R-JENERATION: Garbage Tree blends varied influences for innovative music

If you’ve never been to a Garbage Tree show, here’s what to expect: intricate instrumentation, heavy metal riffage and a mane of blond hair whipping you straight in the face.

The band, composed of Las Vegas Academy students Austin Longworth (vocals, guitar), Anthony Farris (vocals, guitar), Dion Burnett (drums) and Tony Aguilar (bass), is not new to the Las Vegas music scene. They’ve been together for four years, but are not the same Garbage Tree they were at the start.

From covering Pantera and Fall of Troy to creating its own complex and varied works, the band has transformed. The band’s ability to combine various genres into single songs makes this possible.

Burnett is greatly inspired by metal group The Black Dahlia Murder. Aguilar’s favorite band is progressive rock group Coheed and Cambria, while Longworth and Farris enjoy the likes of Deftones and Between the Buried and Me.

Though Garbage Tree’s past songs had been fairly standard, the band can now channel its varied influences into new, more musically interesting compositions.

Longworth, with his aforementioned blond mane, describes his band’s music as “experimental” and “wacky.”

“(We) try to capture technical elements while still being melodious,” he says.

One section of a Garbage Tree song will have you headbanging until your neck snaps, while another shortly after can be simultaneously confusing and enchanting with its odd time signature.

Adding Aguilar helped Garbage Tree reach a new level of musicianship. The group has had two bassists in the past, but Aguilar seems to have completed the definitive lineup. The rest of the band members agree that he has great skill as a bassist and has high energy onstage.

He even wrote a song for the band just months after joining.

“It’s great to be able to play in a band with my best friends,” Aguilar says. “I joined because I wanted to be in a steady band and I was tired of hearing them suck,” he adds, half-jokingly.

Perhaps the band has progressed because its members have developed musically.

Besides playing in Garbage Tree, each member plays in the top group of his respective major at the academy. Longworth, Farris and Aguilar all play in guitar class; Burnett plays trumpet (go figure) in band and jazz band.

The musicians’ improved skills allow them to bring more to practices and performances.

Garbage Tree plans to officially release material. The planned EP is scheduled to be out in April or May.

The band will begin recording in March, and the disc will have six tracks spanning 40 minutes of original material.

The quartet plans to play together for as long as possible. Everyone in the band, except for Aguilar, is a senior, but all will stay in Las Vegas for college studies to keep the group going.

The band also plans to embark on a summer tour with fellow locals Apex of Apathy to gain exposure and see the world.

A fan, Elizabeth Hunt, says of the band: “Garbage Tree has very unique qualities. These guys work very hard to make their audiences happy. I couldn’t be more proud of the work they produce.”

Aguilar’s mentality seems to encompass the ideals of Garbage Tree: “A band is never going to go anywhere if everyone isn’t giving 110 percent.”