Q+A with Aqueous at Summer Camp Music Festival 2017

19 June 2017
Cheyanne Powell

A little bit of rock, a little bit of groove, four young artists from Buffalo, New York merging together and they give you- Aqueous. While sharing their music and creative performances, the band has traveled across the country playing at events and festivals such as Peach Festival, Summer Camp, and Moe.Down. With their upbeat appearance and songwriting, they have released three albums as well as their “Live Nugs” collection. The band expresses their passion for their work, the struggles, and success of auditions, what they find themselves doing when not playing music, and moments on tour that keep them doing what they’re doing. With a strong love for the jam scene, the young band was able to sit down with us at Summer Camp to tell us their experiences on and off the road.

Tell me a little about how you all met and became Aqueous?

Mike- Dave, Evan, and I went to school together and graduated in 2007 but we were all friends before. Then Rob joined us about a year and a half ago.

How did you guys meet Rob?

Rob- There were a handful of drummers that came before me. Last year these guys did kinda a national search to find a fit. I sent in a video and here we are.

Mike- He was the last guy to send in a video. We were like really heartbroken wondering what are we going to do because we had over like one hundred submissions. None of them were exactly what we were hoping for. Rob's was the last one and we were like “Oh no, we’re screwed.” But then we were like “Oh, oh wait, here we go.” I still remember driving in the van and thinking he’s pretty cool. We were pretty thorough with the search and sent out a lot of specific parameters to make sure they were going to work as hard as we wanted them to. We figured if someone answered the questions the right way then that was a good start.

Rob- Also, on the other end you want to make sure the people wanting to be in the band are wanting to be in the band.

Mike- Once we saw the videos he submitted, we really liked him and had him come into play with us. It was the strangest thing like every couple of minutes there was this new vibe where we were connecting even more. At first, it was just music during the impromptu sessions and stuff. It was working and kinda fun. Which normally auditions are super tense and uncomfortable. His, we were all like smiling and we were like “Okay, that’s good.” Then we started talking about what kind of music we are into and stuff and then started playing just really weird nineties shit.

Rob- He would play something randomly and then I would just start playing.

Mike- See, and that’s really fun. That’s part of the vibe.

Dave- I’m pretty sure we still have the recording of that. We played the Korn song about ten times that day. We’re also really into heavy shit.

Who would you say your biggest influences are?

Mike- What got us into it was the jam scene. Umphrey's and Phish. Those were it when we were in like ninth and tenth grade.

Rob- I feel like when you’re really into Phish though, you end up hearing these covers of other bands. You’re thinking this song is super sick and asking what is this. Phish is the reason I got into other bands like The Beatles. They are like a gateway band to experience other music. The jam scene is a good gateway to get other people into music. When influences come in, we’re not just jam band kids, we are music kids. If it’s good, we’re going to immediately be drawn to it.

What is one of the most memorable moments you’ve had on tour and why?

Mike- We did a band swap with Moe. They had an encore and we happened to make a show about a month ago on their spring tour. They had this idea for us to go out for their encore as a band swap. It was fun. They ended up coming out to finish their encore.

When not playing music, what are some hobbies you enjoy doing?

Dave & Evan- Golf. We always say golfing. We’re not really good at it but we enjoy playing when we can.

Rob- Cooking. I worked in the culinary services for many years so I really enjoy cooking.

When growing up, did you all want to work in the music industry or did you have other plans for your future?

Mike- I wouldn’t say it’s working if you love doing what you’re doing. I guess growing up we were always around music and playing. When we could, we were attending as many shows and festivals as possible. So when you say working in the music industry, I wouldn’t consider it really working because we love what we do.