HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Curiously catching on 


Steve Gawron was looking for more than a band when he formed the first version of Precious three years ago. The noise-rock trio's performances were less about music than about experimenting with sound, vocal inflection and impromptu theater. This is still the case, as patrons of the 1998 Orlando Music Awards found out in October when the current lineup performed its local-radio hit, "Bi-Curious George," while a pair of ballerinas translated the song in dance.

The effect was bizarre but entertaining -- very much in line with the philosophy behind Precious. Gawron, who serves as the band's guitarist, lead singer and main songwriter, says he is mainly influenced by the visual arts (preferably works by Vincent van Gogh and Jackson Pollack) with bits of philosophy from Camus and Nietzsche thrown in for good measure. "Before Precious, I really didn't have that many musical interests," he says. "Except the Sex Pistols, of course. The punk attitude."

Precious' original incarnation only lasted a few months before Gawron left for the more bohemian atmosphere of Athens, Ga., where he soaked up inspiration from the still-thriving music scene that launched countless college-rock bands in the wake of R.E.M. and the B-52's. Rejuvenated, Gawron returned to Orlando and began posting notices in search of Precious Mach II.

He soon found bassist Joe Panton, who was impressed by Gawron's "insane" approach to playing and his apparent utter disregard for his equipment. The search for the perfect drummer took a little longer, but the band finally coalesced when they found Matt Bloodwell, whose atomic-powered drumming was ideal for pounding Gawron's basic ideas and lyrics into shape.

The band developed a raucous, unpredictable-yet-tight sound. Gawron's vocal approach ranges from a high, boy-choir falsetto to near-guttural shouts, while the music is often reminiscent of the Butthole Surfers and their semipsychotic Austin, Texas, musical brethren. Precious shows are both bizarre and extremely funny.

Each show is unique -- you may hear the same song twice but you'll never experience it the same way. "We're on the same wavelength," says Panton. "We all contribute to the development and evolution of the songs, and we try to keep them evolving so that shows will never have that stale feeling. Even when we're playing older songs, they'll still be fresh."

When it comes to the studio, "We try to maintain the same vibe," says Gawron. He contends that the CDs are mainly for the rapidly increasing number of fans who want to hear the songs they've grown to love from the live shows, particularly "Bi-Curious George."

Precious gained momentum toward the end of the year, receiving an Orlando Music Awards nomination and picking up airplay for "Bi-Curious George" on WPRK-FM (91.5) and Real Radio 104.1. Recently they were solicited by Orlando-based TRIbalfilm to create a video for "Bi-Curious George," and a CD is due out early next year.

"My goal is to able to support my family on my art," says Gawron. "It's too physically and emotionally draining to try to do this and a regular job, too. I also want to give the current inertia of the Orlando scene a nice shot in the arm of psychotic energy."


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

More by Sara Nichols

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation