You’ve probably heard The Safes without knowing it. The Chicago-based band has been licensing its songs to commercial outlets over the last few years. The band’s Frankie O’ Malley mentions just a few:
“CBS, PBS, MTV, VH1, TBS, Red Bull and Dr. Pepper… I could list a bunch more.”
The band didn’t even have to go looking for the opportunity. Instead, it came to them, via a fan. The group’s 2005 album Well Well Well received remarkable critical praise. One of those reviews captured the attention of a music supervisor at MTV who in turn bought a copy of the album through the band’s website.
“H sent us an email, saying, ‘This album’s amazing. I do the music supervision for eight or 10 different shows on MTV. If you have instrumental versions of this album, I can get it in the wheel well and it will get used on all the shows. My brother Patrick was so smart when we finished making the album he did a bounce of the whole album with the vocals muted for this reason. “
Soon, other music supervisors began contacting the band and before long the group was able to cash some fairly substantial checks for its efforts.
“We’ve built a studio from what we’ve earned licensing our music.”
That, in turn, has allowed the band a place to spend time writing and recording new music, including the group’s new album Record Heat.
The band has delivered a record that’s typical of The Safes: it’s powerful and succinct, leaving a lasting impression on the listener.
O’Malley describes the record this way:
“No B.S. To the point. No fat. Killer. Rock ’n’ roll.”
This is in keeping with the quartet’s live shows which are remarkable for their efficiency and power. That is to say, The Safes is a band that never overstays its welcome on the stage.
“It’s a busy world and people don’t have time. So if you’ve got ‘em in front of you, you gotta entertain ‘em,” he says. “It’s relentless. It’s like a jackhammer of rock.”
O’ Malley explains that after a decade together the band still has plenty of vitality and that—as much as his relationship with his brother Patrick—is what keeps the group together.
“Patrick keeps writing songs that are really good and I keep writing songs that he likes. Not every band is able to do a 34 city tour where they have 37 shows but we do. It’s because we continue to make new music and we want people to hear it and we continue doing it.”
The Safes will perform at John Barleycorn’s on Friday, May 23.
Visit www.thesafes.com for more info.