By ANGELA MAURONI
Two avid music lovers, physics professor David Statman and English professor Kirk Nesset, came together two years ago and formed the band ‘Twisted Roots.’
‘Twisted Roots’ plays a less well-known style of music called roots, which is similar to folk or indie music. This style of music was the beginning of the title for their band. They added ‘Twisted’ to it because of the variations that derive from Statman’s eclectic musical taste combining with Nesset’s love for ‘80s and ‘90s music.
“We have a unique sound–much to interest a listener,” Nesset said.
Nesset participates in another band as well called ‘Uncle John’s Band.’ ‘Twisted Roots’ began after Statman filled in for a player in ‘Uncle John’s Band,’ and he and Nesset enjoyed playing together so much that they decided to continue doing so. They particularly enjoyed the influence they had on each other’s music and as a result, they started the band.
Both Nesset and Statman do vocals and write songs. Nesset, who is also an experienced writer with numerous published works, sometimes changes his poetry into song lyrics. He often reconstructs pieces of the poetry to add more rhymes and better rhythm. Although he believes himself to be more proficient at composing literature, he admitted that he finds writing song lyrics somewhat easier than writing poetry because there are other sounds to focus on as opposed to just the words when considering music composition.
Nesset also added, “It’s nice, too, that doing music often involves other people, which makes for less isolating creativity.”
Statman has a very inventive way of coming up with song lyrics since he finds writing the guitar tunes easier. He likes to come up with the music first and get the story from the feelings that music evokes in him.
“The best is to do a cover of a song—a hit of one—and make it yours,” Statman said. He went on to add, “Let it evolve into something new.”
He once found inspiration in the story of 19 firefighters who were killed while battling a wildfire in Arizona, and wrote his favorite personal piece, ‘19 Souls.’
Statman learned how to play a variety of different music by playing with a lot of different people. His interest began as a child coming from a very musically inclined family. His mother was accepted to The Julliard School, an intensely competitive and highly selective school for performing arts. Along with her influence, Statman developed a strong passion for music.
“I once told my friend when I was getting out of college, ‘There are two things I love, science and music, and right now someone is paying me to do science.”
That being said, Statman and Nesset both plan to continue pursuing music.
“Until the bands finish me, I am thinking,” Nesset said on the matter.
Although they do not yet have enough songs for one, ‘Twisted Roots’ is currently working on composing more music to be able to put out a CD in the near future. As of now, they just record everything they write and play.
‘Twisted Roots’ periodically performs at the Voodoo Brewery in Meadville and has performed several times at the Ailhouse in Erie. Their performances remain in Meadville and the surrounding areas presently. The Voodoo Brewery will see their next performances on March 7 and April 4.