Carbonear bass player gaining 'momentum' with St. John's punk band
Myles Reichel of Carbonear stops into his work at Von Stitch Studios in Carbonear on his day off.
© Photo by Melissa Jenkins
Myles Reichel is a bass player with the punk band Uneeda, and also a tattoo artist apprentice.
The studio, which has orange walls with obscure artwork lining them, is a regular haunt to the 27-year-old. He is actively working as an apprentice with master tattoo artist Danny Williams, owner of "the shop."
Reichel, who has more than a dozen tattoos, is an artist. He mastered the skill of sketching while still in high school developing a comic book, and has completed more than 50 tattoos for customers to date.
He pulls up a black bar stool next to a display case of body jewelry and spacers and sits down. A smirk never leaves his face. It is obvious he feels at home.
A little punk
Although creating tattoos is his day job, it's the nightlife that has helped Reichel become a popular artist.
As a bass player in the punk rock band Uneeda, Reichel has been a frequenter of George Street bars in St. John's, such as The Levee and CBTGs, both known for live performances of the underground music scene.
The band has also played the most sought after stage on the street, The Rock House.
Reichel tells The Compass he has played the venue twice, once as a finalist in the Battle of the Bands 2013 in one of the biggest local music events on George Street. Uneeda won the event in 2012.
The four other members - Joe Dolomont, Alexis Hopkins, Sean Whythicombe and TJ Dolomont, all from St. John's - have been together since 2007, but Reichel joined in 2010.
He was a late bloomer, he explains, noting he only received his first bass in 2007, and only played one for the first time in 2003, when he entered his final year of high school.
He's picked up on the instrument quickly, and laughs that he's quite the tambourine player.
But his experience is not a reflection of his talent, which can be seen when he plays on stage with Uneeda.
Looking at Reichel, it would be easy to guess he marches to the beat of his own drum. His wild green hair, beard, ear piercings and tattoos may be the first thing about this Carbonear resident that people notice.
He has his own style and isn't influenced by trends. He dresses in what he refers to as, "Myles-style."
"I guess I wear what I like, and I wear it how it makes me feel comfortable," he told The Compass Jan. 21. "It depends on my mood, I like to dress brightly, but I like to dress in black too."
When asked what type of persona he brings to the band, he gets serious.
"I'm Batman," he says, then laughs.
Reichel is wearing gauge 00 Batman spacers and a batman belt buckle. He's a big Batman fan.
"I guess I am seen as the clown (of the group)," he smirks.
Reichel has always had a funny-guy personality, but displays it proudly.
"That's kind of the band's message," he continues. "Be yourself, no matter what."
That is also the theme of the band's first music video, which was recorded on Saturday, Jan. 18.
Music video debut
That is how Reichel described his time on set for the filming of the band's debut music video to original song "Momentum."
Without giving too much away about the plot, he explained a group of punk rock style people invade a fancy party. He believes the metaphor of the video is being yourself and not having to blend in.
The plan of a video was not initially in the cards, until someone from the crew of Republic of Doyle, who was a member of the independent company Filigreen Productions, approached the band after a concert and offered to film it. Several production members of Republic are also with Filigreen.
The video was shot at the Masonic Temple in St. John's with some 100 people on set from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at a cost of around $3,000. Everyone volunteered.
"It started off a small production of a couple hundred (dollars)," Reichel says. "But the ideas kept getting bigger."
The video shoot had to be postponed several times because of the changes being made and in order for the video's production crew to shoot Republic in September.
"They wanted us to be involved as much as possible," Reichel explains.
The band is currently working on their first full-length album, which is expected to be released sometime this year. Members are hoping to release the video at that time.
Hype has been created across the country for the release of this video through a website called ReverbNation, which hosts international independent artists of all genres.
Uneeda is currently ranked in the Top-10 for punk groups in Canada on the site, peaking at No. 3 last year, before dropping down drastically. They regained "momentum" with anticipation of the music video, and have sat comfortably in the Top-10 since.
The band will be doing a fundraiser on Feb. 8 at Distortion in St. John's to help offset the cost of making the music video.