To quell the myths and misconceptions surrounding the Austin, Texas two-piece Not in the Face is not an easy task, as their truth is often much stranger than their fiction…
Jonathan Terrell (vocals, guitar, and harmonica) hails from the faraway land of Longview, TX where it is rumored that a band of traveling minstrels discovered him at the age of nine living amongst the wolves in the piney forest. Having no knowledge of the English language, the minstrels taught Jonathan to play guitar and he learned to speak by imitating the minstrels’ songs. Those who have become close to Jonathan claim he still disappears from time to time to run with the wolves in order to draw inspiration for his songwriting. Jonathan has been delighting the East Texas and Austin live music scenes for several years in different arrangements as both a solo acoustic country-blues artist and with several incarnations of a back-up band. Wes Cargal (drums) is a former regional mot ocross superstar who was forced to give up his career after a tragic accident where he lost his left eye. He now sports a glass eye that is rumored to have been given to him when he made a deal with the devil at the crossroads in Gilmer, TX. Many claim the eye possesses dark magical powers that are the source of his drumming abilities. Wes has used these dark forces in such local acts as White Rhino, Alan Haynes, and as an occasional fill-in for Dale Watson.
Legend has it Jonathan Terrell and Wes Cargal met in a sweat lodge at a mountain retreat in an undisclosed location. They formed an unbreakable spiritual bond during a Native American ritual that revealed they were formerly a centaur that was split in two. Once rediscovering the two halves that made them whole, Jonathan and Wes were compelled to leave all their other music projects behind and form the two-piece Not in the Face. Jonathan resumed his centaur role as front-man on vocals and guitar while Wes is still bringing up the rear on drums. In their spare time, Jonathan and Wes enjoy drinking double Midori and pineapple juice cocktails while watching TiVo at Wes’ house. Otherwise, it’s all boots, hats, and honeys for these honky-tonk heartbreakers.
Since joining forces in 2009, Not in the Face have been electrifying Austin audiences with infectious high energy live performances, such as the spontaneous guerrilla-style live show in the back parking lot of Koriente at 2 a.m. that many claim was the highlight of SXSW 2 010, and opening for the legendary rebel country artist David Allen Coe. They have recently released their first full-length album entitled Bikini. While they cite The Sonics, Dick Dale, Muddy Waters, Tom Petty, Elvis, and the entire Dirty Dancing soundtrack as minor influences, Jonathan and Wes claim that they make music by “just doing what feels good until we get hooked on a feeling,” and they describe the experience of making music together as “a magical experience like a mythical unicorn hatching from a fuchsia egg.” You can hear an echo of their country roots and influences lurking just below the surface in many of their songs as Jonathan spins cautionary and love-lorn tales set to rock rhythm and blues like imagined scenes from films yet to be made. Yet it’s the versatility of their punk-rock-blues-a-billy sound that begs the question of whether they are but men or are truly mythical, magical souls trapped in human bodies: some songs will have you moving and shaking like you’ve been possessed by a demon, other songs will have you weeping with the angels, and on other songs you’ll find yourself having hot and dirty anonymous sex with mere mortals in a public bathroom.