guitar-like attack. Andrew Links mans the keyboard, launching waves of melody and noise you can almost taste. It's one intense audio spectacle.
Jefferson, Allen, and Links stopped to explain more about the Gigantosaurus Rex sound. An edited transcript follows.
City: So who got this started?
Sean Jefferson: It was my idea; just playing in other bands — it wasn't like they weren't good or anything, I just wasn't playing me. It wasn't a perfect marriage so there was compromise. I just wasn't doing what I wanted to be doing long term. I wanted to be playing music that gave the freedom to not be branded as a jazz drummer or a rock drummer, and be just a drummer who plays music. So I met Andrew first and was like, "Dude, we gotta do something fast." He told me about Tyrone. It was more or less, "Hey guys, I want to play some really cool stuff. Do you want to play cool stuff too?"
You put out an EP rather quickly.
Jefferson: We went into it kind of business-like. "Let's just record an EP so we have something to promote."
How did you entice the other two into the band?
Jefferson: I told them the kind of bands and direction I was moving toward, like Hiatus Coyote, Bjork — I would marry her music if I could. So we got together and played some stuff I had already written. And even though I say "written," it was really vague; we let it develop more or less.
Did the sound evolve into something other than what you had initially set out to do?
Jefferson: I don't want to say it's not very different, but we went into it with a really open mind and whatever these guys do well, I wanted to capitalize on that.
What were your expectations for the band?
Tyrone Allen: Honestly, I had no idea what I was getting into with this band. A big thing for me was I play a lot of upright bass in school, and at that point I hadn't had the chance to play electric. This seemed like the way to play it a lot more.
Andrew Links: For me, I saw it as an opportunity to explore electronics and noise-scaping, and to create a lot of textures all at once. It's something I love doing, though I've done it in more free-jazz settings. This is a lot more controlled. Almost every tune, we have a section where it's open but with a general direction.
But it seems very precise, tight.
Jefferson: That comes from playing a lot. We save some things for live shows we haven't done on recordings.
What do you struggle with? What comes hard for the band?
Links: When we write things that are actually harder than we can do.
Jefferson: It's taking really difficult music and making it sound easy and attainable to the average listener.
What won't you do?
Jefferson: We avoid clichés.
Links: Or we use them as rhetorical tools.