Chicago band releases songs inspired by Ballard and Fremont
Ballard and Fremont are the inspiration for two songs by Chicago band, Majungas, after band songwriter, Mike Gentile, toured the area while on vacation.
Majungas released ”The Fremont Troll” and “Breakfast in Ballard,” last month on their website, www.majungastheband.com.
Gentile said that he was moved to write the songs after visiting Ballard and Fremont while on a vacation trip with his family. He said that he and his wife were impressed by the sense of community in Ballard and the creative “weirdness” of Fremont.
“We started in Ballard and instantly it felt like home. Ballard has a suburban feel and the locals were very kind to us,” said Gentile.
“Ballard seems to be a proud community and vibrant with a strong sense of pride with Scandinavian roots. My original impression was a family friendly vibe, and it reminded me of the suburbs at home. … We were at a thrift store and the next thing we knew we were being led down the street by someone showing us around.”
The Gentiles had breakfast in Ballard at the Hi-Life and then visited Fremont later that day to have a look at the infamous troll.
“Breakfast in Ballard,” mentions the Hi-Life, the Ballard Farmer’s Market, Fishermen’s Terminal and the Ballard Locks. Other iconic Seattle mentions were Sonic Boom Records, Slate Coffee as well as the Rapid Ride bus route.
“Fremont is one of those crazy places and represents what our band is. We are known for wearing costumes and for storytelling. … Fremont has some unusual characters and the community’s creativity and sense of humor stood out.”
Gentile said that while viewing the troll he pondered if anyone had written a song about it. He did some research and after finding no song about the troll he went to work. He said that once he got started the song just came out.
The song mentions the Burke Gilman Trail, Phinney Ridge and Fremont Brewing as well as other well-known spots.
Gentile (bass/vocals) makes up Majungas with drummer, Andy Palmer, and guitarist, Mike Bancroft. Gentile said the band uses props, costumes and comedy in their stage performance.
During his visit, Gentile was most impressed with Seattle audiences and that was one element that inspired him to write the songs.
“One thing that captured me is the night and day music scene in Seattle compared to Chicago. … They (Seattleites) give their undivided attention to an original band.”
As to whether the band might book a show here, Gentile said he’d love to come back and perform in the places that inspired the songs.