Psychoala graced our studio with big smiles and lots of laughs. Forming at the University of New Haven, this jazz-funk-indie-dance band brings the toe tapping jams. Psychoala brings a fun mix of genres in their music, adding their flair of grooviness to indie rock. While still attending the university, you can catch them live around the Connecticut area. To check out their tunes, you can find them on BandCamp or Facebook. These questions were answered by the full band: Tyler (bass), Ryan (vocals/guitar), Austin (drums) & Trevor (guitar).
Onna: So when did you guys form, and how has your music evolved since forming?
Trevor: Me and Ryan formed the band our sophomore year, about two years ago. We started a band that was like riff-rock, a bit heavier with a dance feel. That was always the driving idea, we wanted something heavy that somebody could dance to. Then it evolved a little more into a jazzy territory, not that we are a jazz band but it does have elements of funk and jazz to it.
Onna: So you evolved into a jazzy funkadelic rock band. I can dig that. How do your practices usually run?
Trevor: Meeting up an hour late…
Ryan: And basically just making noise for an hour and a half, then we go home. We don’t really go into our practices with a plan. If we have a show coming up we’ll get together and go over those songs a little bit, rehearse.
Onna: Since your sound is so broad, you must have a wide breadth of musical inspirations. Can you talk a little bit about those artists or bands that spark your flame?
Trevor: The Chili Peppers are a good start. The dance rock comes from Franz Ferdinand, just seeing them rock out on stage and dance is awesome.
Ryan: Me, Trevor and Tyler are also big Queens of Stone Age fans; that’s where the heavy influence comes from.
Trevor: And deeper influences are really different between all of us, I like Muse and Guns N’ Roses is another one that I personally use in my playing but it doesnt show.
Austin: We all have our own personal preferences, but we also all come together to agree on what kind of sound Psychoala should have.
Onna: Were you in previous bands before Psychoala?
Trevor: Before college we all had our own high school bands.
Ryan: Except for Tyler, you play in Dust Busters
Tyler: Yeah, I was actually in another band in college called the Duster Busters, we’re in the process of changing the name and finding a new member. It’s currently the Centaur Jesus Experience.
Onna: Psychoala and Centaur Jesus Experience, ya’ll really know how to pick the most unique names. With your jazzy vibe, would you ever consider adding another instrument to the mix?
Trevor: We would add synths, definitely. That would emphasize the dance-rock part.. Austin’s a really great keyboard player. As soon as he grows four arms we’ll get there.
Austin: I’ll just need to become an octopus first.
Onna: What type of venues do you typically play at?
Trevor: Just recently it’s been bars, but before that it was a lot of school events or house parties.
Onna: I was going to say I could totally see you rocking the house shows and getting everyone on their feet to dance.
Ryan: Yes we like house shows, it’s fun when you know a lot of the people at the show because they know your songs and it gets super intimate, everyone knows the songs so it’s always a good time.
Onna: Lastly, what are your thoughts on the Connecticut music scene?
Austin: There’s definitely a lot of talented artists out there.
Ryan: There’s a together vibe going on. It’s spread out, bands come from Hartford, Storrs, New Haven so you kind of have to stretch and play at these different places to see what everyone has to offer.
Trevor: But it’s cool because you start to see these familiar faces, and they’re all very different. There’s no one central theme in Connecticut. Everyone’s trying to make their own special style.
Ryan: It’s cool how there is a scene so spread out across the state, for example like in New York it’s quite condensed. There’s bands from all different towns around here.
Trevor: I just wish that more people came out to see shows at random. I wish that was more of a fun thing to do on a Friday night but it seems like you really have to convince your friends to go out and watch bands.
Ryan: That’s the other thing, if you go watch other bands play, you often become friends with them. We’ve got a lot of shows from meeting a band at a show and then they’re like “Hey! We’re playing here on this day, want to get in on the lineup? And it just keeps going on from there.
Onna: The power of making connections! Do you guys have anything coming up in the near future?
Trevor: Right now we’re in the phase of trying to stretch out and find more places to play. I mean we had our second EP come out last year and we are probably going to start our third EP this semester. Right now we’re trying to get press kits out and get the live aspects in action.