STORY WRITTEN BY ROB NAGY
For Digital First Media
A year has passed since psychedelic pop Philly rockers “The Peace Creeps” career came to an abrupt halt as a result of a severe hand injury that sidelined frontman Richard Bush. Healed, rehearsed and ready to hit the road, the Peace Creeps are ready to make their triumphant return to the concert stage.
“We’re all chomping at the bit,” says Richard Bush from his South Philly home. “My hand is pretty much healed. It’s never going to be normal, but I can play. This is going to be our first show since my accident, and I can’t wait to get back out in front of our fans.”
“I’m very proud of the way the band held together during my rehab (over a year between gigs),” adds Bush, “and just very grateful to be able to make music with such great players and great people.”
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of their 2005 formation, the Peace Creeps (also featuring John Marchiano (guitar), Roy Fisher (bass) and Jeff Pancoast (drums) is one of the region’s most dynamic and original bands.
The band uniquely captures the spirit of one of the most fertile periods in rock history.
“We’re definitely informed by the late 60’s, early 70’s, and we try to add modern elements,” says Bush. “I don’t want to be a classic rock band, which I don’t believe that we are. I think we sound fresh and new even though we’re referencing a lot of things from the past. We are not trying to disguise anything. We are who we are.”
“The first time we all played together, I knew we had something,” recalls Bush. “It’s a great band to be in. I couldn’t be happier. There are no conflicts or egos jockeying for position. It’s just, ‘let’s make the best music that we can and have a good time doing it.’”
With a pair of exceptional album releases under their belt (“Autumn of Love” (2006) and “Time Machine” (2011), The Peace Creeps are currently recording in a South Jersey studio and expect their third album to be released in early 2016.
“We have 8 or 10 songs,” says Bush. “The music is going to be on the same trajectory as what we’ve done before. It’s melodic. It’s from the late 60’s early 70’s. It’s a bit more psychedelic. We’re trying to push that area. We’re taking more interesting sonic turns. We’re trying to make it a varied record as much as we can with two guitars, bass and drums and to make it sound like more than that.”
“I think it’s going to be really good,” adds Bush. “I’m really excited about the new material. We will be doing quite a bit of it at Steel City.”
While each of the members of the Peace Creeps are long time veterans of the Philly music scene, Bush enjoyed the most notoriety as the lead vocalist of the Philly rock group “The A’s.” Known for their hits “After Last Night” and “A Woman’s Got The Power,” the band signed a major record deal with Arista and enjoyed moderate national success before disbanding.
“I miss those guys,” reflects Bush. “I liked the us against the world mentality that we had.
I have my legacy with the A’s, whatever that is. They were very big in my world, but there is something more satisfying and pleasing to me about the Peace Creeps. I would really like to establish more of a place for the Peace Creeps. I really do believe that is my best work, and I would like to be remembered for it.”
As electrifying as the Peace Creeps are in the studio, it is the live show that symbolizes the energy of the band while spotlighting Bush’s talent as the consummate showman.
“When I’m on stage, that’s my world,” says Bush. “I don’t have total control. I don’t want total control. I like surprises on stage. But it feels like I know what I’m doing there. I try to be as prepared as I can, knowing lyrics and chords, and then just let it go. If I’m thinking about any move or performance thing then I’m not really in the moment and it isn’t true. It’s really not that hard for me. Once I can find that place, I’m there.”
“We know what we can do, what we’re good at and what’s going to work for us,” adds Bush. “I just love playing with these guys. They’re in it for all the right reasons. They give 100 percent all the time. I’ve been in bands since I was 13, and this is my favorite band ever that I’ve been in. It’s for the music!”