Distance makes the sound grow stronger: Colorado’s Amzyr plays the long-distance band game

Long distance relationships are hard. Timing is off, schedules are different, communication is difficult, and if the relationship happens to be a band that is in its early stages, regular practices are nearly impossible. But Colorado-based folk-alternative group Amzyr is doing it with full force.

The trio released their first EP, self titled, in July, but vocalists Sara Morales and Nick Williamson, who also plays guitar and mandolin, along with drummer Isaac Encinias have been playing music together off and on since 2009.

Basically, they’re formally jamming now. When they all happen to be in the same spot.

The three all have roots in Pueblo. Williamson and Encinias met when they were young. They started playing together, but nothing ever developed from it. When high school rolled around Encinias moved to Denver, but Morales, through her brother, met Williamson. They started playing and writing, and as they say, the rest is history.

Well, kind of. Eventually, Williamson moved to Fort Collins leaving the potential for a band slim, but somehow the opposite happened.

“In Fort Collins Nick stumbled upon the Blasting Room and booked recording dates

for the band,” Encinias said.

Encinias got involved when the band needed drum tracks, and it works even though they’re all living in different cities. Besides, he said, the recording studio is always booked so that wouldn’t have changed much even if they were all in the same place.

The Blasting Room has an impressive client list with bigger names like Alkaline Trio, Less Than Jake, Puddle of Mudd and Rise Against.

Williamson said he and the band had looked at a couple of other studios, but weren’t exactly impressed. Even though all three didn’t have any experience in a studio, they figured they had to do it right the first time.

“At first, I think we were all pretty nervous,” Williamson said. “Because we realized that this was the true opportunity to show everybody our talent and what we have to offer to the music world. Once we got into the studio all the nerves died down.”

The other two agree. They don’t really cite their distance as an obstacle either.

“I think we all flow well enough together that even though we didn’t have a lot of time to practice or record it still ended up going very well,” Morales added.

The three all name different musical influences, The Beatles, John Mayer, Of Monsters and Men and the Lumineers, but they have been able to really narrow the band’s sound to something specific. Folk-alternative.

It’s other artists they find influence from, such as the Fray and Ed Sheeran, that can really be heard in Amzyr’s music.

It’s upbeat acoustic sounds with alternative flair and just enough pop that could put them on the radio.

In the local music scene, it seems the average progression of a band is opposite of what Amzyr is doing, and that might be why the three are so refreshing. Not only do they sound effortless, they are effortless because they’re forced to be.

They don’t play local shows. The distance doesn’t allow it. They practice when they can, and the timing for recording just happened to line up right.

Even so, the band hopes to start touring with the newly recorded material and submit the EP to record labels.

Sure, it won’t be easy, the group says. Breaking into the professional music world never is, but the three are positive that if they’ve gotten this far, they can keep on going.

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