Laundry guitarist Kiki Paroissien-arc shreds during a house show. // Photo courtesy of Kevin Burleigh

They told me about this band, Laundry. They failed to mention their music would take control of me and force me to dance my way through the night.

It was a Saturday evening and I was anxiously waiting for my time at work to come to a conclusion so I could head to the show. Once the clock struck 9 p.m. and work began to slow down, I started my usual closing routine of begging my manager to let me leave. After about the third or fourth round of begging, my manager gave in and I immediately sent my roommate (who was at the show) a text asking how it was going. He responded by saying, “Pretty packed but cool as hell.” Exactly the response I needed.

I could hear the self-described “groovy and smiley music” from my parking place a block away and saw the crowd of people immediately. As I made my way toward the small, unassuming High Street house the music got louder and louder.

And that’s when the magic happened.

My walk morphed into dance, my brain was taken over by their funky bassline and Red Hot Chili Pepperesque sound, and their vibe connected with me on more than a musical level.

Turns out my roommate was right, the show was “pretty packed,” and definitely “cool as hell.”

Laundry is made up of four musically-inclined college students with Riley Somers playing guitar, Kiki Paroissien-arc also on guitar, Cal Fenner strumming the bass, and Nik Barber banging the drums. The members all attend the University of Oregon and are currently trying to balance their evolution as a band with studying for their various college courses.

The four of them met in the laundry room of Spiller Dorms, hence the name. They formed in September 2018 and have played around 70 house shows since.

The group has also gone on two tours, both of which took them to Portland and back down through California.

Naturally, being a part of a young band has some difficulties.

Laundry singer/guitarist Riley Somers (left) belts out lyrics while bassist Cal Fenner lays a groove during a house show in Eugene. // Photo courtesy of Marissa Willke

While they spend several hours a week studying for classes and working, they also manage to fit in time to practice and create new music.  

Though the creation of music can be very time-consuming, small-scale bands like Laundry rarely earn a significant income.The members of this particular band, however, don’t seem to be overly concerned with making a profit.

“With the houseshows that’s not really why you do it at all,” Somers said.

“It’s one of the most fun things we do in life right now,” Barber said.

With performing being as enjoyable for them, it makes sense that they are willing to sacrifice their time without making money.

This group has honed an alternative sound that is increasing in popularity, and has been somewhat dominant in the local Eugene college scene.

“Funk punk is more of a mindset than a genre.”

– Cal Fenner, Laundry bassist

While the group is often compared to The Strokes and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, they consider themselves to be more of a “funk punk” band.

“Funk punk is a very specific 80s genre much more hardcore than we are, which is not what we are at all. We just kinda made it up and stuck with it,” Kiki said.

They don’t seem to be too concerned about genre, with Fenner explaining that “funk punk is more of a mindset than a genre.”

They got the opportunity to open a show for Mild High Club, and with them being a relatively popular band the experience was somewhat surreal for Laundry.

“We’ve looked up to Mild High Club for so long and it was just weird to actually meet someone who’s influenced you in such a direct way,” Somers said.

With Laundry’s return from their second tour, the group plans on making more music for people to connect to in 2019. Keep your eyes and ears out for this local band and get ready for some new music. The group will be playing live on nearly a weekly basis. For more information on their tours, you can visit their Instagram and/or Facebook. You can also find their first album,“The Quandary”, on Spotify, Bandcamp and more.