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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The Format refuses to stick with the format

    Many bands use the same cookie-cutter songs. But for those who want a little more flavor in their music, The Format is the band for you.

    The Phoenix-based group came together in 2002 when vocalist Nate Ruess and multi-instrumentalist Sam Means put together a five-song EP.

    A record label quickly signed Ruess and Means, and in 2003 they put out their full-length debut, Interventions and Lullabies. With songs like “”The First Single”” and “”Give it Up,”” The Format built a strong fan base, especially in Arizona.

    In 2005, The Format began recording its follow-up album, but its label, Atlantic Records, dropped them because it did not agree with the musical direction.

    This didn’t bring the band down, though, because the members wanted freedom when creating their music. They strived to change their sound.

    “”Every record needs to sound different from the last, or you will just keep writing the same song,”” Ruess said.

    They finally released Dog Problems in 2006 on their own label, The Vanity Label, with the style they wanted. Now with six members, The Format has created a style that is almost completely different than that of the first album.

    “”It was a natural progression,”” Ruess said. “”With the first record, we were young, and with the second, we wanted something a little more musically challenging.””

    Trying to find a genre to place the band in is as difficult as staying cool in the Arizona heat. Its sound is incomparable to any other group and is what hooks the listener.

    “”I really can’t describe our sound,”” Ruess said. “”It is like trying to pick your favorite ice cream. It’s just too hard.””

    It’s true. The Format is taking over. It’s not following a trend – it’s creating one.

    Dog Problems is an array of horns and intricate arrangements, with many of the songs sounding like circus tunes. Before you know it, you are tapping your foot and clapping your hands along with the beats.

    The Format is currently on tour with close friends Limbeck, Steel Train and Reuben’s Accomplice. Although the group has had some opportunities to tour with bigger bands, it would rather go on the road with bands like these, Ruess said.

    “”Of course we want to tour with our closest friends,”” he said. “”When we tour with these bands, it is like a slamming kegger of a party on stage.””

    The Format has a soft spot for Tucson and frequent Club Congress and Eegees when they are in town.

    “”I am a huge fan of Tucson, and I have grown to love it,”” Ruess said.

    Although the band won’t be hitting up Tucson on its current tour, it is well worth the trip to Phoenix to catch its show.

    They will be playing Friday and Saturday at Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St. The all-ages shows start at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for $17 at

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