A Blue Day

Joshua Lloyd, A&E Editor

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Austin, Jesse and Jeffery Allem (left to right) got their start as a “classic basement band,” learning music as a family in their home near Philadelphia.

 

 

     Love sang out at the Scranton Commons amphitheatre when 3 Shades of Blue opened the festivities of Springfest weekend. Philly-based brothers Jeffery, Jesse and Austin Allem treated the Commons crowd to an evening of surging synth-rock and tender, soulful ballads.

     Avid watchers of “America’s Got Talent” might recognize them from the show’s tenth season, when they made it as far as the semifinals in late 2015. Since 2011, they’ve released an EP, “Love Will Sing Out,” a studio album, “Try to Fly,” and a slew of singles.

     With the light of the sunset splashed on the brick Commons walls, 3SB ran through spirited originals like “Let Go” and “Falling Asleep,” but also put their own spins on hits like Nelly’s “Just a Dream” and “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. After the final chords floated up into the evening sky, The Voice spoke with frontman Jeffery on the band’s humble beginnings and steady climb to success.

Q: Could you give me a little bit of history about the band? I know you guys are based in Philadelphia, right?

A: “Yeah, we’re a little outside of Philly but we just say Philly cause it’s easier. The three of us started when we were really, really young cause we come from a big family, we were all musical growing up. My mom just kind of started teaching us guitar and then Jesse picked up the drums, so we were like that classic basement band for a really long time. Then, when we entered high school, we started taking it more seriously, playing in Battle of the Bands and stuff like that, where you’re like, oh, let’s just give it a shot. We started doing alright so we were like, oh, let’s start trying to make money playing and start booking shows, different things like that…. Little by little we grew it into what it was.”

 

Jeffery Allem led his band to the semifinals of “America’s Got Talent” in fall 2015.

 

           

Q: Did you guys get your big break on “America’s Got Talent?” Is that kind of where you came to mainstream popularity and whatnot?

A: “Yeah, that was definitely the most-notoriety thing we had done. We had done some other things like winning Battle of the Bands and getting to open up for Switchfoot or Skillet… Then, when we went on “AGT,” it kind of went from what we were doing by ourselves and all of a sudden we had national, you know, people noticed us a little bit more, so it was pretty sweet.

“It was fun because on “AGT,” I think we’re still, technically, the farthest band that went on that show. It was definitely a hard competition because it’s so random, anything can happen. But after that, things sort of made it easier to book shows… Business-wise, it really does help, but yeah, that was probably what most people will know us for. If they do know us, they’re like, I feel like I saw you somewhere, and you’re like, probably “AGT.””
 
Q: That’s pretty crazy that you’re the only band to make it so far.
 
A: “It was fun but definitely nerve-racking. I was pissing myself a lot.”

Q: Are you on a tour right now?

A: “Right now, we’re kind of slowed down, we’re working on a couple different details, hopefully gonna be doing a couple little tours. Right now, we’re kind of just being weekend warriors. Things slow down but then they pick up again.”

Q: Any new stuff coming up? Anything you’re working on?

A: “A lot of the songs we played tonight were new, they’re not recorded yet, so we’re working on that right now. We haven’t come out with anything in a little while, actually, but when we do, we’re just working on some details because when we do we really want it to be top-notch.”

     Austin (the lamest part of the band, according to big brother Jeff) described the band’s genre as pop-rock with some indie undertones, with obvious influences from groups like Coldplay and The Neighbourhood. Jeff’s gnarly voice and keyboard wash mixes with Jesse’s stuttered drumming and Austin’s high-flying guitar, like if Angels & Airwaves had ever joined forces with Nirvana.

    Philly’s known as the city of brotherly love, and true to their roots, these three are full of it. It’ll be a joy to see where the music takes this trio of indie rock dreamers next.