A drum set sits as the focal point of the room. Pictures of local scenery decorate the walls, and amplifiers, guitars, a keyboard and other musical equipment sits on top of a bed of wires that are easy to trip on while walking through the small guest house on the back of a Millville home.
On most nights, the small one-room house sits vacant — but not on Tuesdays and Fridays. On those nights, a small group of friends packs the house, almost sitting on top of each other to hear the hard-rock, punk and alternative sounds of The Right Hand for Richard, a Millville-based band.
Marcus Quillen plays guitar and offers lead vocals, backed up by Josh Willey, who also plays guitar, Andy Giordano on drums and Kyle Willey on bass. The band formed only about three months ago.
Josh Willey and Quillen had been playing guitar together for about a decade before losing contact almost two years ago. But when Kyle Willey saw Quillen in the gym last fall, they hooked back up and have been playing music in the guest house, which ever since has served as a modern-day garage for the musicians’ garage-band days,
“We just started playing,” Josh Willey said of the brothers and Quillen. That was even before they met Giordano through a mutual friend. “We didn’t expect it to fall in our laps.”
Giordano, having played with Broken Oath — another band that played extensively on the Eastern Shore of Maryland — has the most practical experience of those in the new Millville band. Quillen has been playing for more than a decade and Josh Willey has played for about 10 years, but neither had taken his skills public.
Kyle Willey, in what is likely the most remarkable story of the four, has only played bass for about three months. When Quillen and brother Josh hooked back up, he bought himself a bass guitar so he could play a part too. He still has the receipt, displaying a sell-date of Sept. 1.
“They needed a bass player,” Kyle Willey said. “So I just picked up the slack. Now that I do it, I look forward to it.”
And, by most accounts, he keeps up with the musical veterans and is even tossed an occasional solo on Tuesdays and Fridays. When the band gets together on those specified nights, they play mostly covers for their small, but growing, group of fans. The guitar- and drum-heavy, underground-inspired band plays well-known covers from bands like Yellow Card, Tool and Silverchair. But they find most of their inspiration in lesser-known bands, such as Mudvayne, Breaking Benjamin and the Kottonmouth Kings.
“We all like a lot of different music,” Quillen said. “If someone says, ‘That’s a cool song,’ we’ll do it.”
The Right Hand has also developed two original songs, which are more punk-rock in nature than their hard-rock covers. Those two tunes are “How Long” and “Labeled Excessive.” The latter is the song Quillen said he wrote after he was pulled over for driving his car at an “excessive” rate of speed. And Josh Willey wrote the lyrics on “How Long.”
“I think we’re sounding pretty good,” Giordano said. “We’re definitely a lot improved. We’ve tightened up a lot.”
The band is now working on writing more originals and preparing for their first public experience, a fill-in set for another band at the Millville Centennial Celebration on May 20. Until then, they will pass out CDs, keep writing, and, without a doubt, continue to put on private shows for that small group of friends in their cluttered, yet welcoming, guest house.
“Hopefully, we’ll get more originals and by the summertime, be able to play out and make some money,” Giordano said. “I wouldn’t mind that.”
On the Web: Learn more about the members of the band and hear their music at www.myspace.com/righthandforrichard.