Named one of the Best Unsigned Bands by Alternative Press, Adestria have now made Artery Recordings their home and crafted a debut album with hooks at every turn. The group is careful to maintain a certain signature sound while operating a skillful balancing act with multiple dynamics operating inside the overall framework. "We try to make the songs pretty diverse and we avoid squeezing ourselves into one specific genre," notes vocalist Matt Anderson.
Imagine an adept combination of the catchy discordant heaviness of Devil Wears Prada, the brash melody of Asking Alexandria, the fierce breakdown heavy experimentalism of August Burns Red and the New Wave of American Heavy Metal influenced "down under" sheen of Parkway Drive and one will begin to get a glimpse of what Adestria accomplished with the writing and recording of their altogether exciting Chapters.
Anderson's vocals rest atop the proficient riffage of guitarists Russell Klein and Brian Stump, the bottom heavy but fluid rhythms of bassist Chris Hardison and drummer Mike Yanez and the flourishing piano and keys summoned by Mikey Colasardo. These six young men from San Diego carry forward a feverish tradition of Southern California music that is as potent, important and groundbreaking as it is diverse and electrifying.
"Because California is so crowded in general, there are a lot of bands, which forces all of us to work harder to be better than the competition," Anderson points out. "There will be so many bands in any given town that you have to struggle to standout. It forces you to get better. From the beginning, made sure to go absolutely crazy when we play live whether there are seven people there or 700. We've all been going to shows since we were kids and we know that those are the bands who always stood out to us. A show should be an experience and we try to bring that."
Adestria (named for a fictitious Greek goddess dreamed up by a former guitar player) began at a party when Anderson ran into a couple of guys who shared his taste in music. A few drinks and some conversation later, they decided to start a band. "We were just kind of messing around at first. It was just a bunch of friends jamming in a girlfriend's garage type of thing. But from there, our friends started pushing us to play shows. Then it became a bit more serious. Then we thought, 'Ok, we can actually do something with this.'"
Tracks like “With the Wind at Your Back” and “The Odyssey” brim with exciting promise and positive messages about perseverance. “’The Odyssey’ is about pressing forward and fighting through the things that get in your way,” the frontman explains. “The music really reflects the lyrics. It’s a very aggressive song. It’s our heaviest song and it’s the only song on the album without any clean singing. It just has an angry feel to it. We want it to pump kids up.”
“The Masquerade” is a biting attack on some of the poseurs and pretenders in the scene. “I see people being fake and putting on fronts that they want their fans to see,” Anderson points out. “They want people to think they’re this crazy party band. It doesn’t set the greatest example when people think they have to put that mask on. The idea that you have to create that image to gain fans is stupid. We’d rather stay a local band than be something we are not.”
From that savage sound the record travels all the way to the other side of the spectrum with “More than You Know,” which begins with only piano, vocals and a little bit of electric drums. A heartfelt song with a tragic slant, “More Than You Know” addresses one of Adestria’s most personal stories. “It is about our guitar player’s mom who passed away from cancer when he was a teenager. The song is about those dark times that he faced, but the light and acceptance he found as his realization that his mom continues to be a piece of him.”
In addition to their brilliant blend of heaviness and melody, it’s that dedication to honest storytelling and an authentic presentation of who they are that sets Adestria apart from the pack. They care more about the interactions they have with people in the audience than about which bands did what in sales or who has better merch. “I’ve had kids tell me that a song like ‘Wind at Your Back’ helped them through tough times,” Anderson says. “They didn't go into detail about what they were going through but they said that listening to that song and reading those lyrics really helped them. That was kind of shocking to me that something that we wrote had an impact like that.”
At the end of the day, it’s those sorts of true human connections, an energetic live show and the impassioned dedication to the sincerity of their craft that Adestria hopes to be recognized for and ultimately remembered by. “We aren't necessarily trying to change peoples lives with our music. We just want people to come out and have a good time. We may not get to do this forever, but we just want to have a good time with it while we can.”