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Hitting the right notes

Local band Andromeda Sun looking to take next step

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Harris has been writing music since he was 9 years old, and says nothing makes him happier than playing in front of a live audience.The happiest moments of Ian Harris’ life have generally involved music.

The recent West Linn High School graduate comes from a musical family — both of his parents play professionally — and he has been writing songs since he was 9 years old. It wasn’t until recently, however, that Harris found three like-minded students to fulfill the vision that is Andromeda Sun.

The band — originally formed two years ago by Harris and fellow WLHS student Peter McCoid — expanded to four members in 2014, and is now poised to release its second album later this year.

In the months since WLHS senior Anthony Pellico and Oregon City High School graduate Logan Adam officially joined Andromeda Sun, the band has played a number of shows around the Portland area while continuing to blossom creatively in the studio.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - From left, Peter McCoid, Anthony Pellico, Ian Harris and Logan Adam (seated) form the band Andromeda Sun. They hope to release their second album later this year.

“We’re kind of trying to bring back that musicianship that bands had in the ’60s and ’70s,” said Harris, who sings and plays keyboard in the band. “There’s some great music out there today, but you really have to hunt for it. The majority of music we listen to is from the ’60s and ’70s era ... it just had so much feeling and passion.” The band’s influences range from classic acts — The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival — to contemporary artists like Tame Impala and Modest Mouse. For Pellico, who plays drums, it all adds up to a sound that is unique to Andromeda Sun.

“We’re influenced by a lot of artists, but we have our own style,” Pellico said. “It’s not super iconic or anything, but it’s hard to describe because we do a lot of variety.”

Back in January, the band released “Mother Nature Takes Care of Me (Natural Anthem)” — the first single from its upcoming sophomore album. A second single, “Welcome Yourself,” was released March 15.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - A senior at West Linn High School, Peter McCoid formed Andromeda Sun two years ago with Ian Harris. Pellico and Adam joined the band in 2014.

“I like to tell people that the first album is a listening experience,” Harris said, “and this next album is going to be a lot more diverse and appealing and just more creative all around.”

As the band has grown creatively, so too have its opportunities to perform live. Over the past three months, Andromeda Sun has played shows at the Alberta Rose Theater, the Hawthorne Theatre and the Analog Theatre in Portland. The band has also played shows in Seattle and Eugene, and recently applied to perform at a number of Oregon music festivals this summer.

“When we’re all jamming and we’re up on stage performing for a crowd, I think it’s the happiest moments of my life,” Harris said. “I don’t really care about the money, I just want to get the music and the message out. I try to portray a positive message, and I think the world needs more positivity and love.”

Perhaps the most significant obstacle the band faces is time, or lack thereof. Pellico and McCoid are bound by their high school schedules, and McCoid also works as a music instructor at the Youth Music Project in West Linn. Harris and Adam, meanwhile, work part-time and attend classes at Clackamas Community College.

“We try to do as much as we can, but lately we’ve been playing one or two times a week,” Harris said.

“We’d like to do more, but it’s just tough,” Pellico said. “When we graduate, it will be a lot easier.”

When they consider Andromeda Sun’s future, the bandmates are open to just about anything, as long as it involves music.

“We hope we have a future with Andromeda Sun, but we could also have jobs in the music industry and other places,” McCoid said. “We all want to go to college and study music, and either be teachers, stagehands or tech guys.”

“I think we’ll always play, even if it’s just for fun, even if we all have jobs,” Pellico said.

But make no mistake: This is far more than just a pastime for the band members.

“I think we’re definitely going to start trying to get some management or join a record label with this next record — just to try to take it to the next level,” Harris said. “We all know our potential, and I think we can do it. And we all have a lot of really good ideas.”

On April 18, the band is set to play a show at the Youth Music Project. Tickets will be $5 at the door, and proceeds will go toward the recording of the new album.

To learn more, visit andromedasun.bandcamp.com or facebook.com/AndromedaSunMusic. The band’s music is available on iTunes, Spotify and via Soundcloud at soundcloud.com/andromedasun.

TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Pellico joined the band in the summer of 2014, but he and McCoid have been playing music together for nearly a decade.


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