April Rose (vocals, guitar), Oscar Garcia (drums), Dennis Burns (guitar), and Justice Maynard (bass)
Auditory Armory initially began as the solo project of April Rose. Starting in 2011, the project became a full band with members Oscar (drums), Dennis (Guitar), and Justice (bass). Auditory Armory was formed from many genres of music, including progressive, jazz, metal, alternative, thrash, and new age.
"I didn't want to be limited to just being an acoustic act.... They help me realize even more the potential of my songs," says April. April also hopes to touch on a personal nerve with her listeners: "I want to be honest with my lyrics. Some might say my music is dark, but a lot of people are hurting right now. Music saved my life; I want to do that for others."
Auditory Armory has had the honor of sharing the stage with Full Devil Jacket, Straight Line Stitch, Fuel, Lacey Sturm, Bonz (from Stuck Mojo), Nothing More, Dead Horse Trauma, Bellusira, Mike Tramp (White Lion), Bridge to Grace, Kelen Heller, and Saint Rebel. They also were selected to perform at the 2016 3rd Annual Kink Music Festival, which included bands such as Evanescence, Hellyeah, and In Flames.
Everyone knows my love of all things Orlando.... and metal... :) I was introduced to the amazing band Auditory Armory through Meka Nism. I love their fast beat assertive sound along with a leading lady that is nonstop.
I had a chance to catch up with April Rose of Auditory Armory in regards to what will be happening with her band in the coming year and what she misses about Chicago. Plus, we got to talk about her "side project" as well.
Here is what April Rose had to say:
Coren: Okay, so you're the leading lady in an amazing band out of Florida. How does it feel to have that title?
April Rose: First off, thank you so much for the compliment! I am happy that I have the opportunity to be the front-person of this band. First and foremost, music comes first for me. I would hope that people respect me because of my musicianship firstly, and acknowledge the fact that I am female as a happy coincidence. I do feel that I have an important role to play, though, because I have had several young girls and women tell me that I have inspired them to play music or be in a rock band, which makes me feel so good.
Coren: Auditory Armory is a great metal band. Yet, I've seen you do some acoustic guitar and singing. Describe the difference between the two when you perform.
April: My acoustic music differs greatly from the things I do with the full band. I have a wide variety of musical influences and my acoustic music gives me the chance to explore certain styles and songwriting that don't necessarily work with the full band. For instance, my voice when I perform acoustically is more subdued and the song compositions are a lot more ambient, free-flowing, and loose. When you play in a band with a drummer, things need to be a little tighter because you are playing with other musicians and it can sound sloppy if not everyone is on the same page. But when I play solo, I like to evoke moods and mental images and create space and "breath" in the music, which can mean the tempo, feel, and meter will vary throughout the course of one song. Auditory Armory is a synthesis of my hard rock influences with my other genre influences, but April Rose (acoustic) is more of a combination of my art rock and alternative influences such as Elliott Smith, Tori Amos, and Jeff Buckley.
Coren: What songs do you like performing with your acoustic guitar?
April: I perform my original acoustic material (separate from the AA material) and I like to play covers of songs that I really like that I don't hear many people do. For example, I have performed acoustic versions of songs by Mastodon, Pantera, and Iron Maiden.
Coren: Okay, so it sounds like you're originally from Chicago. What do you miss about Chi Town?
April: That's right! Most of my family from the Philippines lives in Chicago now so I miss them. And also -- the FOOD! The variety of food is outstanding in Chicago and there is a bigger Filipino-American community over there which equals more Filipino food :-) Some of my favorite places to eat when I visit there are Chicago Diner, Hub's, and Giordano's. Everyone knows that Chicago-style deep dish is the best pizza in the world (that's right, I said it!) and if not, they are clearly insane, haha! I'm getting nostalgic here, but I also miss the museums, architecture, and (back when I ate meat) -- sitting on the steps in front of Lake Michigan with my dad eating a bucket of steak fries and Carson's ribs!
Coren: What made you move to Florida?
April: I was still relatively young when my family moved to Florida. We would vacation here once a year, so my parents just decided that they wanted a permanent change of scenery and a change of weather (haha). But when my sister and I were in high school, my mom moved back up to Chicago because she made more money in her profession (as a nurse) there. Then my dad followed suit when I started college and they lived there until they retired and now they are back here in Florida.
Coren: How would you describe the music scene in Florida?
April: The music scene in Florida is a tight-knit community with every style of rock represented here. At least in the rock community, I've experienced a great family-like fellowship with other Floridian musicians. Orlando seems to have more of a metalcore, progressive, and female-fronted rock representation while Tampa, being the birthplace of death metal, still has a lot of that heavy-hitting style prevalent there. Miami and South Florida have produced some good rock bands as well, but electronic and Latin music are more of the popular variety there. I've heard people say, "the Florida music scene sucks and there's no good music here" which is so very very wrong. Clearly, those people are not getting out of their houses. The rock music scene in Florida might not be as advertised as widely as mainstream genres are, but there is so much here that people are just not taking the time to discover.
Coren: What's next for you and your band?
April: We are in the middle of mixing/mastering our new EP entitled "Dark Matter." We hope that it will be released by April 2017. We will be filming a music video soon and we will hopefully have a lyric video for the new album as well. Once the album is released, we are really going to push it out there and promote it heavily. We plan on playing more out of town shows and possibly book a mini-tour of the Southeast later this year.
Coren: What would you like to say to your fans?
April: I would like to say THANK YOU so much for your support of our music. It means the world to us. We hope you continue to believe in us, we plan to make music for a long time!