Stroamata is another one of those bands that’s impossible to label – and they are totally all right with that. Influenced by a myriad of styles and artists, they manage to create something unique in a musical landscape filled with Auto-Tuned pop and bland hipster rock. Lush vocals and fierce lyrics combine with darkly dreamy riffs to produce beats that transcend the ordinary; the band calls it the future of Rock and Roll. They just might be right about that.
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Fr.U.N.T. Music had the opportunity to ask Alex Markowitz from Stroamata a few questions and he was gracious enough to take the time to chat with us.
Cardiac_in_Overdrive: You usually don’t run across many bands with an actual real-live mission statement. Most bands don’t feel the need for a mission statement. And yet, Stroamata has one: “To push Rock and Roll out of nostalgia and into the 21st century…mixing up our varied influences and trying to make new Rock and Roll to claim as our own.” It’s awesome. But how did it come about?
Alex Markowitz: For a multitude of reasons, enough to literally fill a book, Rock and Roll’s addiction to nostalgia has caused it to become stagnant. Hip Hop and Electronic music has been allowed to make incredible innovations over the past decade, and it is time for Rock to do the same. There is no shortage of unsigned bands making great music, and we need to push Rock into the 21st century in order for Rock to not only remain relevant, but retake the crown of being the culture defining medium. We have made this our mission, because we love this kind of music and we are determined to see it succeed. Additionally, for Stroamata to succeed in its goals (we want to be international headliners) we need Rock and Roll to shed its nostalgia and push toward the future. Hence we are fully invested in our mission statement, because our own survival depends on it.
CiO: The biggest musical trend I’ve seen lately has been a serious return to the DIY ethos common to punk bands. In Stroamata’s case, it includes a unique method of getting your music out to your audience, eschewing a yearly album release schedule. What moved you to take that particular direction and how is it working for you?:
AM: We have released LPs and EPs in the past, but the whole process was too slow to accommodate the amount of new music we were writing and wanted to get out to the public. Truthfully, as an unsigned band we do not have the resources and bandwidth to properly promote a single album. It is easier and more advantageous for us to release singles as we write and record them, because we can put our focused efforts into promoting singles one at a time. That being said, we got to the point that we were releasing music so frequently that we oversaturated our fans, so we are going to slow it down a bit and actually release an EP that will be a collection of singles.
We have no masters to dictate what we have to do, so we are just figuring it out as we go along, which is one of the best parts of being DIY. We make the decisions, and we get to figure out what works best for us!
CiO: Both Boston and New York City have thriving and vibrant music scenes. What prompted the band to pull up roots and move to NYC?
AM: We love Boston, but we had been playing there for years and it was time to take a risk and try our luck in NYC. We are just trying to reach out and find more fans!
CiO: The band is comprised of artists with very different influences, from indie rock, trip-hop, psychedelic, soul, goth, industrial, folk, electronic, punk, hip-hop, and probably many more. Is it difficult to pull a cohesive sound out of so many different inspirations? I read in an interview that the band throws all these different sounds into a blender, but how do you smooth out the chunky bits?
AM: It only gets chunky when a song leans too far into one specific genre. If it sounds too Trip Hop, then we have to add a dash of Indie and Industrial. All of the different influences swirling around the room helps us get the next chord, the next verse and to the next song without getting too hung up
CiO: What do you hope your audience takes away from your music? Does your answer change when it’s recorded music versus live music? And as a band, which do you prefer – performing on stage, or making music in the studio?
AM: At the moment, we prefer playing live. We love recording, but nothing beats the high of playing to an awesome crowd who is hungry to hear us! Whether it is live or recorded, we just want to leave the audience wanting more!
CiO: What’s next for the band? I’ve heard rumor of more singles. Any specific song-in-progress you want to talk about?
AM: We are pulling out the GoPro we picked up for 100 bucks and we are going out to film a new video! We are also going to release a collection of our recent singles as we continue to cook up new songs for 2015.
Stroamata are Dara Eagle (vocals, guitar), Akil Marshall (bass), Rob Morrison (guitar, vocals), and Alexander Markowitz (drums, backing vocals). They play quite frequently in New York City, so catch them if you can!
by Cardiac_in_Overdrive (@cardiac_ovrdrv)