A band for all ages

They describe their sound as "Chicago meets the Beatles meets Soundgarden," so it's no big surprise when Unite lead guitarist Forrest Fire explains their mishmash of fans.

"People from 21 to 70 come to our shows," Fire said.

Chuck "Fishbone" Fischer, who plays the trumpet, echoed the statement.

"Our fan base is a mixed bag of a cast of characters from all walks of life," Fischer explained. "We love it."

Fire said that is partly because the members of the six-person Seattle-based band range in age from their early 20s to their 50s.

Unite started in early 2005 with Fischer, a peninsula resident, and friend Davy Rutherford, the lead singer and songwriter, who grew up in the area. Drummer Tim Spitzer and bassist Steve Spitzer joined them. After Fire walked into a Unite concert, he joined. Saxophone and flute player Keith Nordquist rounds out the lively group.

The six began practicing at an American Legion hall in West Seattle and soon people began trickling in to watch. Now, at least 50 fans come just to watch Unite practice.

"It's a show, it's not really a practice anymore," laughed Fire.

The band name Unite just came to one of the band members. It represents uniting different types of sounds and different types of people, Fire explained.

"It was just something we kicked around," he said. "The name is going to set the mood for everything you do and we thought it was right."

Since then, the band has had a few brushes with fame, including recording an album in Seattle in 2006 right between Pearl Jam, that Fire had opened for with another band, and The Dave Matthews Band.

The band writes its own songs and more than half are penned by Rutherford, said Fischer. Fire does much of the composing.

They play in bars and lounges but the members of Unite also enjoy playing for community-minded groups and will get a chance to do so when they play in downtown Seattle's Westlake Center for a large Rock the Vote rally on Nov. 1.

According to Fischer, the band has played the peninsula a few times, with a great crowd.

"We've just had a phenomenal response," he said. "Our band just loves it here."

Unite is playing Nov. 9 at the Lyre's Club in Port Angeles and Nov. 21 and 22 at Oasis Sports Bar & Grill in Sequim.

Part of the experience of playing in a different city, said the members, is bonding with the band and stepping out of the comfort zone of regular fans.

"We all get along," Fischer said. "We are just a bunch of musicians that play together and love music and are like brothers."

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