Originally a three-piece band, Merkaba Bandits moved here from Washington D.C. last year and added a fourth member. Their sound is a mixture of contemporary pop and classic rock, heavy on lyrics and vocals.
Merkaba (also spelled “Merkabah”) refers to the star-shaped tetrahedron used in meditation in eastern philosophy — Mer is light, ka is the spirit, ba is the body.
This mystically influenced band can be found playing at the Kensington Club, the Zombie Lounge, the Leucadian, and O’Connells, with Alexander Gruenburg on lead vocals and guitar, Michael Loreto on bass, Ryan Sieloff on lead guitar, and Marco Piro on drums.
WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?
Alexander: “The Holy Rolling Empire. Because they rock my socks in a special way.”
Ryan: “I don’t own a CD player, but if I did, I’d probably be listening to Led Zeppelin II.”
Mario: “The Hives’ new CD. That ‘Tick’ song was so catchy, I wanted to see what else they had to offer. I was surprised to find out that they don’t write their own music.”
WORST ISSUE PLAYING LIVE?
Alexander: “Forgetting my custom-made X-ray glasses.”
Ryan: “When the sound check is rushed or not done at all. Having the right volume levels on everything is crucial.”
Mario: “Sound levels! It’s hard to get them right every night at different clubs with their weird, wacky rooms.”
SEXIEST LOCAL PERFORMER?
Alexander: “Lady Dottie rocks the house.”
Mario: “I’m going to go with Justin Lynn of the Stranger’s Six or maybe Nolan Davis of Despite the Wolves.”
WHAT DID YOU DO ON PROM NIGHT?
Alexander: “Played at my high school’s after-prom party.”
Mario: “Went with a friend of mine, got kicked out of our hotel, and didn’t get laid.”
BEST DRUNKEN MOMENT?
Alexander: “Finished the biggest bottle of Belvedere they make with three of my friends and proceeded to trash my own house.”
FIVE MOMENTS THAT SUCKED…
Alexander: “The five minutes it took me to comprehend what I had just done to all of my things.”
Alexander: “Selling gutter cleaners door to door in between classes at college.”
Ryan: “Telemarketing is the worst.”
Mario: “Chuck E. at Chuck E. Cheese.”
Mario: “With Gorilla gone, will there be hope for Man? With Man gone, will there be hope for Gorilla?” — Daniel Quinn
STAR WARS OR STAR TREK?
Alexander: “Star Wars. As a young boy, I was Luke Skywalker.”
Mario: “Star Wars, come on! No ‘why’ is needed.”
“LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT”…?
Mario: “Never really had it; I think I’m too careful when it comes to women. It takes me a while to warm up — looks alone won’t do it for me.”
LAST BOOK READ?
Alexander: “The Alchemist.”
Ryan: “Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Thompson.”
Mario: “Beyond Civilization: Humanity’s Next Great Adventure by Daniel Quinn.”
Alexander: “Considering that the Giants won the Super Bowl…I have no idea.”
Mario: “Obama. I think he’s got his head in the right place.”