Trombettas: Betta than your average local band

Allison Bugg

For the last year and a half Mike Jones (drummer), Doug Snyder (vocals), Brian Westfall (guitar), Adam Fischer (bass guitar), and Jake Trombetta (piano/ keyboard) have made up The Trombettas. They play local spots in Kent and Akron.

Credit: Andrew popik

When you put ‘60s R&B, ‘70s Roxy Music and ‘80s new wave all in a blender, you get a sound like no other.

That’s how recent Kent State graduate Doug Snyder, lead singer for The Trombettas, described his band’s music.

“We are a rock band,” he said. “We experiment with many different styles of music until we find what we want.”

The Trombettas is a group of five guys from the Kent/Akron area that formed in the fall of 2003. They spend most of their time writing songs and perfecting their unique style.

The group got its start in Kent at last year’s Battle of the Bands competition at the Rathskeller and played three shows there last semester. Most recently, they played a free show Monday night with a performance by Will Cleary and his band.

They are currently mixing their debut album at the Lava Room in Cleveland and hope to record another song or two before it’s finished.

“It’s been a long process, but when we’re done with it, we hope to have five or six well-composed songs on a CD,” Snyder said.

The Trombettas include Brian Westfall on guitar, who also is a public affairs reporter for the Daily Kent Stater; Adam Fischer on bass, Jake Trombetta on keyboards and guitar, Mike Jones on drums and Snyder as the lead singer.

The band members have a wide range of compositional influences, from jazz and big band to rock and pop. The guitarists, Westfall and Trombetta, stick mainly to playing cleaner tones, which are most prevalent in jazz music.

“When it comes to writing songs or music, everybody in the band is involved,” Snyder said. “If one of us comes into a practice with an idea, we bounce it around so that everyone has some kind of input. It’s truly a group effort.”

The Trombettas rarely play cover songs during a show. Snyder said they tend to stick to playing all original songs with the possibility of one cover. Their covers include songs from artists such as Creedence Clearwater Revival, Elvis Costello and The Beatles.

The group has had a difficult time putting all their energy into the music, Snyder said. The guys are still in college and working part-time jobs.

Having graduated from Kent State in December with a theater degree, Snyder said he’s trying to focus on consolidating everything and everyone to make a push for their music this spring.

“Once the album is released we want to expand our boundaries and tour the Midwest as well as the East Coast,” he said. “Besides Cleveland, we want to play in big cities like Boston, New York, Pittsburgh and Chicago.”

The group also is lacking a fan base, which is essential for any successful band, Snyder said. They have plans to sell their album for $4 or $5 and to start a mailing list on their Web site,

The band plays once a month at the Lime Spider in Akron, and with their next show is scheduled for March 31. They also will be booking shows this spring at the Grog Shop and the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland.

Contact local music reporter Allison Bugg at [email protected].