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Rock and Roll Saviors

Three Cities Bring The Rock Back To The Fort

By EA Poorman

Fort Wayne Reader


If the end of Rodney Dangerfield's Back To School had continued on to his open house party I would imagine the band playing that party could very well have been Fort Wayne's Three Cities.

These guys bring to the table an 80s hard rock flair that isn't meant to be a schtick or tongue-in-cheek. It's an earnest sound that comes from the heart. There may be beer bongs going on while these guys tear through a set, but nobody's getting hurt. It's just good fun with some power chords, soulful vocals, and a "party on" vibe.

Something Mr. Dangerfield would've approved of.

Three Cities is Terel Lynn on vocals, Patrick Brown on guitar, David L. Herring on keys, and Anthony Decker on drums. During a few moments where they weren't scorching the earth with their rock and roll voodoo, the guys sat down to answer a couple questions.

EA Poorman: So tell me about the band. How did you guys get together?

Patrick Brown: Every classic-rock-loving dad in America will tell you there’s something missing from today’s music. Three Cities essentially united under that same philosophy. But where that dad might lament about the lack of a backbeat, or how kids these days just don’t respect the blues, our love of classic rock is a little more broad. There was a certain level of excitement that was inherent in the hard rock of the 60s, 70s, and 80s that’s been forgotten. Where modern radio rock centers around sad, introspective songs performed by overcompensating tough guys (here’s looking at you Five Finger Death Punch), bands like The Who, Queen, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, etc, could sing about a broad range of topics all night and still have enough musical presence to completely blow audience’s minds. I remember the first Craigslist ad I put up for a keyboardist, before David joined the band. I pitched the idea of the band kind of like this:

_The diversity of The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. The energy of The Who, Queen, and Van Halen. The heaviness of Metallica, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. The complexity of Yes, Genesis, Rush, and Dream Theater. The weirdness of Frank Zappa and Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Whether the rest of the guys agree with my specific band influences or not, Three Cities has followed that formula in its songwriting. It’s rock ‘n’ roll, baby, and it’s exciting.

EA Poorman: What other bands have you guys played in around the Fort?

Patrick Brown: I think Anthony and Terel are the only guys who have played in bands in Fort Wayne. The two formed Maria Hill in college.

EA Poorman: If you had to describe Three Cities in one word, what would that word be?

Terel Lynn: In the words of Fort Wayne’s finest voice in radio, Doc West….Passion.

EA Poorman: So who or what are some influences on the sound of the band? I hear a lot of great 80s rock and metal in your sound.

Terel Lynn: Man, that is what makes us unique. Our music selection ranges all the way from the Beatles to the Backstreet Boys. All jokes aside, our eclectic taste is what keeps this fun. We are all fans of the 60’s, 70’s, and some 80’s rock. We tend to agree on our love of Led Zeppelin and Queen. Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different answer. As far as metal goes, you name it. Bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Sevendust, Killswitch, SOAD, and many more have gone through these ears.

Patrick Brown: If you listen to our catalog and single out individual sections within songs, you’ll probably start to hear the influence du jour for each writing session. I think that’s what separates us: we’ve all listened to and studied so much different music that all those little influences start to blend together into the Three Cities sound. We’ve heard some groups who seem to be heavily influenced by only 1, 2, maybe 3 bands, but our influences span several decades.

EA Poorman: Are you suffering from a serious metal illness? What's the cure? When did you first discover this ailment?

Patrick Brown: I caught the Serious Metal Illness in the early 2000s when I first heard Ozzy’s Tribute to Randy Rhoads. From that point on, I was addicted to shred, power chords, and chuggin’ riffs! People have asked me about the cure before, but I just don’t understand why you’d want to rid the world of something so TOTALLY RAD.

Anthony Decker: I became infected sometime during my childhood in the early 90’s. My Mom was a carrier of the illness with her big hair, black firebird (t-tops and all) and her sick collection of cassette tapes. I think I can pinpoint my infection to the first time that I heard “The Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin, it immediately consumed me. It quickly spread by my exposure towards other bangers like “Once Bitten Twice Shy” by Great White, “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister, and “Feed My Frankenstein” by Alice Cooper.

EA Poorman: Are Three Cities working on an album? Is there music out there in digital or physical form folks can get their hands on?

Patrick Brown: We’ll be releasing our first live album Live from Lafayette on September 15th, the first day of the festival. That recording is from our May 19th show at the Lafayette Theater in Lafayette, IN. Throughout that project, we’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing engineers like Noah Freeman (recording), Zachary Pierce (mixing), and Trevor Clark (mastering). We also recorded 3 songs live, but in a studio setting, at UpState in South Bend (the same day we recorded our Serious Metal Illness live video). Those 3 songs will be on an EP titled The UpState Sessions. Lastly, we’ve been prepping for our next studio album, and we are almost done with the writing and rehearsing. Look for that in 2018.

Our debut album For the Price of One, and all future Three Cities releases, can be found threecitiesband.com/music.

EA Poorman: So how did the Middle Waves gig come up? That's a pretty stellar gig to nab.

Terel Lynn: A lot of bugging Emma got us that gig. No no. I kid. Emma, who volunteers and does quite a bit for the festival, saw us last year at the North Anthony Block Party. She told us how much she liked us. She also mentioned that we should play at Middle Waves and after a few emails, here we are! We couldn’t be more gracious for the opportunity to show what we have to offer.

EA Poorman: Who are some bands you guys are excited to see there, both local acts and national ones?

Terel Lynn: Well, we have done shows with Zephaniah. They actually got us our first gig as a band. Those guys are down to earth and exciting to watch. I am familiar with some of the artist that will be playing. I am excited to just vibe out to a day of awesomeness. Getting MGMT to play is cool as well.

Patrick Brown: I am beyond stoked to hear The Lemon Twigs. Their Do Hollywood album has some of the best songwriting and composing I’ve heard from anyone in a long time. Every note seems thought out, every vocal line fits perfectly with the music. Absolutely masterful.
Anthony Decker: I’m excited to see Left Lane Cruiser. I always enjoy some high energy southern rock! Especially intrigued in their two-piece setup.

EA Poorman: What can folks expect to see at a Three Cities gig? Will there be colorful button ups and lab coats provided or do folks need to bring their own?

Terel Lynn: Tons of rock and tons of roll, baby! People will see four guys who came together with the mission of changing the way rock music is viewed now. We want to bring excitement back through our shows and we hope that it is obvious when people hear us.

Anthony Decker: As for the lab coats and button ups; we’ll bring the Rock, you bring the apparel.

EA Poorman: Besides spreading the word about serious metal illness and Middle Waves in September, what else does Three Cities have lined up for the rest of the year?
Patrick Brown: After Middle Waves, we’re going to focus on pushing Live from Lafayette, rehearsing for the next studio album, and booking for 2018. Oh yeah, and be on the lookout for a New Year’s Eve announcement as well.

Grab your tickets for Middle Waves and be ready to be rocked by Three Cities. Head over to threecitiesband.com/music for a sneak peek of what you can expect at Middle Waves.

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