Chicago indie band headlines gig

Kate Fechter / Washburn Review

Self described as “psychedelic, indie grunge,” Model Stranger is working to set the world on fire with its music, a fire that came to the Boobie Trap Bar last Tuesday as Model Stranger shared the stage with The Atlantic and Calamity Cubes.

After touring nightly since early April, the band released its debut album, “Dreams and Bones,” April 24. Avid record collectors, the band also has released 500 copies of a seven-inch vinyl called “What You Are Looking For.”

“If you like the band the Beatles, Pink Floyd or Radiohead, then you’ll like us,” said Kevin James, bassist.

James and Stephen Francis, the band’s singer and guitarist, have known each other since the eighth grade. Model Stranger has been a band since November of 2009. Up until that time, the group was known as Reverie.

“We’ve been in a band for five years before, but we changed our name and got a new drummer,” said Francis.

While the band has a new drummer in Vincent Joseph, none of the musicians are new to music or rock. Joseph has been playing drums for 16 years, Francis has been playing guitar for 15 years and James has been playing bass for 11.

Together with its manager Andrew Coate, Model Stranger has been preparing artwork and merchandise, organizing a tour, touring and recording an album. Coate explained that they have been recording the old fashioned way, live to tape.

“They wanted to get back to the roots of rock and roll,” said Coate. “Just like their heroes. Model Stranger’s headline is basically ‘analog band in a digital age world.'”

Very people-oriented, Model Stranger is currently focused on touring and building a fan base.

“We like to meet the fans,” said Francis. “We welcome interaction and messages and ideas. We find one-on-one contact very important.”

The band further explained that it welcomes reviews and comments on its music as well. Armed with Twitter, Facebook and a Web site, www.modelstranger.com, the musicians are highly accessible to fans. They have also posted YouTube videos of their music and misadventures, and write a blog on their site.

“It’s stories,” said James. “We randomly write things about what comes and goes. The YouTube videos are of some pretty funny stuff.”

One of the more recent postings on the blog is James’s review of different beers he has tried while on tour. The writing and videos display a humorous, fun-loving side to the band. They compare their personalities to their band name.

“The name Model Stranger is two far extremes,” said Joseph. “We can be extremely subdued or over the top. We have dynamic personalities. The music is serious, but we are not always serious people.”

Model Stranger is indie rock with psychedelic tones, a danceable beat and a unique quality of mixing the past and present. Check out the group’s Web site, www.modelstranger.com and give them a listen.