Ampherium: You're only as good as your drive

Breaking a never-ending cycle of folk-rock bands that make up the Twin Cities emerge Ampherium. The harder-rocking group pulls from metal and punk and has concocted a lethal mix on their new EP, Isolation. The album is slightly bewitching, slightly hypnotic, but terrifyingly nuanced.

Before their album release at the Pourhouse on Friday, Gimme Noise caught up with the band to chat about their evolution and how when chasing your dreams, talk can be cheap.

Band members:
Anthony Jaring, Shane Jaring, Darren LaPage, Scott Perrault

Gimme Noise: You all have such a vast background in music. How do you think it works so well in Ampherium?

Anthony Jaring: We feel like the variety in our taste of music definitely allows us to be open-minded and agree to different sounds. It opens our ability to be creative with more linear or progressive passages. It's also a great way for us to keep our music fresh and unique.

How do you think the music has evolved over the years?

Like growing in life, your personality changes with the things that we've faced growing up. Music is the same way for us. We all grew up listening to our favorite artists, but it was when we recorded our first album that we really learned our capabilities in writing. We've really worked to focus on every detail of the writing process.

Our writing has gotten a little more technical over time while still keeping focus on giving the listener something that's easy to listen to and understand. Our skill sets and creativity have improved which has led to the band sounding tighter in studio and live settings and also jump into more complex styles of playing. Also, when we first started recording our first album we were all still learning about each other; over the past few years, we've really connected through practice sessions, shows, or even outside of the music scene.

We've now been through highs and lows together and by understanding what makes each other tick, we are able to work more cohesively as a band. We just "get" each other better now which has led to a much more mature sounding band.

How did you meet producer Ryan Guanzon, and how did you come to working with him? How did Ryan influence this album?

Ryan has been a long-time family friend of Shane and Anthony. When we all got together, he offered to produce our EP and we felt that our goals for what we wanted the album to be were well-aligned.

As for his influence, he really helped sculpt the album. We liked working more progressively, and what Ryan did was help us take a step back and look at the project through a bigger lens. He helped us make the segments still slightly progressive but not hard to follow and very catchy. He's awesome and has great creative input and coaching. He has a lot of experience across many genres and his expertise helped to enhance the songs we brought to him by making us think outside the box from how we would normally approach the songs. This helped us really tap into our true potential.

Why only four tracks right now? 

We chose to do a four song EP, because we felt that this would be a great way to show people the new sound. We want to show our fans that we are devoted to what we do and that we take professionalism seriously with our music. In that sense, this is also like an audio résumé for our listeners as well. We have really enjoyed playing with all of the bands that we've shared a bill with in the past. The Minnesota music scene is filled with great bands, and we look forward to playing with more bands in the future who share our enthusiasm for music. Of course there's always something in the works as we've been doing a lot of reconstruction on our show, image, and sound.

Do you have anything else in the works?

We are working on a lot of new music, composing a lot of material so that we can pick the best of our work and put together our next full length album. We're trying to write our music around the new changes and make everything fit together. As a new up-and-coming independent band we don't have the financial means to produce another full length album at this point, so for sure in the future we'll have one. Hopefully the second album will be a hybrid of new and old.

What song do you feel best represents the band right now?

"Isolation" mainly because this is a more artistic song on this album and it was kind of the idea/direction of the album. Also, it's the first song that the band really sat down and pitched ideas together. It was written more from the group than by an individual. In the past we'd have one or two members write the songs and we really feel to get the best sound you want to tap into the creative pool from all sides.

The song is about people who talk big and say they'll change or go for a goal, and then isolate themselves from attaining it. Really you're only as good as your drive to attain your dreams. If you just dream you'll never experience what you truly could, but if you act on those dreams at least you'll know if it was meant to be.

What can we expect to see at the album release show?

The 25th of may just have to come and see for yourself. Seriously, the new props and music we've worked on. A new attitude in performance and growth. Those that have followed us from the beginning will see the growth. Those who will be seeing us for the first time, we plan on giving them a show that makes them want to keep coming back.

Ampherium will release Isolation at Pourhouse on Friday, April 25, 2014 with I, Corvinus and VIA.
18+, $5 adv, $8 door, 7 pm

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