This Friday, Savannah five-piece Triathalon will be playing The Caledonia Lounge alongside Juan de Fuca, Wieuca and Trip Lacy. The show marks the first out-of-town stop in the group’s upcoming east coast tour.
Triathalon released its most recent album, “Nothing Bothers Me,” back in November. The record definitely leans heavily on surf conventions, much like the rest of the group’s material, but it also showcases the band’s first steps into R&B territory.
“That was something that we’ve all really been trying to make for a long time, that album,” says Adam Intrator, the group’s frontman. “That was something that we were really excited to finally kind of release. It’s like, I think, the final stepping stone of that sound.”
Triathalon had worked on “Nothing Bothers Me” for over a year before recording, focusing on making the album’s arrangements as interesting and varied as possible. Specifically, the group experimented with adding more keys and other instrumentation to the record.
“Nothing Bothers Me” can be seen as something of a cap to the most surf-heavy part of Triathalon’s discography. Despite being happy with the record, the band has been quick to keep evolving its sound through new material.
“Even though we put that out in November, it’s kind of crazy how much we’ve already progressed from that,” Intrator says.
According to Intrator, this new material is even more heavily influenced by R&B, a genre he says is deeply important to him. Citing K-Ci & JoJo as particularly influential, he claims he’s wanted to make R&B for a long time.
“I guess it’s like that one music that I won’t ever get tired of listening to, and I’ve always wanted to try and make it,” Intrator says. “It seems like finally, after all these years, it’s just kind of naturally happening.”
In addition to this genre bending, Triathalon has also been trying to challenge itself technically with in its new songs. Inspired by the instrumentation of R&B, the group’s most recent arrangements are reportedly more complex.
“As far as sound goes, it just happened naturally, I guess. We all really respect the instrumentation of R&B music,” Intrator says. “I think [the band is] choosing a more technical direction in a smooth way.”
Fans of the group can expect to hear some of this new material on Friday and throughout the rest of Triathalon’s upcoming tour, as well. As far as recordings go, the band hopes to release new tracks in August.
Triathalon has played The Caledonia Lounge several times before, and the group is excited to be returning. Citing past successful shows (including a gig with New Madrid), the band hopes Friday’s performance will go smoothly, as well.
“The Caledonia was the first place we ever played when we went to Athens,” Intrator says. “New Madrid obviously pulls a crazy crowd, so it was like a really wild party.”
In addition to showcasing its music, Triathalon aims to generate visual interest during its sets, as well. This Friday, the group hopes to set-up a projector and some colored light bulbs to help create a different atmosphere while it performs.
Speaking on the other acts taking the stage before Triathalon, the band had nothing but good things to say. Although Intrator admits to not knowing the gig’s opening acts that well, he says he’s excited to meet them in person and see them perform.
“I’d never seen any of the bands we’re playing with live, so I’m very excited to see them,” Intrator says. “I love Athens. I love all the Athens bands that we’ve ever played with.”
Triathalon has been impressed in the past by Athens’s ability to get college students to small shows despite being a large state school.
“It’s hard to get state schools to kind of come and support local music, I feel like, but Athens does a good job of being supportive with their local acts. I don’t really see that at other state schools,” Intrator says. “I think that’s amazing. I wish other places were like that ‘cause I feel like there’s too much separation.”
Athens fans of psychedelic music, surf rock and R&B should be sure to stop by The Caledonia at 9:00 to catch the opening acts before seeing what Triathalon has to offer live. Entrance to the show is $5.