Engaging local music

 It can be rough listening to the same old songs on your iPod day after day. It can be hard to find new and unique sounds on a mainstream level, and even rarer on a local one. That’s why Troy band Aria Aesthetic is such a find.

Aria Aesthetic is an assembly of guitarist and lead vocalist Travis Bobier, lead guitarist Aaron Loftis, guitarist and backup vocalist Trevor Toder, bassist Alex Keller and drummer/sampler Zack Waggener. 

They describe their interesting sound as “alternative ambient rock, with some progressive elements.”

With the release of their first full-length CD titled “Aeon” in November, their popularity is on the rise with a growing fan base and thousands of music hits on their Myspace page. Even though these guys could become the “next big thing,” don’t let their success and electrifying stage presence fool you. They’re just five guys looking to make lifetime friends instead of fans.

Aria Aesthetic plays the Pike Room in Pontiac on Feb. 14.

A couple weeks ago, The Oakland Post sat down with Aria Aesthetic to explore the band’s history and future. 

How did Aria Aesthetic form?

Waggener: Travis and I have been playing music for some six odd years together, and then we met Aaron through a friend, and later acquired Alex and most recently Trevor to fill out the sound.

What do you think sets you apart and makes you different from the various other local bands?

Bobier: We sing, and we’re not a hardcore band. We don’t do acrobatic moves. We’re dorks.  

How long have you been a band? How much do you think you’ve grown and what skills do you think you’ve acquired?

Bobier: We’ve been Aria Aesthetic for about two years now. We’ve acquired a better knowledge of marketing, and we’ve become significantly better at writing songs. We’ve also taken an interest in the following activities: baking cakes, pie eating competitions, juggling, martial arts, photography, speaking different languages, and bluegrass music … Just kidding. 

You guys have a well established fan base. What do you think has been most vital in obtaining that base?

Loftis: Giving free hugs is the way to go. Also,  Eharmony.com. No, Myspace is probably the best marketing tool for promoting your band. Also, playing a lot of shows.

How do you feel after just releasing your first full length?

Bobier: It’s quite an accomplishment! We released it all on our own with no financial support from a label or other investors, so it’s a proud moment for us as a band. It’s an added bonus that people have really been enjoying it so the next step is touring! 

Describe your recording process.

Bobier: Well we recorded in the summer, so imagine being in a 5-by-9 room with no air circulation. In short, the recording experience was awful and awesome at the same time. Woke up at 9 a.m. every day and we were at the studio until 6 p.m. every night for over a month. So it was quite a busy experience. But it’s fun though. 

All of your songs are original; tell me about the process of creating a new song.

Waggener: Well lately, we’ve been all getting together and having a part in the writing of the songs. Occasionally one of us will come up with something and everyone will build off that, but lately it’s been a 100 percent collective effort. 

What are each of your favorite tracks from the album?

Loftis: We all love “Serenity,” “Mercy” and “Ascension.” 

Is there one song that you all love to just rock out to live?

Waggener: “Serenity” and “Frayed at the Edges.” Probably “Mercy,” too.

What’s been your most memorable moment on stage?

Bobier: Everyone singing along to our songs at our CD release show. That was pretty awesome. 

Have you had any embarrassing moments on stage?

Bobier: Alex has fallen a couple times. Aaron broke one of our light boxes by stomping too hard on it! 

Where is the the coolest place you’ve ever played, and where would you like to play some day? 

Waggener: Emerald Theatre, Hayloft, and The Pike Room. We’d like to play in Chicago, Ill., and southern California. Also Florida has a pretty awesome music scene so down there soon. 

What would be the ultimate line up on your dream tour?

Waggener: 30 Seconds to Mars, Circa Surive, There for Tomorrow, and Coheed and Cambria and us. 

There are five of you, so what five items would you have to bring along on tour?

Bobier: Shampoo/conditioner, pillow, laptops, iPods, and clothes/food.

What’s been the most rewarding aspect you’ve taken away from the whole “being in a band” experience?

Waggener: Making a lot of great friends in different bands and with people who listen to our music. I think that’s what sets us apart from a lot of bands, we make lifelong friends with our fans.

What’s something you still want to accomplish?

Loftis: Touring and to be signed, write a lot more albums. 

Do you have any top-secret information to share, so our readers can stay ahead of the game?

All: We’re touring in 2010! Maybe there will be some bigger news in the next few months?… I guess you’ll have to keep up with us. 

You can hear their music, and check out a full calendar of shows on their official site at myspace.com/ariaaesthetic.