(From left) Austin Hunter, Christian McArdle, and Davis Tamano commence practice in their friend’s garage, despite the absence of six other members of The Pull Saturday, March 8. Photo by Lorisa Salvatin / Xpress
A year ago, Christian “Verbalistic” Mcardle-Hankin was tired of being a solo emcee. He wanted to share the stage with someone. He wanted to share the stage with a lot of someones. He wanted a singer and a live band. He had a big sound in mind.
This week, The Pull, a band composed of SF State students and alumni Mcardle-Hankin, Austin Hunter, Ari Tibi, Matthew Bland, Mazin Mahgoub, Davis Tamano and their cohorts Patrick Abogado, Josh Del Mundo and Arrington West are finishing up the final overdubs and mixes of their first EP, tentatively self-titled.
“We’re really looking for as intricate but as big a sound as possible,” said Mcardle-Hankin. “We’re always bring in new guys. Sometimes you’ll see two sax players, sometimes a horn player. One night we’ll have a djembe.” He paused and chuckled at his own pun. “We’re always pulling something new in.”
Mcardle-Hankin expects the EP, being recorded at SF State with professor John Barsotti and his advanced audio production class, to be out later this semester. This will be The Pull’s first recording available.
“Recording for an audience of 15 people is really new for all of us,” said Abogado of recording in front of a class. “But everyone has been really helpful, (Barsotti) really knows what he’s doing.”
Their audience received them well.
“They were really easy to work with,” said Hugh Coffee, a student in Barsotti’s class. “They were great with communicating what they wanted and we tried our best to help them with how they wanted it all to sound.”
Their sound is eclectic, to say the least. Drawing from jazz, blues, hip-hop, reggae, soul and Latin rhythms, Hunter said they “manage to keep the same feel, the same vibe, just through different rhythms. So there is continuity.”
Getting to this point hasn’t been easy, said Abogado, adding that he is not sure where all this work is taking them next.
“Every band is a work in progress,” he said. “I wonder what The Pull is going to end up being like.”
The Pull was conceived when Mcardle-Hankin and Tibi, both mutual friends of Hunter, met each other at an open mic night. Mcardle-Hankin was impressed with Tibi’s voice, and Tibi was impressed by Mcardle-Hankin’s parking lot freestyle session. The next day the two of them, Hunter and a few other friends partook in a loud, late night jam session.
Even now, they’ve come a long way. The band has attained what some might call a common-law residency at Balancoire in the Mission, performed at a gallery opening at SF State and booked a future show at the Boom Boom Room.