The joy of going to a bar and listening to a good jam band may be long outdated, but Groove Session, a band out of Ontario is trying to bring the jam band sound back into rock music.
Starting as a bar band three ago, Groove Session, composed of brothers Manny Sanchez on drums and vocals and Ronnie Sanchez on bass, and Sarven Manguiat on guitar, was the result of many local jam nights in a Upland bar.
The band went through a long rotation of members who played instruments ranging from trumpets and piano.
Eventually they decided on doing a three piece act with just the basic rock band necessities.
“It’s one we’re always conscious about,” Manguiat said. “We were three guys, but we didn’t want to sound like three guys.”
With a desire to write their own material, the members of Groove Session went through several different processes to write and record what would be their debut album as a band. “The Flying Burrito,” an instrumental concept album seasoned with influences from jazz, funk, latin, blues, and rock, was released in 2008.
“We all did demos with people recording them,” Manny Sanchez said. “With those you’re just so pressured.”
The album was recorded in the garage at the home of Manny and Ronnie Sanchez. Using their borrowed computers and only the knowledge they gathered from websites, the band self produced the 11 track album.
“‘The Flying Burrito’ was a great project for us,” Manguiat said. “It was a learning experience as far as writing an album, getting it produced.”
Although the accomplishment of producing their first full length album on their own was a impressive feat, Groove Session’s true passion comes from their live show.
“Positive positive that’s what we’re all about,” Manguiat said.
The band’s live set consist of large transitions, fast tempo changes, and even a couple notable covers the get the audience dancing and enjoying the night.
With heavy backgrounds in large rock acts of the 1960s, and even some contemporary rock artists, Groove Session’s live show brings a mixture of jamming, improve, and heavy rock.
“We were trying to find our own sound and trying to hone in on each other and learn about each other,” Manguiat said.
Recently the band came back from The 14th Annual Millennium Music Conference and Showcase in Pennsylvania and has played the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Tex.
“In the last three years we’ve met some amazing people,” Manny Sanchez said. “It’s cool to finally be able to say, we have some awesome fans.”
While still playing shows in the loca area, Groove Session is on the verge of completing the follow up release to the “The Flying Burrito.” Titled “Memoirs of Niwa,” the album is being recorded under the same “Do It Yourself” methods of the band’s previous album and is set for release during summer time.
“The central theme of the album is the journey though life,” Manguiat said.
According to the band the album follows a much more mature tone than previous works, especially with the new inclusion of vocals on some tracks.
“Memoirs of Niwa” is set to be the bands defining album incorporating more variety than their previous works.
“The songs go through so many different emotions,” Ronny Sanchez said. “I call it our emo album.”
Using the knowledge they’ve learned from releasing “The Flying Burrito,” the band is able to approach their new album differently and more creatively.
One example of this is attempting to shoot a music video for one of their tracks with clay animation.
With the coming year the band is once again playing the South by Southwest festival along with several dates scattered across California and the local area.
With the anticipated release of their new album in summer time, Groove Session has a lot to look forward to.
For more information visit myspace.com/groovesession.
Michael Escañuelas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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