It’d be a stretch, but you could say that Dead Feather Moon started in an Escondido high school. “That’s where I met two of the guys who are in the band,” says Justen Berge, who now lives in neighboring Vista. “We played together, and we played in different bands, and we went our separate ways for a couple of years. Then, we put it back together.” The first show they played as Dead Feather Moon was in 2009 at 710 Beach Club in Pacific Beach. Berge says they worked out their new-band kinks at area clubs such as Soda Bar, Tin Can Ale House, the Ken Club, and Ruby Room. “We got our foot in the door of the Belly Up right about the time that we got our fifth member. That’s become our home base.” The message of Dead Feather Moon? “That we’re a very hard-working band, and an honest band.” Honest? “We do our best to write the most original music. Some bands,” Berge says, “emulate other bands maybe more than they should.”
Wilco or the Kings of Leon could open for these guys; the three share a similar alt-country rocker vibe. “And we have elements of blues, and psychedelic, I guess, at some point.” Two-time nominees for SDMAs this year, Berge and Jessie Kling started DFM by “listening to records together and then playing guitar. [Kling] had this notebook full of ideas for song titles, and Dead Feather Moon was one of them. I said, ‘That’s good enough for a band name.’” Berge says that’s how he sometimes writes songs, by crafting a title first. “I read as much as possible. I’ll read a phrase and I’ll jot it down. I just have pages and pages of things like that, words and sentences that mean something to me or that make me feel something. I do my best to get them into songs as quickly as possible.”
The Young Evils and Bunny Gang also perform.
Dead Feather Moon: Friday, July 27, the Griffin, 619-684-1816, 8 p.m.