Beetfarm blends genres for unique sound, fun show

The Williamsport-bas­ed band Beetfarm has been playing on and off in the local area for the last five years. After going through several different configurations with its lineup, the group currently performs as a three-piece unit, blending a variety of genres on stages at bars and music festivals throughout the region.

“Our sound is original and has a ton of influences ranging from funk to heavy rock to jazz, hitting things in between,” said lead guitarist Clay Minier. “(We like) keeping things experimental and not being afraid of going into the unknown, hoping we come out the other side without desecrating people’s earholes.”

Beetfarm was first formed back in 2013, with an original lineup that featured Brendan Ludgate, Aaron Kiessling and former member Austin Gillium. After a short run together, the group split up for a time, before reemerging minus the services of Gillium and with Bryant Mejia in his place. Minier then joined the group to play guitar, before the band ultimately went on another hiatus.

Nowadays, the group is comprised of Kiessling, who plays bass; Ludgate, who drums and does lead vocals; and Minier, on guitar. In its current formation, the group has played together steadily since 2016.

“Brendan and I met each other just by jamming with local musicians,” Kiessling said. “I stumbled upon Clay at a music festival and after running into him again at K&S Music we started jamming together.”

Typically, the band plays its own original songs at gigs, but does break out the occasional cover.

“It’s a lot more fun sitting around watching a song form and seeing the response it gets (than doing covers),” said Kiessling.

Not only is playing original music more fun because of the crowd reaction, the band gets invigorated from the music it creates.

“(The music) is never really the same so it’s always keeping us on our feet,” said Kiessling. “Clay is always crafting some epic solo and that’s always a treat. Brendan is an awesome drummer to play with; he keeps the tempo changing consistently which is the best part about this band.”

For fans of network TV sitcoms, it will come as no surprise that the band’s name was derived from the hit comedy “The Office.”

“We are all fans of cult comedy and got inspired by Dwight’s beet farm,” Ludgate said.

For its music, the group draws inspiration from bands like Phish, Consider the Source, Dopapod, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Black Sabbath. Those influences play into the band’s organic songwriting process.

“One of us will bring a riff or song to practice and we will start building our parts into the song, changing whatever needs changed,” said Kiessling.

Though their music brings a lot of fun to the stage, the band did warn that their sound isn’t everyone.

“Your mom wouldn’t want to come to (a show) but your gal pal will want to stick around afterwards,” Minier said.

For more information on Beetfarm, go to beetfarmband.wixsite.com/website or visit their page on Facebook.

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