Alle-Kiski band All My Monsters revels in the power of three

All My Monsters band members are, from left, Jason Godek, Mike Vasey and Rick Phillips.
All My Monsters band members are, from left, Jason Godek, Mike Vasey and Rick Phillips.
Photo by Courtesy of All My Monsters
| Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 8:33 p.m.

Mike Vasey is aware that a lot of modern music might seem to reflect despair.

The Springdale singer-songwriter is not interested in spending time in that artistic arena.

“I try to give a sense of hope. I try to touch on matters that people can understand and relate to. A lot of the time, it's just a line in a song or a certain hook that people grab onto and apply it to their own lives,” says the guitarist and lead vocalist for the Alle-Kiski Valley-based power trio All My Monsters.

They return to Peter B's, Sarver, Buffalo Township, to headline at 9:30 p.m. March 30.

“We would like our music to be a feel-good experience, with everyone just hanging out, having a good time, kicking back and soaking up some tunes,” he says.

Peter B's is a favorite stop for the group, which includes Rick Phillips, bass and vocals, of Lower Burrell; and Jason Godek, drummer and backing vocals, of Richland.

Formed in 2006, the threesome prides itself in maximizing all that it has. “Everyone in the group is an accomplished musician. We are all on the same page musically. The fact that such a full sound comes from just the three of us seems to set us apart,” Vasey says. “It takes a lot of talent for three people to make a cohesive sound as full as we do. We can all play multiple instruments, and we all sing.”

As a three-piece, it is difficult to step away from the equipment or microphones to move around a lot, he says. “However, we are very interested in nailing it, getting it right and tight as a band, and I think that is really appreciated by our audiences.”

In a power trio, he says, there is an awareness that everyone has to pick up more slack.

They deliver what Vasey calls a modern alternative style with a somewhat progressive approach, vintage groove and “an ear toward radio.”

“We mix it up for sure, rock to jazz, blues to funk, and everything you hear will have our sound and our touch,” he says.

When they aren't doing originals, they offer their interpretations of a wide selection of artists, including U2, Incubus, Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime, 311, Tom Petty, Dave Matthews Band, Pink Floyd, Van Morrison, Jethro Tull and Pearl Jam.

“Some songs you have to play as written; others we put our three-piece spin on it,” Vasey says. “We also put a good deal of time into our light show, which we think is important. We want to give our audience a bigger experience than they might expect to find seeing a ‘local' or ‘bar band.'”

He says he enjoys everything about performing live.

“It's everything, really: the energy, the release of energy and maybe a little stress. It's giving people something to kick back and enjoy, seeing and hearing something we, as a group, create come to life and an audience relating to it, and it's the satisfaction of hard work paying off.”

All My Monsters is excited to be the headliners of the first night of this summer's Rock for Life benefit the first weekend of August.

While Vasey says that the group's name was born “in the midst of a band-wide mental block” shortly after forming, “where we were all just blurting out words,” there is substance to it.

Vasey: “When ‘All My Monsters' was thrown out there, being somewhat deep and introspective as a whole, it was easy to connect the name to those things that haunt us, drive us and generally make each of us who we are, I suppose. That's what we were thinking.”

Music has played an important role in the members' lives for many years. “It's really a part of all of us, a release from the everyday normal, a way to express convictions without conversation, a way to be someone else, or to be who you really are,” Vasey says.

Rex Rutkoski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4664 or

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