Every band has their own idea of what success means and the benchmarks they have to reach to get there. It’s a really special group whose ideals include placing a bright spotlight on all the music that makes up the area. This is New Earth Army.

Officially formed in early 2011 by Chavis Hobbs (guitar), Carly Foster (vocals), Michael Flatau (bass) and Rigel Forte (drums), New Earth Army does more than talk about impacting the community as evidenced by their creation of Okaloosa REVFest.

Defining the band’s sound isn’t an easy task. “When people ask us what kind of band we are, I really don’t have an answer,” says Hobbs. “We have so many different influences.” Those influences include blues, jazz, rock, and jam band styles.

So how does New Earth Army manage to cultivate their unique sound while maintaining a healthy band outlook? Forte says “majority wins everything. It’s the best way to preserve the autonomy of the band. Everybody has equal ownership. It motivates and gives us more of an incentive. Any decision that is made by the consensus of the group, we’re good with.”

That consensus was even used to pick the band name, a moniker that Forte was hesitant to embrace. “I was outnumbered,” he recalls.

The name began after Flatau had watched the film The Men Who Stare at Goats, which features a special military group dubbed New Earth Army. What began as a random name selection has taken on meaning. “Over time, we kind of acquired something to play off of it,” says Forte.

“The name is consistent with what we are trying to do—maybe it was just meant to be. New Earth Army is some sort of reform or revolution. Our music is about making music for the sake of music and getting new life into it.”

The band is already working towards recording a follow up to their debut album Action, released in January. “The last 10 songs were really easy, but this next one is going to be tough,” says Hobbs. With over 40 unreleased songs to pull from, choosing and agreeing on the best 10 is not going to be an easy task.

Nikki Hendrick

Big thanks to Nikki Hendrick down at the Beachcomber magazine for the nice write-up on the band. The folks at Beachcomber do SOOOO much for the local music scene! Thanks again!

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