In the studio with local Boulder band Amoramora, talking about their beginnings, adventures and a little bit of live music. Kicking off their shoes, the guys from Amoramora start setting up their instruments inside classroom 137 of the philosophy department.
“I think I had a class in here once,” vocalist and guitarist Danny Evans says.
It’s 7:30 p.m., the sun is burning low and we are the only souls in this deserted building.
The rest of the CU student body has gone home for its usual Friday-night festivities. As they plug in cords, amps and mics all around the room, the atmosphere is familiar, at ease. The band’s banter goes back and forth. They talk about which set-up is best, if they have enough cables and why one of them hasn’t set up the mixer yet. Some jokes here, some arguing there.
“It’s basically like being in a relationship,” keyboardist Ben Deixler says.
Eric Levine picks up his horn and plays a warm-up trill – the sound echoes throughout the room and into the hallway. The spell of silence is broken.
Amoramora has groove, soul and rock ‘n’ roll on lock. Apart from Evans (vocals/guitar), Deixler (keys/lead claves) and Levine (horn), the group is completed with the help of Tommy Veronesi on drums and Drew Campbell on bass. Together, they create a sound that can only be described as what Veronesi calls “some phunky rock ‘n’ roll jazz.” They bring the rock star attitude and mix it with some intricate keyboard tunes and accents on the horn. The smooth voice of Deixler and Levine’s melody in “Can’t Deny It” brings an additional blues/Latin jazz fusion to their sound.
The guys come from all over; everywhere from Italy to the coasts of New York and California, but they found each other at CU. Deixler and Evans first met each other at a house party, then welcomed Veronesi to their garage jam sessions. Shortly after they started playing shows, Campbell came up to them and they got to talking; they needed a new bass player and he was the one that answered their prayers. The last member of the band fell into place one fateful day at the Jewish Chabad House.
“Adam was playing basketball there, and we were practicing in the basement at the time,” Evans said.
“He just walked downstairs and boom shackalaka,” Deixler said.
They celebrated their first-year anniversary as a band quite recently. During this time, the band released two EPs, “Live – In The Studio” in March, 2015 and “Galactipus EP” two months later. Out of the 12 original songs under their belt, the featured song “Lily Mae” is the majority favorite. A bit different than what they usually do, it leans toward a more mellow, pop melody with lyrics that appeal to the ear.
“It’s just so different from the rest of the songs we play. It’s straight-up pop, and it maybe accidentally came together as our tightest song – I just think we all connect to it,” Campbell said.
With a willingness to continue growing as a band, they take any opportunity to get onstage. They’ve played many shows at small, local venues including Buchanan’s Coffee Shop, No Name bar and Owsley’s Golden Road in Denver. They were also a part of NedFest this summer and Chicago’s Dead Jam Fest, where they played on the fourth of July in tribute to the Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary. In addition, Amoramora graced the stage of the Hard Rock Chicago Cafe when it opened for the band Bull Fights On Acid.
The group works hard and plays hard, too. One of the funniest moments they remember as a band was playing a house party on the Hill last year. They recall it being ’70s-themed, the small living room exceeding capacity with decked-out college students ready for a good time.
“We showed up, [started] playing The Joker [by Steve Miller] and these kids just popped up and started crowd-surfing all over the living room,” Evans said.
When asked about the best show they’ve played, the guys mentioned one that they played at the Lazy Dog bar back in September. For them, it’s all about the atmosphere and the crowd.
“The audience really matters; we vibe off the audience as much as they vibe off of us. When you see a lot of people really getting down, it’s a lot easier to play and easier to sound good because we’re all in the groove better,” Veronesi said.
One of their biggest aspirations is someday playing on the famed Red Rocks stage. Another big dream is being the first-ever band to open for Phish. They are inspired by artists like Umphrey’s Mcgee, Led Zeppelin and Stanley Clark.
During their free time, they like to “Netflix and chill,” but for now you can catch them busily playing music for the upcoming months. You can check them out live on Oct. 21, 2015 at the Star Water Collective and Nov. 20, 2015 in Denver at The Armoury. If you’re out and about on Oct. 30, you might even catch them playing at a local block party on 18th street.
If you would like to be featured on the next Classroom Sessions, Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Paola Fernandez at Paola.FernandezGrados@colorado.edu.