If you have seen Buffalo, NY’s Aqueous live before, odds are your face melted off.
Aqueous is made up of Mike Gantzer ( vocals / guitar ), Dave Loss ( vocals / keys / guitar ), Evan McPhaden ( bass ), and Nick Sonricker ( drums ). I don’t think i could put it better than they have on their site – “Aqueous is a genre melting, funk-tastic groove/rock band known for bringing high energy shows night after night. Catchy songwriting, shredding guitars, tight infectious grooves, and spot on improvisation keep crowds dancing right from the first beat.”
Since these guys are from my hometown, I have been lucky enough to catch them enough times I can’t count on two hands, and every show is a unique showcase of pure talent. Aqueous rocked the Campfire stage this past year, and nothing makes me happier than their return at this years Summer Camp Music Festival!
I had a chance to catch up with Mike recently to ask him a few questions….
Do you have a favorite Summer Camp Music Festival memory?
At Summer Camp 2013, I remember being completely floored by the Mike Dillion Band’s set, and was grateful to experience it with some fellow musicians from other bands on the festival. Their show was just…complete rock and roll. Insane!
Do you have new album or tracks coming out soon?
We’ve recently released a new installment of our live series “Live Nugs” that we’re psyched about. It’s a compilation of musical highlights from the Fall 2013 tour. We’ll be back in the studio early April to record a new studio album too, lots of new material headed your way!
What’s your favorite summer meal / BBQ? What’s your favorite summer beverage of choice?
Pizza Rolls and Blue Gatorade with Vodka. Haha Just kidding, I’d probably say a super solid burger with BBQ sauce, and corn on the cob with some beans. I’d likely wash it down with some lemonade, or a Blue moon, or both, for summer’s sake.
Do you have any secret places you like to go stop on tour in the summer and hike, or swim or fish?
Dave’s allergic to the sun, so absolutely not. But really, there’s so many places that we’ve explored and enjoyed that my brain is melting trying to recall just one!
What are some of your biggest musical influences?
I think Pink Floyd was the biggest common denominator for us years and years ago, and that’s developed into all kinds of stuff, from Jeff Beck to Nas to Muse and everything in between. Anything that’s excellent!
You guys are from Buffalo, NY. What are some benefits as musicians coming from the WNY music scene?
We’re super lucky to be coming out of Buffalo, it’s a great central point to route shows from, there’s a wonderful and supportive music and arts scene, and it’s nice to have a contrast in weather, I think we all really appreciate the summer because of the intense winters!
What are some of your dream venues / Where is the coolest place you have performed so far?
Lewiston’s Artpark is memorable for us given the beautiful scenery behind it, and it was cool to play with Ziggy Marley! Beyond that, there’s a lot of super cool clubs with awesome people working there, Nectar’s in Burlington, VT, The Crooked I in Erie, PA, The Brooklyn Bowl in NY, we’ve even played in a sick old Masonic Temple.
What are some of your favorite songs to perform live?
We’re typically the most excited by the newer songs we write, it’s fun and exciting to see how they develop and gauge the crowd reactions to them. Beyond that, I think we usually enjoy super left field covers!
You guys are in the midst of your first ever Buffalo residency. The buzz has been great! How did you guys come up with the weekly themes?
We’ve had an awesome time being strange and thinking outside of the box for the residency shows. Thus far, the “Willy Wonka” theme was probably my personal favorite for the sheer creepiness and wonder of the content, and there’s been so much awesome energy every week.
The Willy Wonka theme was so much fun! Alright last question for ya. If you could be one animal, what would it be?
An anteater, or a glorious Pegasus.
I think besides the fact that these dudes always kill it live, their fan base is made up of a very unique group of people. I asked a couple of fans on what they feel about Aqueous. Crystal said, “They play amazing music, and its been awesome to see them develop into the band they are now.”
Layla had such a genuine response. “…I will say that I have never felt so strongly, felt so much love for any band or musician in all my 53 years on this planet.”
You still have plenty of chances to see Aqueous and dance your heart away before they rock Summer Camp for the 2nd year.Check out their upcoming tour dates:
March 12 – Burlington, VT – Nectars
March 13 – Syracuse, NY – The Lost Horizon
March 14 – Toronto, ON – The Rivoli
March 15 – Erie, PA – Crooked i
March 17 – Stratton Mtn., VT – Grizzly’s Bar
March 19 – Burlington, VT – Nectar’s
March 20 – Oneonta, NY – Black Oak Tavern
March 21 – Ithaca, NY – Lot 10
March 26 – Burlington, VT – Nectar’s
March 27 – Portsmouth, NH – Thirsty Moose
March 28 – Kenilworth, NJ – 10th Street Live
March 29 – Plains, PA – River Street Jazz Cafe
April 17 – Port Chester, NY – Garcia’s
April 18 – Somerville, MA – Johnny D’s
April 19 – Newmarket, NH – The Stone Church
April 24 – Saratoga Srings, NY – Putnam Den
April 25 – Syracuse, NY – The Westcott Theater
April 26 – Buffalo, NY – Waiting Room
May 3 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
May 23 – 25 – Chillicothe, IL – SUMMER CAMP MUSIC FESTIVAL!!
1) Darren Kemp
2) Lindsey Robinson Photography