Having both grown up with a similar musical obsession, Attila Medveczky and Dave Stevenson first began making music together as an acoustic duo in the late 1980's/early 1990's, playing shows at clubs and for special events all across the San Francisco Bay Area, finally forming The Fish with the help of a keyboardist and a revolving roster of drummers. During this period the musical direction of the band was firmly established and the songwriting process began, using the diverse experience and influences of the two principal members. Attila (bass, keyboards, vocals) brought his study of jazz and classical music to the table, along with his deep love of the more adventurous rock music of the late 60's and early 70's, such as Genesis, Pink Floyd, and Yes. Dave (guitars, vocals) countered with his punk rock upbringings and love of finger-style classical guitar and the English folk traditions of John Renbourne and Bert Jansch.
In 1995, having stripped down to a duo again, Attila & Dave sought out a permanent drummer to cement the lineup and further develop the character of the group. Rusty Aceves joined in August of that year, having been recommended to the band by a former college classmate, and the trio was complete. To the existing mix of influences, Rusty brought his love of bebop, 20th century classical music, funk, electronic music and myriad avant-garde offshoots of jazz and rock. That year, the band began touring the Pacific Northwest, playing shows in clubs, at festivals and at colleges.
In December of 1995 the band entered the studio to record their first full length CD, Songs of Innocence & Experience, named for the work of poet William Blake. This album contained recordings that had been in existence since the beginning of Attila and Dave's collaboration, and were essentially re-recordings of the material from their first demo. Songs garnered extremely high praise from music critics and fans alike. It was named to the top 10 "Best of 1996" list by Exposé Magazine.
Lifeline followed in 1999, which marked the first songs written by the trio as a working creative unit. The album also successfully captured the band's live sound for the first time. Lifeline was produced, recorded and mixed by Steve Fontano who was working with ADP and Santana simultaneously at the same studio. Fontano later won a Grammy for his work on Santana's Supernatural. Lifeline also received (and continues to receive) excellent reviews from numerous magazines, newspapers and webzines.
In 2002, the band releases their third CD, Illuminated, which further extends the band's compositional scope and is by far the most eclectic and experimental work by the band. The record features an extraordinarily diverse palette of sounds and instrumental colors, and the song "The Neon Light" also marks the first collaboration with a guest musician as a featured performer.
During the band's seven years as a working trio, they have toured nearly non-stop and have shared the stage with bands as diverse as Third Eye Blind, the Bay City Rollers and Steppenwolf. They have garnered a reputation for tremendous instrumental prowess, solid songwriting and the unique mixing of modern digital and vintage analog keyboards with acoustic instruments, electric instruments, acoustic and electronic percussion, multi-layered vocal harmonies and samples, loops and sound effects.
Attila and Dave Project continue to tour the country, building a fan base and converting the uninitiated.
More insights from our blog...
Attila and Dave Project band members left to right:
Dave Stevenson, Rusty Aceves, Attila Medveczky. Photo: © Abe Perlstein.