Band Audea

March 30, 2012
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Audea is a local Indie band in Central Florida. They toured the Eastern US coast in 2010 and released their first EP, “A is for Autumn” in 2011. In January of 2012, Audea performed in the Manatee County's Got Talent at the Manatee County Fair. After their performance, I sat down with Audea (along with my friend, Alisha) for an interview with Teen Ink.

Rachel- Tell us about yourselves.

Eric Schanie- I'm Eric Schanie and I've played with Audea for three years now. I've played drums for 18 years. So, it's been a long time in the making. It's been cool working with the guys and seeing all of our musical ideas come together collectively and turning them into something, hopefully, everyone can enjoy.

Grady Waugh- I am Grady Waugh. I've been playing guitar for eight years. I have been with Audea for about seven or eight months now. I joined the guys after they had been a group for about two years. It's been an awesome run! I really enjoy making music with the guys. They took me under their wing—

Will Martin and Jordan Hamilton- {laugh}

Grady- We started to kind of have a thing. It seems to be going well. Hopefully people enjoy it as much as we do.

Jordan- Yeah, I think we have a thing!

Will- I am Will Martin and I'm the bass player. I've played since I was about twelve. (I'm eighteen now, so six years.) I was in a band with [Grady] before this band. Basically the other two guys kinda stole us from them. But I was here since [Audea] started and it's been fun.

Jordan- That's true.

I'm Jordan Hamilton. I am the vocalist and guitarist. I have worked with Audea since basically the start [as] the drummer. [We] started out jamming and it just evolved. We had Will come jam with us one day and that kinda started the whole thing. That was probably about two years ago.

I've been playing guitar for maybe eight years. And my favorite flavor of ice cream is Rocky Road!

Rachel- What is the meaning behind your band name?

Will- I have a very, very simple answer and I also have like a philosophical answer.

Basically, the philosophical answer to this question is: Our name is “Audea” and it's very close to “audio.” In fact, people kind of make the mistake some times; so, it's a little tricky. The word is changed a little bit, so it's like we're changing music; have our own little spin on it; trying to make things interesting and new and fresh. So, that's kind of the deep answer.

The only reason we came up with [the name] is because I saw an Audi commercial and decided to call us Audea and I think we were all pretty cool with it.

Rachel- So, I know you guys said you have been playing music for quite a long time, but how did you first become interested in music?

Jordan- I know for Will and I, we actually started playing music off of a joke. I was really into sports. I really loved basketball, and I think my dad realized I was terrible. {laughs} So he tried to find another avenue for me and that ended up being guitar. I hated it! He actually had to take lessons with me in order to get me to do it. Then, after about two weeks, me and my teacher were moving on and my dad couldn't figure it out. So we kept working from there.

At that point, Will and I were just writing spoof songs. We would do ridiculous covers. We did Gwen Stefani and other stuff. We would record on our MAC or on our PC and we would goof around with music, not taking it very seriously. Will ended up going a different direction with school and I ended up jamming with Eric. That's how me and Eric got plugged in. That's when I started to develop a lot of musical growth. I listened to a lot of different genres. I've grown a love for smooth jazz, just a lot of softer music. I think that's basically how I started.

Will- Yeah, me, too.

Grady- I played baseball for like 13 years. So, I was like 5 [when I started]. I thought that was what I wanted to do forever. I was stoked. I thought I was gonna be some awesome 3rd baseman for FSU or something like that.

Then my sister started learning guitar and it ticked me off. I was like, “Wow. You're a girl. You can't be better than me at this.” So I started playing. I was like, “Oh. Okay. It's kinda cool!” I actually started to get really into rock n' roll and more heavier metal kind of stuff. I just wanted to be a total shredder! I was like, “Aw, I'm gonna get really good at this. I want to be able to play guitar awesome!”

I started learning more. I played at my church and stuff. Last year, when I joined Audea, I think I stepped up a little bit. I started taking it more seriously. With these guys, it's kinda of challenged my musical ability and I'm very thankful for that.

But that's how I started playing music.

Eric- To be honest, I'm not sure how I started playing drums. It just kinda happened, honestly! {laughs} My dad played drums, so I think I was always around them since a very young age. I started out like anybody, beating on pots and pans and finally moved into a drum set. If it means anything, I played my first show at five years old which was kinda exciting. So, yup, that's pretty much it for me.

Rachel- How would you describe your music?

Jordan- I guess we would have to call it a blend of alternative and rock. All of us have very colorful influences when we're all put together. Like I said, I really like ballads. I really like slow music. [I've] been listening to some bizarre, soft music. I haven't met many other people with similar music tastes. I even like instrumental stuff and kind of experiment with different styles within that.

Will, I would say, has more of an indie style. He likes bands like Radiohead, Coldplay and Muse. I think the bands that he listens to really encourages creativity on the bass.

Grady is still, in my opinion, straight out of the rock, hard-core scene. He enjoys bands like Chapel [Club]—

Grady- Yeah, right! {laughs}

Jordan- He started venturing into new genres of music since he's worked with us. [He likes] bands not many people have heard of; underground bands. [It's] cool seeing John Mayer or Dave Matthews or U2—

Grady- That was a joke!

Jordan- That was a joke! So, I guess Grady is getting a lot more variation of styles. {To Grady} I don't know, what would you listen to? If someone asked you three bands:

Grady- Probably—

Jordan- And don't say Lil' Wayne!

Grady- Coldplay—X & Y is a really good album— The Foo Fighter's new album and... Cobra Starship.

Jordan- {laughs}

Grady- Maybe a little Katy Perry here and there.

Eric- I grew up listening to Country mainly.

Jordan- {laughs}

Eric- Yeah, you know what, somebody's got to like Country!

Grady- Howdy, Feller.

Eric- I don't think I knew anything but country for eight to ten years of my life. Then, my dad always played in bar bands, so I knew there was Country stuff, but there was a lot of 70s and 80s rock. So that's kind of what I grew up on.

Rachel- Who are your musical influences?

Eric- Musically, as a drummer, I grew up with Journey and I really appreciate Steve Smith and his drumming style. He was a big influence. For an influence more of today's music would be Aaron Spears. It's real cool to combine Country and rock. That kind of makes me who I am now.

Rachel- What has been your guys' favorite song to write and record, or perform?

Jordan- I like that question.

I think one of my favorite songs that we recently recorded was a song called “Blur.” Occasionally, as a band when you're writing a song, you can feel an energy during practice. Some songs that doesn't happen. Those songs tend to take longer to write and finish and get to the place they need to be.

But for [“Blur”], everything fell in place. It felt a little bit less written and more channeled. It just fell together; the way all the parts meshed. When I brought it to the band, as the lyrics were almost done, I really loved how the music came together. It just captured the energy of everything I was trying to say so well.

Recording it was cool, too, because, as far as I was concerned, vocally there was a little different technique used than I had [used] before. So, in the process of recording the song, I learned a little bit more about my voice and places that I could go with it. Earlier in our music, my voice was very thin and young. I wasn't as strong. “Blur” was a step for me vocally toward a new level of talent. So that was kinda fun!

Eric- I'm going for “Love Worth Trying.” It's a good recording, but it's not maybe as strong on a CD as it is live. But there was a few challenging parts in there. I enjoy a little challenge 'cause sometimes it can get boring playing the same old part that's not that hard. So that song for me was definitely my favorite to record.

Grady- I think that “Without Me With You” was one of my favorite songs to record. It was one of my favorite songs to record as far as the guitar work goes on it. It was interesting for me 'cause it was nothing like anything I had done before in a studio. We had some cool stuff that was going on with the guitar. It was a very powerful song because it really calms down at points, but it also gets huge and it's unexpectedly epic! I just really enjoyed that song. I think it's cool!

Rachel- I like you a lot more now because you used the word “epic.” That's my favorite word in the entire world.

Will- There's a song we wrote called “Insomnia.” I liked it 'cause it was epic.

All- {laugh}

Will- I thought I'd put that in there.

Recording, as a bass player, it's kind of hard to really, really feel it 'cause you're focusing on trying to put the foundation down and get everything rhythmically perfect. I definitely enjoyed [“Insomnia”]. I can feed off energy live a lot better than studio. But at the same time there's a song called “Insomnia” that's more of a laid-back jazz song. I've had some jazz experience in the past, so it's really awesome to see that in a band. Definitely, recording that was very, very fun for me to do and very powerful for me. I enjoyed it very much.

Rachel- Now for a random question, Alisha, my “lackey,” has a question for you:

Alisha- I'm Alisha. I'm a barista. {To Audea} If you could be any mythological creature, what would you be?

Will- I would definitely be a dragon because you can fly and you can breath fire and you can storm cities and stuff. You're just pretty much a baller, so I'd be a dragon.

Jordan- What's that creature from Napoleon Dynamite?

Grady- A liger!

Jordan- Yeah, I'd be a liger.

Rachel- But couldn't that technically be a real creature?

Alisha- It is a real creature.

Jordan- Is it a real creature?

Alisha- It's a real creature!

Jordan- What the crap?

Eric- I don't know about mythical creatures...

Rachel- Just say a gryphon.

Grady- Oh, yeah! It's like an eagle and a lion put together!

Eric- An eagle and a lion?

Grady- It's a lion with eagle wings.

Jordan- I think if I were to be a mythical creature, I would be a phoenix.

Will- You would.

Grady- We're googling Gryphon for Eric. Hold on.

{to Eric} That's a gryphon!

Will- Just go with Gryphon.

Eric- I don't want to be that, I wanna be that. What is that?

Grady- That's Stewie from Family Guy!

Eric- Stewie! Yeah, I'm Stewie! He's mythical.

Grady- I would want to be the head Orc from Lord of the Rings. The guy who just owns everything! Yeah, the Orc who stabs himself.

Rachel- Are you guys working on a new CD currently?

Jordan- Right now we're rolling with the one we have. We have a six-track EP. We're always writing. [But] as far as intending to go back into the studio, I don't think we're gonna do that for a little while. We recently just released our first digital release. We did iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, all that jazz. We've been encouraged to see the reaction we've [gotten] from that EP. We're kind of taking the music that we put on that project—we're using that as part of our live show—but, of course, because we're writing a lot, we always try to introduce new stuff. Like, one of the songs we played tonight isn't on the EP.

Grady – The only song we played tonight.

Jordan – {laughs} The first one we played, that's not on the EP!

Rachel – What advice do you guys have for aspiring musicians?

Will – You better copyright this. It's about to get real:

Just listen to all other genres of music. If you have your biggest influence, let that influence you, but don't try to be your influence. For example, I may like this bass player, but I don't want to necessarily play his exact same style because he already is that guy.

If you love Eddie Van Halen or something like that, have that influence you because that's who you are, but don't try to be the next Van Halen. Try to be yourself and be open to all genres of music because it helps you no matter what style you play.

Grady – That's a very good answer. I just want to add on:

I know for a lot of kids, they think that learning music theory and deeper roots in music is lame and takes [a long time] to understand and it's just not cool. But take your time to learn all of that 'cause it really pays off. You won't regret any second of it four years later when you know how to play just about anything. So I would really encourage a young musician to do that.

If you're a guitarist, I would encourage you to also learn piano 'cause it will help you out a whole lot.

Jordan – I'm going to have to agree with Will. I think a lot of what we decided early on as a band is even though we have a lot of bands and artists and musicians that we look up to individually, we made a decision to not be them. That's kind of what Audea's about.

Find the originality for yourself in music. Play something you've never played before. I get a little bit saddened when I hear bands say, “Oh, yeah, you ever heard of this band? We're like that!” I feel like, you know, having influences and stuff is cool, but I think originality is such an amazing accomplishment with the music industry as it is today. So I'd have to agree with Will and say I would just encourage a lot of younger musicians—and even older musicians—just to strive for that. [Don't] be anybody but yourself.

Eric – Go hard for your city.

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