Eulogies deliver light in the dark

If Peter Walker — front man for the group Eulogies — had his way, he’d love to live in San Francisco. He grew up in The City, and attended nearby Menlo High School.

But now that he and bandmates Tim Hutton (bass) and Chris Reynolds (drums) have released their self-titled, debut album on the Los Angeles-based independent Dangerbird Records label — which Walker co-founded — the group finds itself in Tinseltown more than the Bay Area.

“The next best thing, of course, is coming home to San Francisco to perform,” Walker says in a recent phone interview, referring to the band’s show Saturday at Bottom of the Hill. Eulogies and Morning Benders will open for Film School.

“I’ve actually come to love both cities, but San Francisco has a unique vibe that is unlike any other place,” Walker says.

He says he also likes performing in front of his family, who live in Palo Alto, and friends, too. “My parents have been very supportive of my music career. And it’s always good to reconnect with old buddies, although they can be big critics sometimes.”

Eulogies’ album, which was recorded in only two weeks, already is generating plenty of buzz on MySpace.com. The band recently shot its first video for the CD’s single, “One Man.” Walker is hoping that taking to the road in support of the CD will introduce more people — especially those in the Bay Area — to the group.

“We have about 23 shows left to do, and the response has been great so far,” says Walker, formerly a solo artist, who says he’s adjusted to being in a group, even though Hutton and Reynolds were always around him.

“They were actually my backing band, and we became really close as artists when we toured together. Being holed up in a beat-up Dodge van and traveling all over the country will do that,” he says. “We actually formed on the road during our tour last year with Starsailor. It happened almost without us even realizing it. Before we knew it, we suddenly had an album’s worth of songs that needed to be recorded as a band. For me it just seemed like a natural progression career-wise and the way to go.”

Although Walker’s influences run the gamut from Miles Davis and the Beatles to Sonic Youth and the Beach Boys, he says Neil Young is his biggest influence. “It’s not just Neil Young’s voice that’s unique, but his lyrics and what he says and how he says it,” says Walker. “We try and get the lyrical content to really come across in our music. We pride ourselves on our simplicity.”

Eulogies’ album is filled with dark, somber songs with themes, Walker says, that serve a purpose: “The themes may be dark, but the end result for me — the process as a writer and musician — is illuminating. Dark themes tend to open people’s hearts to important things in life like communication and struggle. And if we can accomplish that through our music, well, that’s really saying something.”

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