Rizzudo's swan song
Math-rock trio says sayonara, for now
Even if they do end up playing together again, what's billed as Rizzudo's final show is at least a proper send-off for guitarist/keyboardist Gill Durant. The former Plexorjet member and Rizzudo co-founder is Charleston, S.C.-bound come September, so brothers and bandmates Donald (bass, keyboards) and Seth Durant (drums) saw the breaking of the band's latest hiatus as a chance for some last-minute sibling bonding. "I wanted to give us some time together before Gill leaves," says Seth, the youngest brother of the trio. "That was sort of my trickery behind this."
For Gill, labeling it the last show, or at least the last one booked for the time being, made perfect sense. "We weren't getting together that much with us all living here, so I can't imagine we'll do much once I've moved," Gill says.
This brotherly bonding over music began in the late '90s when Gill and older brother Donald played in the math-rock trio Plexorjet. They made Seth, who was still in high school in their hometown of Savannah, mix tapes featuring songs by everyone from Yes to luminaries of Atlanta's then booming post-hardcore and math-rock scenes, such as Some Soviet Station and Hal Al Shedad.
By 2000, Seth had graduated and moved to Atlanta, and Plexorjet split up. Though he had no experience as a drummer, his fervent listening to his brother's mixtapes had Seth ahead of the learning curve once the brothers started a band. "I would air drum on the end of my bed at home, so as soon as I sat down behind a kit, I could play a beat," Seth says.
Rizzudo's sound has evolved over the past 14 years. It has always blended elements of math- and prog-rock-inspired keys and synths, with lyrics and soundscapes often derived from one of the brother's common interests. "A lot of our inspiration came from us all growing up surfing." Seth says. "We tried to re-create that feeling of the drive to the beach. That was always an event unto itself, as you work yourself up on the way there."
This approach, paired with Gill and Donald's Plexorjet connections, helped the band get its first EP released in 2002 by local indie label Moodswing Records. From there, the band spent a lot of time on the road, including a West Coast tour that had to be postponed after their van was stolen in San Diego.
Life changes and a lack of new recordings saw things slow down for Rizzudo in 2007. Since then, the group has played occasional local shows between lengthy hiatuses.
It has been more than a year since the band last played a show in May 2013, opening for Torche at 529. Getting back together to work on music has Gill interested in working on new songs, as he recently found minidiscs of riffs and song ideas from the band's early days that never made it into a song. This renewed interest, and the brothers' love of playing together, means this farewell show deserves a disclaimer. "We're calling it our final show — for now," Gill says. "Actually, I'd like to book a show in Charleston eventually, and have these guys bring their gear up."