Las Vegas rockers Amarionette have amassed an impressive following since their inception in 2010. The Nevada 5-piece has over 1 million streams on Spotify and has toured nationally with the likes of Kurt Travis, Eidola and Strawberry Girls. Their new EP Evolution is a hook-laden and genre-bending listen.
I got the chance to talk with them about how they came together, where the name Amarionette came from, their single “No Control” and so much more. Keep reading to see what they had to say!
For those who might not have ever heard of y’all, can you give us a brief history of the band and how it culminated into what it is now?
Amarionette formed in 2010 with members Nick Raya, AJ Sarmiento, Quin White, Justin Brooklyn, and Ron Wells. We came out with 3 EPs and 2 LPs and did several tours with this line-up until early 2018, when we parted ways with Quin White and recruited Issy Berry to front the band. We have put out two EPs since June of 2018 with Issy and have embarked on several tours too.
Where did the name Amarionette come from?
Quin came up with the name about 10 years ago to basically state that we were not puppets of the music industry. That is the very shortened story.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey to listeners with their music. Your sound would generally be described as synth-pop/alternative-rock, but if you had to describe it without using genre names, how would you describe it?
Without using genres, I would say our music is very high energy, but the guitars can definitely be moody at times. Depending on what record you listen to, we are either really happy sounding or a little on the emotional side [laughs].
Kind of going off of that, who are some of your musical influences as a group?
As a group, we are all influenced by Paramore, Michael Jackson, The Midnight, Bad Rabbits, DGD, and many more individually.
Let’s talk about your new EP, Evolution. What was the recording process like for this project? How long did it take for this to come together from start to finish?
The recording process for this was really fun. A couple of the songs (“B Nasty”, “Accidental Obsession”, “Diamond Dust”) were recorded back in 2017 and we finally chose to do vocals on top of those. The guitar and bass tracking for “No Control”, “Modern Disco II,” “So Much Better II”, and “Nostalgic Love” were done at my house with a Kemper profiler, Issy tracked his own vocals, and drums were recorded at Beau Burchell’s studio by Allen Casillas (VIS, Hail The Sun) and Carlo Marquez. (Ex-Stolas, Nova Charisma). Issy also did all of the keyboard and synth tracking. So all in all, it took us about a year to finish all of these songs completely. Maybe just under?
The lead single from Evolution is “No Control”. What inspired this song?
Musically, it was just as simple as me really wanting to write another fun pop song. Lyrically, the song is actually about an argument that took place in a hotel room and how a mental breakdown ensued after. Basically, losing control of your mind/emotions.
What was the songwriting process like for this song specifically?
Ron, AJ, and I got into our rehearsal space with Tai Wright (ex- Slaves, DRUGS, Four Letter Lie) and ended up jamming what became “No Control”, “Nostalgic Love”, “Modern Disco II”. It was the first time in a while that we got into a room together and just jammed out some songs before being in the studio. We usually just record ideas in the studio and write to those ideas.
Something I’ve always been curious with songwriting is how topics come to mind. Did you guys know what you wanted to write about going into the song session that birthed “No Control” or did it just come about organically once you were in the session?
Issy came up with that particular lyric on the spot after hearing the original demo for it. We worked on it together for a while and decided to write it about an intense situation involving a lot of high emotions, etc.
Was there any major changes made to “No Control” once you guys got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
Not really. For the drums, we kind of bounced some ideas back and forth between Tai and Allen separately. But for the most part, Issy and I worked out the lyrics with some minor changes and that was it.
You guys are still relatively new to the music game. What are some music industry-related goals or benchmarks that you’re aiming to reach in the next couple of years?
I think the goal for us is to just keep building our fan base in hopes of developing a solid cult-like following. We would love to have a following like Coheed or Circa Survive and just be able to tour for a living. I think that would be ultimate goal. Be able to play music for a living full time.
Lastly, we’re called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd so what is something that you’re currently nerding out about?
I just recently purchased Mortal Kombat 11 and have totally been nerding out to that game! So much fun. And the band has kind of been on a board game kick. I guess all of us like Monopoly more than we thought.