Local band hoping to hit it big with contract

Published 11:59 pm Friday, February 20, 2009

These three small town men have big dreams — dreams they hope will land them in front out of sold-out arenas across the U.S.

John Gilmer of Opp and Burt Odom and Bray Pouncey, both of Andalusia, call themselves “Alchemy of Sleep.” Their specialty — rock.

“With a name like that, I guess it’s kind of obvious what we play,” said Gilmer, who is featured on drums and when is not “rocking out” with his band, offers music lessons. “We don’t like to compare ourselves to anyone, because then you kind of label yourself — like if someone said we sounded like Nirvana, you might hear our music and totally disagree with that description,” he said. “When that happens to me, it makes me mad. People just have to hear us play and make up their own minds.”

Fellow band member Burt Odom, who plays guitar and lead vocals, trades in his guitar and microphone during the day as he works as an automotive technician. One day, he and the others hope to be able to devote their time to a full time music career. Pouncey plays the bass. The group has been playing together for the last year and a half.

“For us, music is a passion,” Pouncey said. “It’s not about money — even though we need it to live on. It’d be nice to be picked up by a label, but if I can make as much money playing music as I could stocking shelves, I’m going to play music.”

Each of the three spoke a strong love of music which led them to trying to “make a go” at being musicians.

“I grew up listening to a bunch of different music,” Gilmer said. “Now, it’s the same way — gospel, bluegrass, country — you can’t grow up in the South and not like country and bluegrass.”

But each agreed it was the pull of the lyrical message that led them to their niche in rock music.

“(Rock) just relates to the way I feel inside,” said Odom. “Emotionally — it made me feel good, and I think that’s what gets most people about music. They like what makes them feel good. For us, it’s rock.”

Currently, the group is playing small venues such as clubs in Troy, Dothan and Pensacola, Fla. Last year, they came in fourth at Troy’s Battle of the Bands competition.

“We hope by summer we can pull together a small tour of the coast like from the beaches over to Louisiana and Mississippi,” Gilmer said.

To hear a sample of their music, visit their MySpace page by searching for “Alchemy of Sleep.”