It’s such an awesome feeling when you see a band for the very first time and they rock your socks off. It’s even cooler when they are local to your area! That band is AjamajA, and they are quickly making their name known!
AjamajA’s band name is something that sticks with me. It’s catchy and hard to forget; but anyone can have a cool name. It’s the music that really counts, right? Well I was pleased to have seen them live last week opening up for the very talented, Zach Deputy!
I knew of the band, and I had already heard some of their recorded material, so I was really looking forward to the show. They came right out jamming, and I had a great time dancing. You see, living in Buffalo in the winter gets pretty cold. It’s always awesome grabbing a few beers and catching a live show that gets you moving to keep ya warm and fuzzy. AjamajA did just that! Check out some of their material for yourself:
I was able to catch up with guitarist and vocalist Jason Staniszewski.
Kyle - What are some of your biggest music influences as a band?
Jason - moe. , Grateful Dead, Phish, Ween, Talking Heads, Umphrey’s McGee, Bob Dylan, Lotus, Brothers Past, Primus, Toots & The Maytals, Bob Marley, Lettuce, Miles Davis…. We listen to just about everything and are willing to dive into any situation. Music is here to be heard and we are all about that. Crossing genres.
Kyle - AjamajA is a very unique name. How did the name come about?
Jason - The name is very unique and that is what we wanted. We wanted something non genre specific and somewhat easy to remember, but still leaving it open ended. (Jason) My brother and I were on the phone the one night and he said you should name your band JamaJ. I dug it, but thought of the Austin Powers movie where he says Fajah for his Father. So I said AjamajA. After going in numerous directions we all agreed that this would have to be the name.
Kyle - What’s the bands writing process like?
Jason – It varies from one song to another. Sometimes a member will bring a full song in with lyrics and we will then analyze an adjust. Other times someone will catch a cool riff and we will play with it for a bit. We are very open minded to everyone’s ideas and want to keep each song moving in a new and different direction.
Kyle - Buffalo has an awesome music scene. What is your favorite part of starting out here?
Jason - The fans. The people here are really into the original music scene, they are willing to come out and support bands most any day of the week. That is a testament in its own. People love dancing and getting funky here in Buffalo!
Kyle - What got you into the jam scene?
Jason - Me personally, I have to give credit to my Aunt & Uncle. They hooked me up when I was a kid with Grateful Dead albums and some live Phish shows. I didn’t really get it until I was 12-13. My dad was always into classic rock and a big Neil Young and Allman Brothers fan. Cat Stevens, James Taylor and The Beatles were also played a lot. The jam scene just suited me and my personal beliefs more. Exploring and creating something out of nothing is an amazing thing to witness.
Kyle - What makes AjamajA stand out as a band?
Jason - We are a group of humble fellas that love to play. Our openness on stage allows not only us, but our crowds to be themselves.
Kyle – Thanks Jason! Anything else to add?
Jason - We can’t wait to get out on the road and expand our horizons. Music is everything to us, it’s in our bones, it’s a passion!
A highlight of their set for me was when they closed with ” I Know you Rider “ by the Grateful Dead. Anytime I have a chance to see Grateful Dead music performed live, I get excited. I’m always way more judgmental when a band performs covers of songs that I like. It’s hard not to especially when a band changes the song up a bit. I thought they did an awesome job! The vocals and instrumentals were spot on!
Here’s a clip of them performing their original song, “A Simple Life” from the show.
I’m already anxious to see them perform again! Keep an eye out for these guys, as I’m sure they will be playing shortly in a town near you!
Until next time…
AjamajA Live at the Waiting Room Photo Credit: Lindsey Robinson Photography