Story by Katie Whitman. Published 12/6/2009 12:00:00 AM
You may have heard of a band called Analog. If you’re a member of the military, you might have seen them at Kahuna’s or Kemo’o Pub. If you’re a regular of the Waikiki bar scene, you’ve probably run across them at Coconut Willy’s or Irish Rose. If you’re a member of the underground scene, you probably dismiss them as a cover band and don’t give it another thought.
Analog hasn’t mixed with the original music scene in a very long time, if ever, but a lot has changed for the band this past year and they’re ready to start edging their way in.
First, let’s get a quick history of the band. Analog started about four years ago, formed to play a USO tour for the military. Budget cuts lead to a cancellation of the tour, but the military hired the band to gig around Hawaii. Then gig offers from Boardrider’s and other venues started to come in. Original member Daniel (drums) recalls, “Suddenly we were like, we’re getting to play! That’s all we wanted to do. We weren’t trying to make it in the original scene. We weren’t trying to make it in the cover scene. We were just trying to make it as musicians.”
Over the years, Analog went through a series of bassists, never quite finding one that would become a permanent member of the band. Then, lead singer Drew took off one day and never came back. Completely unsubstantiated rumor places him in California traveling around with Eddie Vedder who is helping him with his career. Long story short, Analog was suddenly without a lead singer and this is when the doors opened.
Enter Kamuela Kaohana, a seasoned musician who has performed Hawaiian and contemporary music solo for many years, as well as originals in his band, Green Light Go. Kamuela also holds a degree in music composition from UH. As a longtime fan of Analog, Kamuela decided to take the leap and fill the empty spot as lead singer. He felt it was something of a gamble, “but there was a part of me that thought, dude, I don’t want to be singing falsetto for the rest of my life.”
The last addition to the current line up came when Brent Paul joined Analog on bass. Brent holds a degree in classical music performance from UH and gigs as a back up musician for the likes of Taimane Gardner and other well-known performers.
Guitarist, Selwyn, also an original member of Analog - the founding member of Analog, in fact - should not be left out. He is a man of very few words. While I have been familiar with Analog for many years, I believe that this interview was perhaps the second time I have heard him talk. He prefers to maintain his mysterious image, I believe.
To the present. The new Analog has been together for about 10 months and they all agree that they have the right members and the right chemistry to go forward and create something new. Unlike the old Analog, the new Analog has managed to set aside time to practice, time to write original material, and time to get into Low Brow Studios to record six songs that they will be releasing as an EP in the near future.
While they tout their ability to transition between Kings of Leon, Pearl Jam, and The Fray during cover sets, what is the direction of their own music? Daniel cites Chili Peppers, Sublime, 311. This is starting to sound like something that people in Hawaii might really dig. I got a chance to listen to the rough mixes of their new songs after the interview in Kamuela’s car. The music was, indeed, a new sound, not like the old Analog. With only one listening session over two months ago, it’s hard to really explain what the music was like, except that I know I was impressed and fairly certain that audiences in Chinatown would be receptive.
Now that Analog has been reborn, they plan on reintroducing themselves to the original music scene in Hawaii. They are looking to network and expand outward through touring and radio play. The band has big goals to be a big name, something they believe is now possible, because, as Kamuela put it, “This road right now, that we are all on, the four of us, super smooth.”