Artist Spotlight: Via Audio

The band Via Audio claims to have met at Pineapple Island University off the coast of Japan. They also claim to have played a joint birthday party for two of the band members on a pirate ship that sank. It’s fantasies like these that have come to be the band’s forte. Last Friday Via Audio played a 40-minute set at Club DeVille for South by Southwest in Austin, Texas filled with their unique indie-pop sound that displayed their touch for imagery and imagination.

This New York four-piece actually met in Boston at the Berklee School of Music back in 2003, and have gotten where they are today the old-fashion way: hard work and dedication. Via Audio’s unique charm is conveyed through their music, but also through their energetic live show. Watching them play live is like watching four best friends having a good time. Between the little kicks (and licks) that went back and forth between the band mates, they managed to fit about 7 or 8 high-powered pop songs that got the whole crowd moving.

Front-woman Jessica Martins proved her worth from the first song, “Developing Active People.” While playing the keys, guitar, and singing her cute ass off, this girl’s guilty smile melts hearts. Guitarist and singer Tom Deis carried their well-crafted melodies with Jessica while wowing the crowd with his soloing abilities that included an Eddie Van Halen-style finger-tapping solo for one song. Bassist David Lizmi helped hold down the rhythm while busting out some of the goofiest dance moves that others only wish they could pull off.

But the backbone of the band seems to be in drummer Danny Molad. In an interview with the Hatchet, the rest of the band agreed if they could be anyone else in Via Audio beside themselves, it would be Danny because “He can do everything.” Molad’s unique touch for rhythm shined in their show as he went back and forth from killer dance beats to just plain old rocking out, while hitting the vocal harmonies that complemented Jessica’s voice to indie perfection. He even switched with Tom for a song and took lead on guitar and vocals.

The four members bring their distinct influences together to create the unique melodic sound that they have formed over time. It’s too sincere to just be called pop, and it’s too fun to just be called indie-rock. This sound caught the ear of rock band Spoon’s drummer and producer, Jim Eno, last year. After hearing their CD, he decided to record their next album. After two weeks at Eno’s Public Hi-Fi studio in Austin, and various other sessions that took place everywhere from Houston to Poughkeepsie, the band finished recording their first full length album entitled “Say Something.” Eno managed to stand in the back during the whole show and watched on like a proud father.

The album’s release date and any coinciding tours are still tentative at this point, as they have been talking with record labels. They do plan on making it to D.C. soon, however. In the true wacky spirit of the band, before the interview was over they left us with this; “If a tree falls in a forest and no one’s around, does it make a sound? And if it does make a sound, is that sound Via Audio?”

Be on the look out for this band as they are sure to blow up soon enough.

Check out Via Audio’s Myspace page at www.myspace.com/viaaudio and listen to some of their catchy tunes, especially the song “Presents.”

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