What: Alovitiman, with Goleyeth

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Where: Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Drive, Bend

Cost: $10 at the door

Contact: volcanictheatre.com or 541-323-1881

It’s taken Alovitiman the past 2½ years to find a niche in the Bend music scene.

In fact, the process is still ongoing somewhat. The trio’s East-meets-West style — a combination of traditional, Eastern European folk music revved up with healthy doses of rock and funk, complete with whiplash-inducing time signatures — often left audiences confused at early shows, drummer Steve Miller confessed. Other shows have found the group playing for mostly musicians who were captivated by the unusual (for Western music) rhythms and melodies, said bandleader/saxophonist/flutist Nate Giersdorf.

But audiences have warmed to the group as it has continued to play bigger shows, including recent openers for like-minded acts such as Beats Antique and Diego’s Umbrella.

“I’ve been a part of this music scene for a long time, so I’ve seen a lot of crowds and had large crowds and stuff,” Miller said. “But in this band, it’s so weird to have somebody who you know has been a legit drummer for a long time come up and just be like, jaw on the floor. And several times, we’ve had people — we played at the Domino Room for Diego’s Umbrella (in February), and we had people coming up to us at the merch booth that literally couldn’t put words together. They just wanted to hug us.”

The group, also featuring bassist and guitarist Brian Martin, will release its second album, the appropriately named “Alovitiman II,” at a release show at Volcanic Theatre Pub on Friday. Local DJ Goleyeth will also perform, and Giersdorf teased a dancer for Alovitiman’s set.

The album follows the group’s self-titled debut, which was released in late 2017, and is the next step in Giersdorf’s ambitious, five-album plan for the group. Like the first album, it was recorded at the Firing Room with engineer/producer Dayne Wood.

Per Giersdorf’s plan, the group’s first three albums showcase the group “figuring out our sound.” A fourth album would compile the best tracks from the previous three releases. The fifth album will fully unleash the Alovitiman concept and serve as a soundtrack to an original story based on Serbian folklore.

“It’s basically a love story between the weather and the original Alovitiman,” Giersdorf said. “He’s originally just a village guy, maybe a goatherder or something, and the weather really digs him — he’s a respectable human. … So then, the weather grants him special powers, and they have this unique connection, of course, through this. His village people use him as a military weapon, but then at the same time he becomes a martyr.”

Though the trio played its first show in April 2017, Giersdorf has been developing the idea since moving to Bend from Portland about seven years ago. While in Portland, he played with a band called Opa Groupa, which also performed Eastern European folk music.

“They were more traditional, or at least trying to be,” Giersdorf said. “And I felt like this music could use a more rock or Western influence on it.”

He began developing arrangements via sheet music and audio he found online, as well as writing his own instrumental songs inspired by the unusual time signatures and melodies he was researching.

“I spent hundreds of hours just looking through stuff,” Giersdorf said. “And then not just that, but then reformatting it because I was finding stuff in German and stuff and their notation’s a lot different. You have all these different sources of where this stuff (comes from), and some of it’s handwritten, some of it’s audio.”

Miller, who played with Giersdorf in local seven-piece ska/dub band Necktie Killer, approached Giersdorf in late 2016.

“I had been playing the drums for about a year and the music I was playing was really boring,” he said.

Martin, who played with early incarnations of Larry and His Flask, joined after responding to a Facebook post from Miller seeking a bassist.

The players, like the audiences, needed some time to wrap their heads around the music. For Miller, the odd time signatures were a draw and a challenge.

“(Giersdorf) had these songs in 7 (time signature), and when I started playing them on the drums, they just had this really groovy feel to them, and I loved them so much,” he said. “But the challenge for me was (on) one of the very original scores that was just totally Nate’s with no — basically his original material was in 13, and as I was trying to learn it, I almost gave up. It was so challenging to not just count the 13 beats, but to put it into something that made sense with a backbeat and the drums and stuff.”

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