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Dynamite the Liberator (DTL) was founded in early summer of May 2011, arising from an unexpected collaboration between funk/hard rock guitarist, John J. Yohimbe, and versatile rock/funk/groove bassist, Rich Tokatyan, three years prior. As these two great musical minds came together, jamming to a computerized drum kit in a small living room, they suddenly realized they were laying the foundation for something amazing – a band whose soul purpose was to “serve the song and the song alone.” But band cannot live on guitar alone; they needed to find the two missing pieces of the puzzle which would bring this incredible vision to fruition.
While tirelessly searching for a singer and drummer who could match their creative edge, dynamics melodies, and connect to their band philosophy, they began to rock the Phoenix bar and open mic scene, performing as an instrumental band in venues such as The Red Owl and Goathead Saloon. It was long before they gained a great deal of recognition from the public, as well as the attention of a talented singer/songwriter, out of New York City, named Marcus Terrell Smith, who was literally gnawing at the bit to become a part of the team. After one phone call and a short audition, Marcus Terrell came aboard, the three began to write songs together, hashing out new rhythms and arrangements, inspired lyrics, and vocal melodies that, combined with his unbelievable stage prescience and R&B/gospel chops, gave them a look and sound unlike any band in Arizona had to offer.
Shortly after, whether by luck or Divine intervention, Chad Calton, only a week in from Michigan, tried his hand at the kit and destroyed any doubts of his ability. With a drummer’s ear and a confident swag on the sticks all his own, he brought the excitement, energy and the driving rhythms the band had been waiting to hear for so long. The vision of Dynamite the Liberator was official complete.
Possibly considered a funk/rock band, DTL is a band that has decidedly kept itself out of the box, allowing their proverbial wings to stretch from funk to rhythm and blues, hard rock to mellow acoustics, and beyond. With clever lyrics and vocal arrangements, driving rock rhythms, groovy bass sounds, and high-flying guitar melodies, they seek to challenge people to think about the world around them, as well as be entertained. Influenced by bands, such as The Clash, Joy Division, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Marley, and The Ramones, they hope to leave the audience entertained and with a something to think about long after the show is over. In a time when so many people are suffering emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, Dynamite the Liberator is looking to be part of the real change Phoenix, the nation, and the world is looking for.