When interviewing a band called Levon’s Helmet, the lead question writes itself: What’s up with your most excellent band name? “Me and Gordon were in this band called Water Tower [formerly Water Tower Bucket Boys],” says Jason Oppat, drummer and vocalist for Portland-based power pop trio Levon’s Helmet. “When we decided to make our own music we just went with it. At the time it was kind of a joke. It’s a little bit of a jab at folk and country music.”
Eugene live music fans may be familiar with Oppat and Gordon Keepers’ former punk-bluegrass act Water Tower — at one time a mainstay at local venues. Turns out, acoustic music isn’t the first love of either musician, who are both UO graduates. “Our roots are definitely in rock ‘n’ roll and punk,” Oppat says, explaining when Oppat and Keepers decided to quit Water Tower, naturally the resulting sound was power pop.
“I don’t think of these songs as punk songs, but we do them with punk energy,” Keepers says. Oppat and Keepers say power pop is the best descriptor for Levon’s Helmet, though garage rock also works. “Garage rock is sort of a vogue term,” Keepers says. “A lot of garage rock is blues-derived,” he adds, explaining that’s something the trio steers clear of. To get a feel for Levon Helmet’s sound, Oppat and Keepers suggest getting familiar with The Who, The Sonics, Big Star or Rick Springfield’s immortal one-hit wonder from the ’80s, “Jessie’s Girl.”
Levon’s Helmet plays with Double Deuce 10 pm Saturday, Dec. 28, at Luckey’s; $5.