Garage, low-fi and indie.
These are all words that Brad Gentry, 28, uses to describe his band Kaybab. Formed in 2015, Kaybab has elements of 1990s-2000s indie rock intertwined with Gentry’s lyrics, which gives a listener a look inside his mind. Think Isaac Brock’s Modest Mouse meets The Strokes in a garage downtown.
What’s in a name?
Kaybab is an homage to Gentry’s childhood street, Kaibab Avenue. He said it’s pronounced “ka-beeb” but everyone else mispronounced it “kay-bab,” so Gentry went with the mispronounced spelling.
The word kaibab derives from the Paiute Indians, meaning “the mountain lying down,” which is a high-elevated plateau overlooking the Grand Canyon. The Kaibab Plateau is on the northern rim of the Grand Canyon.
Gentry, a 15-year self-taught musician, has created the majority of Kaybab’s music and artwork.
In the band’s early years, Kaybab used to be Gentry’s outlet to sing about past intimate relationships.
“I (now) write about existential, introspective (topics) – conflicts between people, aware of your own mortality,” said Gentry.
The next step is even grander.
“Concept albums tell a fictional story; I’d like to do something like that,” he added.
On Kaybab’s most recent album, “Habitats,” in the song “Nutrients,” Gentry channels Brock, the near-erratic vocalist of Modest Mouse, with a catchy and upbeat guitar.
He sings: “So what you do, this life, it’s all a consummate. We’re fine, and you may find yourself sometimes lookin’ out to the horizon.”
Behind the Music
Kaybab has gone through highs and lows like most bands.
“There was a small moment where I was thinking that I would totally scrap everything,” admitted Gentry.
That moment came right before Kaybab recorded “Habitats.”
“As soon as we jumped recording, I thought, ‘Why was I thinking like that?’ And it changed my perspective,” said Gentry.
Translating lyrics from a studio to a stage can be difficult for some musicians.
“I used to be scared,” said Gentry. “(I am now) anxious, but not scared anxious – more ‘let’s do this already’ feeling.”
The Man Behind the Drums
Morgan (ex-Choirs) seeks out a harder musical influence with the likes of Primus, Black Sabbath and Tool. He has played in other rock bands in Bakersfield for nine years.
“The first time I heard Tool, Danny Carey influenced me,” said Morgan of the 57-year Grammy-award winning drummer, who is recognized as one of the world’s best.
Rhythm and Blues
Bassist James Dandy records with Kaybab, but is not yet an official member.
Kaybab plays often in Bakersfield and will attempt to hit Portland in the coming months. Gentry confirmed that singles will be announced via social media and released alone, rather than a full album. ￼