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Wednesday, August 29,2012

R. Ring has indie credentials

By Bentley Weisel
Photo Credits: Photo by Hannah Verbeuren Photography
Photo Caption: From left, Mike Montgomery, Kelley Deal of R. Ring and featured guest Kristian Svitak.

A stalwart of the '90s indie-rock scene will be playing with her relatively new band this Saturday at the Union.

Kelley Deal, most famous for her role in the Breeders, joins Ampline's Mike Montgomery in leading R. Ring.

"It is voices, guitars and keys," Deal quoted from the band's website in describing its music. "It is sparse, chaotic, abrasive and lulling, often within the same song. It is new. It is, at the very least, a stark departure from the music they make in their other bands."

R. Ring is playing the Union this Saturday and will be selling 100 copies of the band's new cover of the DEVO song "Mr. DNA." The single will be packaged in homemade cases of hand-cut, skateboarding griptape-covered wood blocks with custom stenciling from Dayton writer, "KELP!"

The band will be accompanied by Kristian Svitak on percussion. He is also featured on the R. Ring CD they'll be selling at the show, and the track is available digitally through Phratry Records.

"We wanted to do something different with our CD's, and they will be going in bags with inserts that explain the meaning behind everything," R. Ring co-leader Montgomery said. "This will hopefully convey a bit about who we are for people."

The band was formed in 2011 by Deal of Dayton, Ohio, and Montgomery of Dayton, Ky., after a coincidence of fate brought them together.

"I met Mike through work with the Buffalo Killers (a Cincinnati rock band that's played Athens numerous times), and I instantly liked his ideas, which doesn't happen a whole lot," Deal said. "He was invited to open that night for a friend's CD release party and we ended up playing six songs together."

After their music unification, Deal and Montgomery were asked to play shows together in the area, and that naturally evolved into R. Ring, Deal said.

"It started with us doing shows together locally around the Dayton and Cincinnati area," she said. "We kept putting together two-week tours very naturally and organically until our borders continued to expand outward. Now we go all over."

R. Ring finds musical inspiration through working as a team. The songwriting process works best when one person has an idea, and the other follows as a supporting role so they can feed off each other, Deal said.

"We like to create a vibe with each song we play," she said. "And if that vibe is able to be successfully communicated to whoever is listening, then our goal has been accomplished."

With her twin sister, Kim (of Pixies fame), Deal is still a member of The Breeders, who have been in the music scene since 1988, and Montgomery still plays in his band, Ampline, amid R. Ring's continuing tour, Montgomery said.

"We are really excited to come to Athens and play at the Union," he said. "I have been there before, but Kelley and Kristian have yet to experience it. We have heard awesome things and are pumped for the show."

R. Ring has been featured on and will continue to tour. The single is being released through Misra Records on Oct. 30 on 7-inch vinyl only.

Also on the Union bill with R. Ring are Hex Net and M.O.P.


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