From what started out as a local band of friends in Norfolk, Major and the Monbacks (now Super Doppler) blends the talents of six musicians striving to bring a twist of psychedelic rock-n-roll and 60s pop with the release of their new album, Moonlight Anthems.
Nine years strong, this six-man band has worked as a cohesive, democratic group of artists. The Friedman twins, Neal (guitarist/vocalist) and Cole (bassist) combined their passion for music with Michael Adkins (guitarist), Bryan Adkins (drums), Tyler West (percussion), and Harry Schloeder (guitarist).
“We’re a very democratic band, so we have six members and six different sets of influences,” Schloeder said of the band. “Everyone’s personal input ends up shining through.”
Moonlight Anthems will be a followup to the band’s 2015 self-titled debut, who have seen quite a few changes since they started jamming together in high school. The band first appeared on the Norfolk music scene as The Yolks for a short while before quickly changing to “Major and The Monbacks, what they have been known as up until recently.
Just before the album drop, the band decided to make the change from their original moniker.
“The name change was sudden and we thought, ‘Man, we have this album coming out, we need to change our name,’” said Schloeder. “So we had this 3-day period where we were constantly on conference calls with each other brainstorming.”
“Major and the Monbacks” was meant to be a name evoking southern charm and a term of endearment. When it was brought to the band’s attention that the term “monback” could also be interpreted as a racial slur, the six friends came together and sought to change the name immediately.
After making an official statement concerning the name change on Facebook, Super Doppler apologized for the negative connotations “monback” evoked, and spoke of the love and acceptance their musical outfit has strived to represent for the past six years they have traveled across the country:
“…To anyone who may have been offended by our band name, we are deeply sorry.
We are a band that believes in love and acceptance above all else. Through our recordings, and the hundreds of shows we’ve played for thousands of people over the past decade, our goal has been to make music that anyone can enjoy. Therefore, we can not in good conscience continue under the name “Major and the Monbacks…”
You can check out the band’s full statement here.
Despite the minor setback with the name change, the group are pushing forward with an upbeat album meant for long road trips and downtime with friends.
Instead of tracks being pieced together in sections separate from other parts of the album, Schloeder stresses the connection each track on Moonlight Anthems has in succession. Like a production, the album acts in a cohesive whole, and works together like a story from beginning to end.
Recorded with Adrian Olsen of Montross Recording, Moonlight Anthems consolidates 12 tracks beginning with “There, There,” a funk and rock blend with subtle harmonies and a beat that drops you back in the ’60s. With new singles like “We Are Doing Fine,” and “The Clap,” Supper Doppler continues to express love for a country’s past times as they “love you wholly” with their upbeat, casual tunes.
“We wanted to have an album that flows like it was meant to be listened to from start to finish in one go and not just a collection of tracks like our first album was,” Schloeder said. “We wanted to do something a little more conceptual.”
Earlier this month, the band released a live music video for the title track “Moonlight Anthems” through local film collective RVATrack.
You can catch Super Doppler in Richmond in September when they stop in for The Shack Up at The Broadberry and listen to their album here.
Photo by Super Doppler