Band from TV Rocking Out with QSC Audio
(ShackMan | Posted 2010-02-05)
February 4, 2010 - Hollywood, California
What started out as almost a lark – an offer to jump onstage and play a gig at the House of Blues with a couple of celebrities – has led Greg Grunberg, who is currently starring in NBC's HEROES, to create one of the most successful “Hollywood-Based/Celebrity-Laced” rock bands, playing rock and roll covers at packed venues for charity. As a matter of fact, they've raised over $2,000,000 for the various charities they support, including TalkAboutIt.org, The Conservation Fund, Rush University Medical Center/Epilepsy Center, the Art of Elysium, The Child Abuse Prevention Program, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Lupus LA, and The Indiana University-Kenya Partnership.
Greg is also a veteran television actor who’s appeared in Alias and Felicity and he’s currently starring in the NBC hit HEROES. Band From TV is rounded out by Grunberg’s friends, James Denton (guitar), currently starring in the ABC hit DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES; Hugh Laurie (keyboards & vocals), star of the FOX hit, HOUSE; Bob Guiney (vocals), who appeared on THE BACHELOR and is currently the host of GSN LIVE; Jesse Spencer (violin) who stars along with Laurie, on FOX’s HOUSE; Adrian Pasdar (guitar) also on NBC’s hit show HEROES, and the latest addition to the band, Scott Grimes (keyboards & vocals) from ER and American Dad. Rounding out the band are accomplished musicians Chris Kelley, Barry Sarna, Jon Sarna, Chris Mostert and child-star turned bass player Brad Savage.
"My oldest son has epilepsy and I saw this band as a wonderful vehicle to help raise money for the National Epilepsy Foundation," comments Grunberg. "Having band mates who also happen to be in some of the most popular shows on television creates an amazing opportunity to really reach out to our fans to help support these wonderful causes.”
Support for additional charitable organizations are in the works. Continuing, Grunberg states, “You cannot play with our band without giving us a charity to donate to, and every time we play, each celebrity gets to donate at least ten grand to a charity.” Grunberg continues, “QSC Audio, Sears, Lowes, etc., love what we’re doing, they love the fact that we support the charities that they support and they are able to help us out with what we need, which helps so many people. We just recently completed this really cool place we call the Band From TV Showroom," he says, speaking of the band's newly done studio and rehearsal space. "For the past three years, we had a lock-out rehearsal space that we’d pay way too much for, but the key for us was to leave our equipment, come in and flip one switch and play. But we never had the great sound. But now that we’ve built our own space, we literally wanted - and I know this is going to sound like a commercial - the absolute best sound possible.” Well, Greg, this basically IS a commercial, but since you're being nice and giving to charities, I think we'll let you go - just this once.
And Grunberg continues, “In investigating all of the great products out there, after going to every leading retailer throughout all of Los Angeles, every sales person would say, ‘you could go with this or with that brand, but if you really wanted to step-it-up, you should get a QSC K-Series System.’ I’m not kidding you – that happened at least six times; three times to me, and three times to Brad Savage, our bassist! It was obvious. We were going to get the QSC Audio K-Series.”
While the Band From TV Showroom will be used primarily as a rehearsal space, it has also been designed to be used to host small charity events of over 100 guests. If there was an MTV season of "Cribs" based solely on recording studios, it sure sounds like this studio would make an episode. Two QSC Audio K-10’s are suspended from the ceiling trusses, which provide the majority of the vocal foldback for all of the band members on stage, with two K-Subs providing low-end punch. Two QSC K-8’s are used as stage monitors, with one of the K-8’s handling triple duty by providing foldback to Grunberg, the percussionist and the bassist, with the second K-8 providing foldback to “the musicians up front and the back-up singers,” he states.
Grunberg continues, “I don’t use in-ear monitors, therefore I really need clear sound around me.” Since Band From TV is a big band, with sometimes over 12 musicians onstage, Grunberg points out, “I need to have a clean mix, and I have to hear all the vocal cues, horns, fiddle, and the timing has to be right. The wedge I use has to have a really good mix for me and the K-8 delivers.” That's a lot for one monitor to handle for sure, no matter how good it is. If it can deliver all of that cleanly on stage, this reporter might have to check it out for himself.
According to the QSC press release, Band from TV "really put the speakers through their paces." I believe it, but Greg Grunberg says they can take even more, "much more than any other amp or loudspeaker that I’ve listened to,” he says. “And the K-Series are capable of handling much more signal, which keeping it clean without distortion.”
Upon getting the K-Series loudspeakers down to the Showroom, Band From TV promptly played eight songs to evaluate their new tools, in their yet-unfinished rehearsal space. "We didn’t have the sound dampening insulation installed, no fine tuning at all, we didn’t put the speakers in the proper places, it was just a thrown-together rehearsal," states Grunberg. “And the speakers sounded sooooo good (the extra "O's" came with the press release), and now with them properly installed and EQ-ed, they sound ten times better."
When asked if he notices that the band rehearses better, tighter, longer, and more efficiently, without ear fatigue and the nasty ringing left in one’s head after a marathon rehearsal, Grunberg is adamant that the K-Series speakers are a tremendous asset to the overall improvement of the band, simply stating, “Yes! Everyone trying to be louder than someone else, that’s just the nature of not being able to hear yourself and hear others. As a drummer, I am always trying to play softer and have more dynamics to every song. You have to come from a place where the song is exciting. If you can’t hear what’s going on, and you’re constantly playing louder, well, you don’t have to do that with QSC K-Series. It’s a big difference." Coming from a rented rehearsal space to a full PA and studio-theater space should make a big difference, and sure, the comparison between having a top-end PA system and either none or a very basic one is a good deal lopsided. Still, it takes some quality hardware to handle all those musicians at once, and QSC gets points from me on that alone.
The drummer-slash-frontman is keeping the band busy raising money on top of their acting careers. "We have a lot of gigs coming up in 2010," states Grunberg, "and this studio is the one thing that we have finally done for ourselves in the three years we have been together as a band. And it’s going to generate so much money for the Charities. Thank you to everybody from QSC Audio for helping us."
For more info, news, pictures, video, 2010 tour dates, and/or to purchase the Band From TV DVD, please visit BandFromTV.org
For more information about K-Series, please visit www.qscaudio.com.
James Rushin (ShackMan) is a bassist, pianist, composer, and writer in the Greater Pittsburgh and Morgantown areas. He is currently finishing up his Bachelor's Degree in Music and Creative Writing at West Virginia University.