Moste Potente Potions

Moste Potente Potions

Moste Potente Potions
From around the time the band settled on its classic line-up in the mid-2000’s, The Potions performed as a rock power four piece modified by the addition of Justin Spivey as a lead singer who did not play an instrument other than the occasional use of a tambourine or harmonica. From the beginning the band drew attention because all four instrumentalists — guitarists Alister Perkinson and Gabe Lopez, bassist Kenneth Johnson, and drummer Jamie Lay — would often play lead parts, sometimes simultaneously, or the guitar or bass might assume the role of percussion while the drums added spice rather than driving the beat. The result was music more cacophonous and often more sophisticated than conventional performances in the rock genre. To this day, Lay is admired for his creative and influential drumming, Lopez for his sensitive song-writing, Perkinson for his memorable riffs and power chords, Johnson for his nimble and unorthodox bass playing, and Spivey for his emotion and vocal power. The musicians of The Potions are also natural showmen: singer Spivey is a dynamic front man, noted for hurling his microphone around on the end of its cord like a lariat. Perkinson is famed for playing crashing chords on his guitar with great windmill-like sweeps of his arms (he claims that he got the idea from watching Prabir Mehta swing his arms to limber them up before a concert; Mehta later said he didn’t remember ever doing it). The maniacal Lay batters his drums powerfully. Through all that mayhem, Johnson stands still, often for the entire length of the show, seemingly bored by the whole affair, playing intricate, powerful, innovative bass lines as if he has the stage to himself. The band members punctuate their performances with jokes, tricks, and over-the-top introductions to the songs; Lopez once commented that only the cessation of touring saves them from degenerating into a vaudeville act. During performances, they often chat with members of the audience between songs. The crowd-band interaction is high during performances of The Curse or Parchment Farm, when Spivey feels the need to explain the plot of the operas to the crowd. During these explanations, Lay usually comments in a sarcastic and humorous manner, much to the delight of the crowd. These days, The Potions are most famous for smashing their instruments at the end of their concerts, and often throw the damaged remains into the audience. This signals that the band has given all it has, and generates some coveted souvenirs as a side effect (the broken bits of gear). Perkinson cites his art school mentor Brendan Reed as an influence, who had developed a concept called Anti-Thought Art.

Moste Potente Potions – Throne of Ice

MPP