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Jekyll And Hyde Finds Its Sound At Urban-15

Courtesy of Leila Henley
Invincible Czars: Jeff Grauzer - bass; Josh Robins - guitar, triggers, percussion; Leila Henley - bass clarinet, vocals, flute, loops, percussion; (lying down) Phil Davidson - violin, keys.

A band is set to perform in the Alamo City this weekend, but don't expect to break out in dance. They're not a dance band.

"This is maybe our creepiest...well, maybe not our creepiest, but kind of our spookiest sound track," says musician Josh Robins.

He's talking about his four-piece band The Invincible Czars. And what they're doing Friday and Saturday night is pretty...well, unusual.

"I thought, 'Why don't we do Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?'"

By 'do' Robins means provide the music for the silent movie, live. Last year The Invincible Czars traveled all across the country doing music for the silent film Nosferatu, and now they're back with Jekyll and Hyde at Urban-15.

"Man, I love playing there," says Robins.  "It feels like we're performing in a giant living room, and so it's very comfortable for us."

They encourage coming in period costume, and there's even a little audience participation.

"We ask people to whisper whenever Mr. Hyde is on the screen. The first time we did it we thought, 'Oh, this'll be kind of fun.' But it was actually quite chilling. If you have 150 people doing that, it's pretty spooky."

The sound track for horror isn't as simple as just hitting a dissonant chord.

"Building tension and releasing with the picture. That's what we try to do. If tension's building, we need to be building," Robins says.

The 1920 Jekyll and Hyde movie is creepy in and of itself--the fight between good and evil inside of the same person--but made far more so with the introduction of mood-enhancing sound.

"This music's very introspective and philosophical. That's where it becomes our job to use the music to help the people to understand what's going on."

You've got two opportunities to catch the show at Urban-15 on South Presa Street.

"It is Friday and Saturday, both shows are at 9 p.m."

Find more on Invincible Czars here

Find more on Urban 15's Jekyll and Hyde show here

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii