DON'T stirs up a musical witches brew with powerful songs that defy easy classification; sometimes dark and eerie, sometimes punk and surfy, but always, always, melodic. The band formed in Portland in 2009 when Bellingham transplant Jenny Don't (lead vocals, guitar) was introduced to drummer Sam Henry (The Wipers, Napalm Beach, The Rats). Another Bellingham transplant, guitarist Dan Lowinger, along with Portland bassist Dave Minick (The Cosmetics, Napalm Beach) were roped in, and the result was a genre-blurring blend that opened a Pandora's box of musical touchstones. A live presence to be reckoned with from their very first show, the band quickly built an enthusiastic and loyal following across the Northwest. After nearly a year of honing their skills even further as a live band, DON'T self-released their first full length CD, Away Away. Local Portland label Doomtown Sounds released the album on vinyl soon after, and quickly followed that with a new 7-inch single. The band hit the road hard, supporting the legendary Pierced Arrows on two full US tours and appearing at numerous festivals before headlining their own trek through Europe in 2013. Along the way they released two more singles, and their sound stretched even further. Rooted in the same blues that are the foundation for almost all rock and roll, DON'T contorts that basic concept into something dark and mysterious. Their songs linger in the air like a permanent layer of low lying fog in a forgotten bayou; thick with juju, but at the same time retaining that rock sensibility by being completely hook-laden and memorable. Currently the band is about to release a special flexi-disc exclusively prepared for their upcoming fall tour of Europe, and is writing songs for their next full-length album (slated for a 2015 release).
- vocals and guitar
"Both of my parents were musicians who were in a band together when I was pretty young. I used to have to go to their shows and swore I would NEVER be in a band... I always hated listening to people tune and soundcheck on stage and wondered why people would actually choose to be there!
But as I got older and started going to the shows I wanted to go to, I realized just how cool and interesting the musician culture is. I've always liked singing and used to record myself singing on our home answering machine so I could play it back and hear myself. It worked great, although there was always the threat that someone would call and the machine would pick up before I re-recorded the regular message. It was the closest thing to a 4-track I had back then!
In the beginning of 2006 I finally had a friend record me playing some songs that I wrote on my keyboard and thus my 1st band 'Ladies of the Night' formed. We all lived in Bellingham, WA and played together till about 2008 when we decided to head to Portland and immerse ourselves in a larger music scene. 'Ladies' went on hiatus but my goal of having a serious touring band didn't. In less than a year of being in Portland I met a great group of musicians and we formed the band Don't together! The rest is history!"
Dave's been around the block a couple of times and playing guitars and whatnot since the last century. He's been a part of many bands over the years though none of any particular note with the exception of The Cosmetics (San Francisco), Napalm Beach (Portland), and now Don't.
Sam is considered one of the best drummers in the Pacific Northwest and was recently inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. He was drummer for The Wipers with Greg Sage and Dave Coupal. Since then he has lent his considerable talents to The Rats, Napalm Beach, and many other NW bands and musicians.
"I started playing Hammond organ at 4 years old and begged every Xmas for a Sears Robuck drum set. Santa heard me in 1964 and I got a real snare drum. Then after proving that drumming was all I wanted to do, my father took me to see the great Buddy Rich at the club where my dad tended bar. He introduced me to Buddy and Buddy shook my hand and said “good luck”, then turned to my Dad and said the kids got great hands. So here I am many years later still playing and loving it. Be careful what ya wish for, you might just get it."
Kelly 'Gator' Gately
When Kelly aka Gator isn’t running the show over at Dante’s in Portland, Oregon, he’s playing music and creating visual art. Music is something he’s been doing for a very long time. From bands like Fireballs of Freedom to Holochronics and now Don't, Gately has been involved in underground music and is a cornerstone to the Rocky Mountain Northwest music scene.