Local band Aquanova to Debut Psychedelic Sounds at The Atlantic with First Show
Aquanova is their name, not holding back is apparently their game. Front-loading an album before they ever played a gig, and adorned by angler fish and “Slinky the Moon Cat,” Gainesville’s newest psychedelic, indie rock band is set to debut at The Atlantic tonight, April 14. They’re doing things a little differently than you might expect.
Most new bands follow a predictable pattern: gather compatible musicians, write a few songs, and start playing around town wherever a gig can be found.
T-shirts and bumper stickers come later, and they might have an album available by the end of their first year if they’re very proactive.
Not Aquanova, which aims to break that mold at their first show.
“We’re creating our whole world,” said Meghan Abernathy, the band’s synth and graphic artist, of their planned trajectory. “There’s a whole concept of deep space and underwater, and there’s a graphic novel in progress.”
“We don’t necessarily want to just have concept albums,” said drummer Jonathan Griffin.”Concept albums really speak to us and we think it’s a really cool project to be able to create a concept album from beginning to end, but the band as whole is kind of a concept.”
Everyone in the band is driven by similar goals and interests: conservation, wildlife, sustaining Florida’s aquifers and streams.
Aquanova means “new water,” and beyond their ideology, the name also helps to describe their DIY methods.
Recording and mixing their album is all done themselves in a home studio off of Sixth Street. Items like T-shirts that aren’t made in their own studio are sourced from local businesses.
Along with Abernathy and Griffin, the four-piece includes Cristobal Gonzalez on bass and vocals and as Haydn Brasher on guitar and vocals.
Local music fans might recognize some of the band’s members from past projects like The Banditos, active back in 2010 and Los Panas 352, during The Jam’s era.
Each member brings a notably different musical taste to the project contributing to Aquanova’s sound. Griffin’s metal background and Brasher’s preference for rock music blends with Abernathy’s self-described “gypsy doodalie-doo,” as heard in the band’s first release, “Kuzingi 9.”
With so much of their vision being fleshed out before they even hit the road, you might think they’re taking away from the magic of watching local bands form and grow over time. That doesn’t seem to be the case.
“We’re definitely big on the psychedelic side too.” Griffin explains, “We want to eventually get our own lighting setup and backdrops and everything, and not only put on a show musically but visually.”
They’re leveraging the band’s visual artist, Abernathy, to create “big backdrops with trippy art” for their future performances. Hell, yeah.
“We wanted to come together to create something that we enjoyed playing and writing, but that we knew was very approachable to a larger audience,” said Griffin.
“I think we found something that we love to do and that other people will love too, because it’s not so fine-tuned into a genre,” said Abernathy.
If the progress chart in their studio is any indication of what to expect in the near future, we should see their bandcamp page grow quickly leading up to the physical release of this first album.
They plan to have the album available at shows as well as on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube.