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The Breakfast of Champions (Or What's In a Name?)
AJ Keirans
2004-02-28

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet. The boys of Psychedelic Breakfast hope that what William Shakespeare has to say holds true. The band has decided to officially change their name from Psychedelic Breakfast to The Breakfast. This isn't a clever marketing scheme or a ploy to be on the next cover of the Wheaties box. It is just about the music.

The band formed in 1998 in East Haven, CT. Since its inception the group has consisted of Tim Palmieri on guitar, Ron Spears on bass, Jordan Giangreco on Keyboards and Adrian Tramontano on drums. This group of four self-taught musicians was eager and excited at the opportunity to play live music and hit the road, but they needed a name. No one thought that the name would make that much of a difference. The music would speak for itself and so with a little help from the Pink Floyd Album Atom Heart Mother, Psychedelic Breakfast was born. The group worked hard to find their sound and gathered pieces of their musical influences and made them their own. In listening to their music in the early years it was apparent that PB was strongly influenced by such legendary acts as Zeppelin, Phish, Frank Zappa, and the Allmans Brothers Band as these bands' tunes would regularly appear during their sets. As with any new band they continued to grow through continued improvisation and exploration of their music styling. This helped to lay the foundation for the group.

During their first full year as a band, the played almost 50 shows and released their first album which was a self-titled work and features several tunes still in regular rotation. As time went by the band's determination and dedication to their craft was apparent. They embarked upon a more rigorous touring schedule and embraced the music they were creating. Each year saw the group pick up more steam.

Now five years later the band has four national tours, two studio releases (self-titled and ) and one live album (Bona Fide) under their belts. This Jammy nominated band (New Groove of the Year) has decided to drop the word "psychedelic" from their name and continue on simply as The Breakfast.

This decision wasn't an easy one for the band, but they have now fully embraced it. "The Music is more important, not the name," say bass player Ron Spears. Unfortunately the fact of the matter is that red flags appear when people hear the term, "psychedelic". Images of hippies past, acid flashbacks and mind-altering substances all quickly come to the forefront. Music fans, promoters and even members of the band's organization have had and some still do have trouble taking the band seriously, due to this moniker. The band however takes their work and profession very seriously.

It has however kept them off of festival lineups and endorsements deals. While never intended as a drug reference, the fact remains that people will believe what they think is true, no matter how hard you try to explain to them otherwise. Now with the new name, doors aren't going to fly open for them and money isn't going to fall from the sky, but the name won't be the issue. Getting people to shows despite the name has always been an issue with some people feeling they weren't trying to be a real band. "The music speaks for itself", says Ron Spears, "once we have them at the show we have no problem entertaining them." This is usually the case at fans first shows. They enter with one idea or perception of what they are going to experience, but leave with a new found appreciation for the band and their musicianship. "That wasn't what I was expecting at all!!"

One might fear the name change might alienate those who have grown to love Psychedelic Breakfast since its beginning. (Psychedelic) Breakfast fans have been hugely supportive of the band through this period of time. However, through the band's fan site www.pbfans.com, however they have let the guys know that they have their support and hope nothing but the best for them in the future. Many share the common sentiment that as long as the music doesn't change they don't care if they decide to call themselves simply PB or even the Staven Cougars.

While the change may reflect both a maturity and commitment to the business of music for it to have any impact that band must continue to develop its sound. The group is doing just this by focusing on their lyrics and their vocals. The four musicians have begun to accentuate and reinforce their talents and use them to their advantage. No one can argue that the group's jams and playing aren't extremely tight and the backbone of the band, but they are also working to strengthen their vocals and write music that fits their strengths. They will still have their 20-minute opuses, but they are also going to work on tighter pieces that focus on the lyrics and make the people take notice. "Songwriting is a craft," says Palmieri a self-proclaimed geek "and I have serious things to say in my own way."

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