There’s just something about families in bands.
Some, like the Jacksons in the Jackson 5, start young and go on to have separate successful careers. Others, like the Bee Gees’ Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb, still play together — when they play.
And then there’s the Beach Boys, where the sibling dynamic contributed to tearing the band apart, and bands like the Jonas Brothers, where brotherhood brought them back together.
But all of those bands had to start somewhere: a place where it was too early to tell where the whole band thing might lead, siblings-wise.
For the members of Petty Plus, the Salt Lake City band set to play Saturday at the Mangy Moose Saloon, that seems to be exactly where they’re at. And things seem to be going well.
Only a few years out of college, Angie, Nick and Chris Petty have gotten together — and gotten over their differences — to start churning out music, though they haven’t released much yet. Still working other jobs to make ends meet, they’re on the path to playing music full time, which Angie Petty said is going splendidly.
Though they used to pick on each other when they were growing up, they started to get over it while playing in bands in high school. And now that they’re grown, they’re starting to create a menagerie of songs that fall somewhere between the jazzy hooks of Hiatus Kaiyote (that band self-identifies as “multi-dimensional, polyrhythmic gangster s---”) and the pop sensibility of artists like Ariana Grande.
“I think because of our background of fighting so much we don’t get offended by each other at all,” Petty said. “We all just have a different element that we can bring, and it just makes this really nice soup of different flavors, different ideas, different experiences.”
Nick Petty is kind of the ideas guy. His sister described him as the “project manager of the band.” Chris Petty is the quiet one — the “Zen Petty” — who is always there to throw a little bit of much needed spice on a musical foundation. Their sister is the pop star in the band. Having grown up listening to Britney Spears and the Spice Girls, she throws in a final punch.
“I bring the cherry on top,” Petty said.
On Saturday some the Petty siblings will be joined by Leif Routman, Joe Rudd and Tom Young — the “plus” in Petty Plus. The three Pettys usually invite outside musicians to join them onstage, as they’ve done since they were in school.
Now they have 14 songs written and three in post-production. A few are certain to make it into their set Saturday, which will feature originals and covers from artists as wide ranging as Ariana Grande, Lizzo, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and, of course, Hiatus Kaiyote.
The goal for the Pettys is to bring an album to fruition. They’re not rushing it, though. As three recovering music students they’re focused on getting it right.
“We don’t want to put out crap,” Angie Petty said. “We’d rather take our time to put out something as timeless as possible.”
And who knows? The siblings might grow their trio. If all goes well, a 10- to 15-part band might be on the horizon. ￼