Spreading the Jam: A Once-local Band Returns to Rock

Chicago jam-rock band Spread, which performs Saturday, May 7 at the Hangar 9, got their start right
Brett Haynes
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Chicago jam-rock band Spread, which performs Saturday, May 7 at the Hangar 9, got their start right here in Carbondale, circa 2008, and relocated to the Windy City in 2011. Their high-energy, dance-friendly, jam-infused style quickly gained the band a mass of loyal local followers. Their growth here spawned countless sold-out dance-party nights at Tres Hombres and the Hangar 9.

Since then, the band has come a long way, gaining more fans as the years passed. Fans can catch them all over Chicago and the regional-festival scene this summer— Spread has become a staple, in particular, at the Summer Camp Music Festival in Chillicothe, Illinois, where this May they’ll play for the seventh straight year. Still, however, they continue to visit Carbondale and pay tribute to their So Ill roots.

The players are Dave Petrizzo on guitar, Colin Finn on bass, Patrick Reynolds on drums, Joe Kentos on keys, and often Marty Gierczyk on sax.

Nightlife heard back from Reynolds, Petrizzo and Finn about their earliest memories in Southern Illinois as a band.

“My earliest memory of playing with Spread would be our first jam session,” Reynolds said. “Through a mutual friend, A.J. Torres, it had been suggested I get ahold of Dave to jam. I sent Dave a Facebook message and we scheduled a jam session, just the two of us. Dave never showed up for the first one! We rescheduled and he showed up at my apartment with Colin, both of whom I’d never met. We packed into my bedroom and played for a couple hours.”

“I remember the first time Pat, Dave, and myself crammed in Pat’s bedroom on Elm Street,” Finn said. “It was hot, sweaty, and magical. We started playing pretty regularly after that, and soon enough, friends started asking us to play their parties.”

“I’ll never forget in the real early days using our friend Andrea’s loft over near Tres Hombres as a practice pad and also as a place to host some of the first parties where we should basically be playing long experimental sets without any songs most of the time, just jamming, and that’s how we basically developed our sound,” Petrizzo said. “It was the perfect environment being created where we were being encouraged by the people there to keep pushing the jams to new places. That’s where our scene really started developing. I was enthralled by the eclectic mix of interesting and friendly people that kept coming. It was a really special time, and I’m grateful that we have been able to continue making this music and taking it to new places.”

Spread played their first above-ground show at a venue that no longer exists, a venue that hosted every genre of local band without discrimination and whose patio was loved by many. That venue, now the home of the Bike Surgeon, was Booby’s.

“It was a great place to get started and play,” Reynoldo recalled. “We ended up having gigs there regularly in the summer of 2009.”

“Booby’s was the first bar we played in the ‘Dale,” Finn said. “After a few shows they asked us to start a weekly residency every Thursday during the summer of 2009.... We started right after the Sunset Concert and played in the beer garden, so it was always a well-attended event. Eventually, we moved to Tres and played one to two shows per month. And now we’re at Hangar, and it’s still our favorite venue to play in the world!”

“From early on, we were really excited by the sound we were making and felt that it was something unique that we weren’t really seeing anyone else around doing,” Petrizzo said. “We tried to make each performance different in the sense we were improvising a lot. This created a really fun energy at the shows.”

Spread is a definitive example of a successful band from Carbondale. They have come such a long way since their inception and always pay tribute to their roots.

“Carbondale is the reason we found each other as musical brothers and is the reason we are still playing today,” Finn said. “That town has molded more than just music in my life. I hope that the local scene stays strong and true for many years to come. It is a very unique and special place.”

For more information, or to stream video of the band, search for Spread on Facebook.

who: Spread

what: jam band

where: Hangar 9


when: Saturday, May 7