By Sophia Ricco
Huntington-based Gnarly Karma is stoked to hit the stage of The Paramount this week. The band opens Friday for one of their musical influences, Dave Matthews Band guitarist Tim Reynolds and his band TR3.
Gnarly Karma has a dynamic sound that anyone could love. They are composed of singer and guitarist Mike “Manicotti” Renert; drummer Jarrod “Rock” Beyer; bassist Ryan “McMagic” McAdam; saxophonist Billy “Bad Bones” Hanley; and lead guitarist Adam “Sklarface” Sklar.
All are locals: Menert is from Cold Spring Harbor; Beyer, McAdam and Hanley from Elwood; and Sklar from Syosset.
The band has dreamed of playing at The Paramount for years.
“It’s something that we’ve been working towards since we started,” Renert said. “Growing up, I always went to the city to see shows and wished there was someplace in Huntington to see concerts. When the Paramount opened, we said, ‘We’re gonna play there. We might start out opening but one day we’ll get to headline.’”
Formed six years ago, Gnarly Karma has gained notoriety for their eclectic music style and spirited live performances at venues like Long Island’s Great South Bay Music Festival, Alive After Five in Patchogue Village, and South by Southwest Music Festival, in Austin, Texas.
But for Gnarly Karma, the Paramount gig is a home game. Renert said he couldn’t put into words the excitement he felt knowing he would be playing for his home community on Friday.
“The goal was always to get into The Paramount on the main stage. We’re super-pumped about that,” Renert said.
The band’s music appeals to a broad audience, and each member brings his own musical perspective. Beyer’s drumming is influenced by Latin rhythms, Hanley loves Motown and funk, Sklar is into all things classic rock, while McAdam prefers modern alternative rock. As the singer/songwriter, Renert focuses on his lyrics and wants listeners to connect with them.
“We all bring a flavor to the song and when it all comes together, it’s really something that everyone can listen to,” Renert said. “I love that we all have different musical influences.”
One of Renert’s inspirations happens to be headliner, Tim Reynolds, who he idolized as a songwriter with Dave Matthews. He remembers going to sleepaway camp, when first learning to play the guitar and his counselor played him “Dave and Tim Live at Luther College” on cassette.
“That album is timeless for me, I listen to it all the time,” Renert said. “When I think of acoustic song-writing, I think of Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds on that album. It’s really unbelievable. I would always listen to it and say Tim Reynolds lead guitar playing is amazing, and now we’re opening for him.”
Gnarly Karma will be releasing new songs this year and hope to perform at more gigs across the country. Catch them open for Tim Reynolds and TR3 on Friday, Feb. 1. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $15-40.