Hitting the right notes
Local band Andromeda Sun looking to take next step
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 wasnt 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.
Were 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. Theres 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 bands 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.
Were influenced by a lot of artists, but we have our own style, Pellico said. Its not super iconic or anything, but its 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.
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 were all jamming and were up on stage performing for a crowd, I think its the happiest moments of my life, Harris said. I dont 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 weve been playing one or two times a week, Harris said.
Wed like to do more, but its just tough, Pellico said. When we graduate, it will be a lot easier.
When they consider Andromeda Suns 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 well always play, even if its 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 were 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 bands music is available on iTunes, Spotify and via Soundcloud at soundcloud.com/andromedasun.