Ep. 828: Where we laugh to ourselves but think Outloud Video
Formed in Burlingame, CA in the late nineties, the genesis of Aphasia got its start when then-seventh graders Harber and bassist buddy Jayce Basques began jamming together. After several sessions, it became immediately apparent to these two friends that collaborating with each other was like second nature. Their musical partnership cemented for life, Harber and Basques, along with their band mates, stopped playing covers -- ?We were pretty horrible for the first couple of years,? Jeff laughs, ?playing Lynyrd Skynyrd and Green Day songs?-- and began writing songs of their own. Jeff and Jayce?s collaborations, along with drummer Will Peng, yielded a crop of new songs that demonstrated a remarkable creative leap and the group found writing together to be an effortless process. As for the key to their musical kinship, Basques sees it as a comprehensive, almost instinctive understanding of each other?s complexities. "We know how we work," he says, "and what each other?s strengths are. Jeff is more about the ideas and the big picture, Will is a phenomenal multi-instrumentalist, Aaron Prim (our guitarist) gives us an edge, while I?m more about details and organization. We all have a feel for each other?s styles." Comprised of eleven original tracks, the band?s debut release, Fact & Fiction (produced by Chris Brown of Trapt), is a searing yet heartfelt song cycle. From the thought provoking "Away From You," to the straightforward "Then Again," Aphasia come across as a band with tremendous range. Elsewhere, "Push For New" arrives with a soaring chorus, while the poundingly melodic "House Of Cards" boasts a slowed down bridge that reveals a more intimate layer of the band. "?House of Cards? is really a departure from what we were used to," Jeff says. "It really required us to step away from what was comfortable and take some risks. We especially enjoy how stripped down and personal the bridge turned out." Conversely, Harber says, "?Away From You? came to us the most naturally. The song was completed in about two hours. It?s very raw and blunt." Citing bands like Foo Fighters, Deftones, Refused, Incubus, Blindside, (?And Yanni," Jeff jokes) as main influences, Aphasia?s aggressive aural attack may have its roots in the aforementioned bands, but their sound is truly unique. Or, as Jayce puts it, their sound is, "Music to throw ninja stars to." The first single, the heavy and catchy "Flatline" is also the album?s first track and fittingly so because the members of Aphasia have come to view it as the impetus not only for the album itself, but for the band?s motivation to move confidently towards realizing their own goals. "?Flatline? is a great place to start, considering it's about making your move," Harber says. ?Flatline? was the first song we wrote for the record. It became Aphasia's mission statement like ?It's go time, there's no turning back.? It was motivation to write the rest of the album so putting it first seemed natural." Although the band hails from Burlingame, a city situated just outside of San Francisco not normally regarded as fecund ground from which bands spring forth, the members of Aphasia see not being from a legendary musical city as a distinct advantage. "It actually helped out a lot not fitting into a prevalent scene or music community," Harber says. "Not that it?s bad to have a scene but a lot of time when that happens, unsigned and smaller bands start sounding a lot alike. It allowed us to do our own thing without much pressure to fit a certain mold. The local scene in our town was always very elitist. We have always written the music we want to hear." The members of Aphasia are all relatively young --19-23 years -- but the band has demonstrated a tireless dedication to their craft. And while most of their peers are now rounding out their college careers, the bandmembers are poised to begin a career of their own. "It?s always been the plan," Harber says of his band?s recent signing with DRT/Joint Venture Recordings. "We?re pretty modest about it, but we?re dedicated people." That dedication will soon find the band embarking on a tireless touring schedule, but Harber, Basques, Peng and Prim are more than up to the task after honing their live show for years "I?m excited to tour and see things and experience things," Harber says. "There are so many kids my age that haven?t been outside their state." Thematically, the band?s debut covers the terrain of strained relationships, the struggles between friends and the isolation that comes when one feels like an outsider, to name a few, and what?s so refreshing about each song is that the band seems personally invested in its subject matter. "We cover a broad spectrum," Harber says, "of interpersonal issues highlighting the role of basic human emotion. Sometimes a single event affects us so deeply and pulls us in so many directions that it might take two or three songs to cover it completely." As for what they hope fans will take from their music, Basques offers: "If someone can relate to what specifically we?re saying?because I think a lot of our subject matter is universal?and maybe see another side of it or a different aspect of something they?re going through, that would be amazing. That?s more than we?ve ever hoped for. That would be absolutely flattering."
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