Safari Room set to give their sophomore performance at Gabe’s

Nashville based indie-rock band Safari Room will return to Iowa City for a performance at Gabe’s on Feb. 27. The band shared some words about what makes their music unique from musicians of the same genre.


Pedro Barragan, Arts Reporter

Hailing from Nashville, indie rock band Safari Room will return to Iowa City tonight at Gabe’s at 9 p.m. The band currently seeks to differentiate themselves from recognized indie bands, something they hope to achieve by playing a few songs from their first full-length album that they hope to release this summer.

Safari Room consists of songwriter, lead vocalist, and guitarist Alec Koukul, guitarist Chris Collier, and drummer Austin Drewry. Their songs are singular for their rhythmic and percussive traits, and have additive lush sounds, according to Koukul. He added that his lyrics are conveyed through what he is feeling at the moment.

“I write from my line of experience as well as observations of others. I think that helps us stand apart from other bands.”

Although they are Nashville-based, neither of the three members are from the musical city. With Koukul from Omaha and Collier and Drewry from Ohio, the three members originally came to Nashville to pursue their academics, but instead found themselves in the music scene.

“It’s been great. The town is a lot different than other local music scenes. Like any scene, there are ways you will succeed in breaking in, and ways you will fail at breaking in,” Drewry said. “I’ve learned more about myself trying to operate in Nashville than about Nashville.”

Touring outside of Nashville has also been a wonderful experience for the band, Koukol said. This is the first time the band has traveled to Iowa City since last August.

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“Since Nashville is a hotspot for music, we found that it sometimes is saturated. But us touring outside of Nashville has been rewarding,” Kouluk said. “When we go into a new city, people are much more willing to stay and listen and feel the music with us.”

The band believes their fans should be expecting them to surpass their previous musical outings.

“People who’ve seen us before expect a tighter performance. Expect something exciting and connective. Expect new songs,” Koukul said.

Koukul is the primary songwriter, but the band is collaborative in bringing these songs to life. Each member also plays in different genres for wedding parties and other music gigs in Nashville, each bringing something unique to add to their upcoming performance.

“The form, the lyrics, the structure, a lot of the harmony Alec will put together,” Collier said. “All three of us do freelance work in Nashville, so we bring a lot of diverse playing experience. You’ll hear gossip licks from the guitar, you’ll hear a country tone. The total sonic thing comes from our influences, but the songs come from Alec.”

Drewry shared Collier’s sentiment in the creative process of producing their music.

“I think Chris, Alec, and I work well together,” he said. “ We all have a lot of the same influences but we’re all different enough that when we get together to create something, there’s a lot of trust.”

Their first full-length album will consist of 12 songs, a new venture for the band.

“Up to this point the size of our releases have been fairly small,” Keoukul said. “We’ve released a single studio EP, two singles off of that, two live EP’s. We have a decent amount of stuff on the internet, but this will be our biggest project yet.”