Scene and Heard

Scene & Heard: ‘Nice’ is at the core of band’s purpose

RON HARTMAN/CHRONICLE PHOTO – Possible Human Origins perform at the Brewstation on Friday night, April 1.

COTTAGE GROVE – With a genre that’s described on their website as “NiceCore,” Possible Human Origins put on a nice show Friday night at the Brewstation. 

Nice, but with an attitude.

“We don’t have a genre. We call ourselves NiceCore, but it was a joke,” frontman and guitar player Greg Gillispie said. “We’re a bunch of nice guys, so metal-core, hard-core rock, punk-core – we’re NiceCore, we cover the gamut.”

“So since we coined the phrase, that means we’re the best,” chimed in guitar player Pete Pergament of Creswell.

Whatever style they play, PHO (their preferred acronym) has basically developed their own brand of music. Even when they play cover songs, they have a unique sound. 

“When we approach a song, we know we don’t have to approach it like a regular cover,” said Gillispie, a Eugene resident. “When we do an older song we don’t want to do it like every other band in Oregon.” 

As Pergament points out, “We took ‘Sexy and You Know It’ and slowed it down to where it’s now basically a blues song.”

The crowd jumped right into the action with the playing of Nathaniel Rateliff’s “S.O.B.” 

“The touring bass player (Richard Swift) for The Black Keys lived here in the Grove so that song was actually recorded here,” Gillispie said. “That’s a neat Oregon fact that almost nobody knows.”

Swift died on July 3, 2018 at age 41 due to complications related to alcoholism. 

A nice band? That’s a subjective debate. But there’s no argument about their daytime credentials. Gillispie, Pergament and band newcomer Ben Heiken, who moved to Springfield last year from Pensacola, Fla., are all computer IT wizards, while percussionist Riley McNiff of Springfield is an engineer.

“We do that thing so we can do this thing,” Pergament said. “I go to work so that I can enjoy and buy the things I need to do my real love, which is to play music with my buddies.”

“Riley started Geckoplex by Gecko Pedals,” Gillispie said. “He pulled off what we all wanted to do, he started his own business during Covid, and is doing quite well with it.”

McNiff’s products are selling fast and could revolutionize the percussion industry. 

So many cool sounds coming from all the musicians Friday night.

That was PHO sure! 



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