In the past seven years, CHON have gone from playing local shows in their hometown of San Diego to a spot on the Billboard 200 and tours with Animals As Leaders and Circa Survive. The easiest category to put CHON in would be “instrumental,” but that doesn’t do the band justice. On their debut full-length Grow, CHON incorporate prog rock and jazz with lightning quick picking, staccato drumming and buoyant melodies, creating a sound that’s fresh, exciting and wholly their own. (They even add vocals to a couple songs, “Can’t Wait” and “Echo.”) There are intricacies to the songs on Grow, but the band’s approach to writing music is simple and organic. “We have fun writing this kind of music,” says guitarist Mario Camarena. “We don’t take it too seriously; it’s just music we naturally write. I hope people who enjoy our stuff have fun listening to it.”
From their growing fanbase and positive reviews, to tours with scene heavy hitters, it’s safe to say people are indeed enjoying CHON’s music. The San Diego band, which also includes guitarist Erick Hansel, bassist Drew Pelisek and drummer Nathan Camarena (Mario’s younger brother), began in early 2008 when friends Erick and Mario began writing what would become CHON songs. Soon they were ready to start playing shows, but they needed a drummer. So they taught Nathan how to play drums and had their first show that summer. It wasn’t long before they were playing every show they could.
In 2010 the band took an extended break, but by 2012 they had decided to pursue CHON full-time and were back to touring and writing music. “We’ve always had it in the back of our minds that we wanted to make [music] a career,” Mario says. “For some reason this project just turned out to be the one. It’s the music we started writing when we came into our own style and had our own original sound.” They released their first EP, Newborn Sun in 2013 and followed it up in 2014 with the Woohoo! EP. That record put CHON on the map, earning them a spot Billboard 200.
Much like the title of their debut album suggests, CHON have evolved greatly since forming in 2008. There’s no telling where they will go next, musically—but more people are sure to be listening.MUSIC VIDEO
Blending technical, weaving instrumentations with hip-hop, jazz and R&B influenced grooves, Polyphia has created a massively impressive sound that is all their own. At an average age of just 21-years old – Polyphia has established themselves early on as a force to be reckoned with and as a band that holds a truly unimaginable amount of potential.
The Dallas, TX-based instrumental outfit has just re-released their debut full-length, Muse, on Equal Vision Records. The album was originally self-released as an independent artist and is now available as a re-mastered, re-packaged release through the label. The new and improved release also makes Muse available at physical retail locations for the first time. Muse was produced by Nick Sampson [Of Mice & Men, Asking Alexandria] and is also available streaming in full at Polyphia.merchnow.com.
Upon its initial release last September, the full-length self-titled landed on several Billboard Charts including: No. 5 on Internet Albums, No. 6 on Hard Rock Albums, No. 13 on Independent Albums, No. 22 on Top Rock Albums, No. 71 on Top Current Albums, and No. 76 on Top 200.
"Obviously we wanted to write something extremely unique," says guitarist Tim Henson, "but we also wanted it to be accessible in a way that would unite people of different tastes... An album that literally everyone could appreciate." The record contains a variety of material from the euphoric intensity of "87" to the emotional roller coaster "Finale", and also boasts an insane roster of guest artists including Aaron Marshall of Intervals, Canadian solo guitarist Nick Johnston, Jason Richardson of Chelsea Grin, Jakub Zytecki of Disperse, Nick Sampson of I Am Abomination, and Mario Camarena and Erick Hansel of CHON.MUSIC VIDEO
When an eclectic group of individuals comes together with an idea to create something fresh, the results can often be outstanding. Such is the case with the experimental rock trio Strawberry Girls. These guys from California were founded by ex-Dance Gavin Dance guitarist Zachary Garren after he crossed paths with drummer Ben Rossett and bassist Ian Jennings. Although the band has worked with guest vocalists, they have remained an instrumental three piece. The album French Ghetto includes vocal appearances by Kurt Travis (A Lot Like Birds, ex Dance Gavin Dance), Nic Newsham (Gatsby’s American Dream), Shane Smit, Kathleen Mae, and Gavin Mulkey. “Our sound was originally built from a desire to practice and play as much as possible, without being restricted by the schedules of many different band members,” says Garren. However, what originally began as an invention out of necessity, became much more than that. Strawberry Girls take a simplistic, yet sometimes technical approach to songwriting by mending parts together that get stuck in your head and compel you to listen to them over and over again.
Strawberry Girls have gone back into the studio to record their new album “American Graffiti” and are excited for fans to hear the new songs. “We can't wait for everyone to hear American Graffiti, an album we've been writing for over two years. We put a ton of work into making this our best album so far, not just musically, but sonically, too. It's a bit different than our previous releases and we explore a lot more musical territory with this album. We care about every single note we chose to play on American Graffiti and know it shows.” Garren explained.
In addition to a new album, the band is also hitting the road this month on the Dance Gavin Dance tenth anniversary tour with Slaves, A Lot Like Birds and Dayshell. “We're incredibly excited about our upcoming tour with Dance Gavin Dance. It's gonna be a big family reunion tour since I played guitar in DGD both with Jonny & Kurt, both of whom have new bands on the tour” said Garren.MUSIC VIDEO