Local punk band expands fan base

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Hillary Hurst

With a band name like Not In The Face, it would have been easy for the original two-piece rockers to play the local club scene, never getting serious about making it in music. 

But this punk band has gone from dark stages in downtown Austin to supporting rock acts such as ZZ Top. Since the band’s formation in 2009, its first LP, Bikini, was named one of the top 10 albums of 2011 by KUT. The group headlined Fun Fun Fun Fest last year, showcased at South By Southwest and just returned from a Midwest
U.S. tour. 

Their new album, due out this fall, is the first released with four members. Lead guitarist Michael Anthony Gibson and bassist/vocalist Ross Dubois were added to the original twosome of singer/guitarist Jonathan Terrell and drummer Wes Cargal. In June, the band traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia to work with producer GGGarth Richardson (Rage Against the Machine) and executive producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd and Taylor Swift) on their new album. “[Richardson and Ezrin] made us work our asses off,” Terrell said. “But it was pretty easy. They were really smooth to work with. They had a great team behind them. Things would be ready and set up when we’d wake up in the morning, and they had a list of everything we needed to do. It was an all day project for six days a week. It was all about the feel, and if something just didn’t feel right we had to
correct it.”

Now that they’re back in Austin, Not In The Face has booked gigs at the second weekend of ACL and the 101X Homegrown Live
concert Friday, Sept. 27. 

“I’ve known them since they first started,” said organizer of the Homegrown Live series Deidre Gott. “I’ve booked them before [when] they used to be a two-piece. Now they’re a four-piece so they’ve grown. The songwriting is even better, [and] the four of them playing together is really tight. They just have so much raw energy.”

But the band wants to dig into its Texas roots in Austin and across the state.

“The plan is to do South By [Southwest] and keep on just working regionally,” band tour manager Andy Siron said. “We just started to break into the Dallas market a little bit more and the Houston market a little bit more, so we really want to pay attention to all of the Texas love we’re getting and milk that for all it’s worth.”

Not In The Face will
always remember Austin as the jumping off point. 

“There are so many good bands [in Austin] that the competition is really high,” Terrell said. “I think that they kind of see us as sweethearts [that] have come up from doing jackshit at Beauty Bar to doing some really cool things. I’m always excited about playing
hometown stuff.”