Formula 412, One of the Many Great Bands in Pittsburgh that Contributed to the Magazine

Thanks to all the bands that contribute to Wand'rly Magazine + how you can get in on the free mp3 downloads.

five men, dressed in black, some holding instruments, standing in the Arizona desert

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We’d like to say a special word of thanks to Formula 412 for throwing a track our way (and in turn, yours, too!) via our article on the music scene in Pittsburgh.

Formula 412

I knew their guitar player, Byron “Nasty” Nash (be sure to check out our interview with him below), from way back in the day when he was a bartender at my favorite local haunt, Harris Grill in Shadyside, and through him was turned onto their hip hop meets rock chords sound. I could go on, but check out the video below which can do them more justice than my own words, and if you want more, grab their albums on iTunes.

Free MP3s on Wand’rly

With each issue, we try and grab great tracks from local bands who are willing to provide an mp3 of a song we dig, and think you’ll be into as well. If you’re a member (only $5 / month!) of the magazine, you can simply login to your account and click on the appropriate tab to knab all of the tracks. Otherwise, check out the various tracks we have available from previous issues:

Interview with Formula 412

We spoke with Byron Nash of the band, about their new video, touring plans and where 412 is headed next.

Wand’rly:
Can you tell us how Formula412 came to be?
Nash:
Formula412 came together based off of an idea or desire to fuse Hip-Hop and live instrumentation. Masai Turner (emcee) and Akil Esoon (keys/producer) put their collective minds together to find musicians who could not only play well, but could share in the vision, goals, brand, and collective creative process that in time became Formula412.
Wand’rly:
Who’s idea was it to put together a band that combined hip hop and rock chords the way you’ve done it?
Nash:
The initial “idea” behind the forming band was Masai’s. He was looking for a new sound that had an organic feel, but still had that tight precision that you find in most Hip-Hop production when music is created with samplers, beat machines, or programs, etc. Then from there, he and Akil really spearheaded the search of who could eventually be in the group. In the very infantile stages of Formula412, we were recreating demo beats that were previously made. But very soon after, we realized that in order for the music to grow, we had to play a lot together, learn from each other’s different musical backgrounds and experiences to in time have the sound that we have today. As for chords, and ‘sound,’ that really is a fusion of styles that each member naturally has. Everyone brings something to the table that is a fragment of what makes up the whole sound. Its like musical gumbo- its all in the recipe in some manner. It took a long time to get there, but the journey has been well worth it. That experience is what made us a band and better as individual musicians.
Wand’rly:
Your recent video for Fading Away is amazing, choppers, the desert, acting and everything. How did that all come together?
Nash:
Thanks for the compliment. We are extremely proud of how it turned out. With all Formula412 videos, it is really based from a simple idea. Then from there, we start to plan and try to figure out what it will take to see that vision through from the beginning to the end. Creativity is great, but planning is key. That video and treatment was Masai’s idea, and the first directorial debut for him. Along with the talented Dave Prokopec who shot the video, I think they did a great job. My hat goes off to both of those guys for pulling it off. The video turned out beautifully. But, extra credit goes to Masai for his vision, execution of detail, planning, creativity and bravery to pull off such an enormous production of that magnitude. I’d put that video up against any National act with pride.
Wand’rly:
I see you were in Arizona for that, what made you choose that location?
Nash:
We chose Arizona for a few reasons. All of our videos leading up to that have been made in Pittsburgh our hometown, so for this one wanted to go for a different look, feel, vibe and location. We tossed around a few ideas, but were really attracted to the idea of the desert. In conjunction with those themes and ideas for the video location, we were also playing some shows out west, so we just sort of scheduled the video based off of the gigs and did them back-to-back.
Wand’rly:
Do you guys do a lot of traveling, touring?
Nash:
We have done quite of bit of traveling, but as of late, we have been primarily focused on writing and recording our new material so that we can go out and tour heavily in 2013. We wanted to buckle down and focus on the most important thing: The music. There’s no shows without new music.
Wand’rly:
When (if?) you do go on tour, how do you guys get around? What’s it like with your crew on the road?
Nash:
We do the typical cram into the van life. But, if it is something short distance like Ohio, Philly, D.C. or NY, we sometimes take our own vehicles. We do whatever makes sense for the particular gig, travel and expense. Sometimes we fly because it is cheaper and faster.

As for crew? Our crew is small and they are merely an extension of the band. They help us ensure that we can be our best when we walk onstage. We are still independent and unsigned so, like most artists at our level, the band is the crew as well!

Wand’rly:
With two albums out and the new video and all, what’s the next step for Formula412?
Nash:
The next step is to crank out our third LP. In between the constant writing and studio sessions, we are prepping for a very busy 2013. Lots of shows, touring, more videos, music, music, music, etc. It is going to be a very exciting time for Formula412.
Wand’rly:
Finally, what’s your favorite place to play in Pittsburgh and why?
Nash:
Hmmm, I’ve played so many venues in the city and have a personal attachment and love for them all, but I’d have to say that my current favorite venue to play is Stage AE. Simply put, that place rocks inside and out.

Get the free mp3, and find more from Formula412 at say412.com and on Twitter @Formula412.