It’s a balmy spring night in Jacksonville, and the members of the electronic-funk band “T3ΔM” are having a few beers at the local brewpub Engine 15. Alex Benson, the band’s producer and the beat pad operator during shows, informs me that this is a regular spot for the band to meet and have a good time.
When I first heard T3ΔM a while back, the captivating simplicity of their music was what made them so instantly appealing to me. At the show, I watched as the band incorporated more and more elements into their songs one piece at a time, adding another instrument here, a sound there, or even unexpected vocals into the mix. T3ΔM’s sound was a familiar style like bands such as Phantogram, Chromeo, or The XX, but it was unique and fresh in its own way. The band describes it as “indie electro, or experimental electro.”
T3ΔM is a band with a lot of history in Jacksonville and have been around for a few years. Originally known as AudioFUZZ, the band first formed in the dorms of the University of North Florida where Benson and Nathan Passos, T3ΔM’s guitarist, first met. Benson and Passos said they started AudioFUZZ for fun and never really thought it would become a serious band or anything. At the time, Passos was playing guitar in a band, while Benson was producing beats and Dj-ing on the side. “Me and Nate were friends in the dorms and he played guitar and we would just get together and jam,” said Benson. “I would just throw some beats at him and we would go back and forth like that and make shit up.” From there, the two played a few shows around town, but were always looking to add to the band’s sound and take their music to the next level.
It wasn’t until Benson and Passos met Ellie Rodriguez, who is the current lead vocalist and band keyboardist, that they had finally found a way to progress their band’s music to a higher level. Benson reached out to collaborate with Rodriguez shortly after hearing her sing and the two produced a song together. “Ellie came along and then it [the band] became more serious,” Benson said. Passos agreed adding, “It was what we were missing. Before it was just me and him [Benson] and it was fine, but it needed something else.” By March 2011, the band was formed with all three of its current members, but it still felt like something was missing and AudioFUZZ needed a way to stand out.
The band decided to change their name in an effort to make their music easier to find and brand themselves with a more distinct name. They came up with their current name on a night at Engine 15 over a few beers. The trio decided to change the band’s name to its current title, T3ΔM only two months ago. “We were all venting and we were like, ‘We don’t like the name. I don’t like the name. No one likes the freaking name,’” Rodriguez said. “We went through so many names. Then we thought, ‘We’re a team, and that’s how it came about.” With their new name, T3ΔM continued to have success and play all over Jacksonville at some of the city’s most popular venues such as 1904, Freebird Live, Underbelly, and just about any other place around town you could think of.
During the immensely successful downtown event One Spark, T3ΔM played a set at the Elestial Sound Stage, which was completely knitted from yarn, in one of the bands most memorable performances. Passos said the crowd started with only about 15 individuals, but continued to grow as people kept walking by and stopping to listen to their music. At one point during the show, a kid even got up onto the stage and started breakdancing during the band’s set.
As the band shared stories of past shows from all over Jacksonville, they each collectively agreed that with every show, T3ΔM gets a little bit better, their performances improve, and their sound becomes more and more distinguished. The band describes themselves as extremely high energy and takes pride in seeing a reaction from the crowd and getting people up and dancing. Rodriguez said she loves seeing the crowd react to the band’s music and truly enjoying themselves. “I get off to people dancing and having a good time. I love it. It’s so positive and natural.”
Though the group has had a lot of success here in town, finding gigs outside of one’s hometown is hard for an up-and-coming band such as T3ΔM. That being said, T3ΔM is an ambitious band, and despite finding it difficult to branch out, the band is always looking to get out of JAX and play in other cities or even in other states. “We want to expand and just see if we’re real you know like do other people like us or are these just people we know [supporting our music],” Rodriguez said. Each of the band’s members have jobs outside of T3ΔM, but each wants nothing more than to see the band that they have committed so much time to succeed and ultimately become their only career.
T3ΔM wants everyone who comes out to their shows to have a unique experience like nothing they’ve ever seen at a concert before, and with a sound as unique as T3ΔM’s, they won’t disappoint.
Visit T3ΔM ‘s website here to see what’s happening with the band. Listen to T3ΔM’s EP Be There Soon below via the group’s Soundcloud.