They’re a working band. But they’re still in high school. They’re coming to the San Diego County Fair this year. Twice. And, they are not afraid to bossa nova.
Half Moon Portrait, with guitarist/singers Ari Shiller and Kyle Ramirez, bassist/singer Daniel Martinez, and drummer Adam Garriott, bring their pop/rock/electronic/bossa nova thing to the fair twice this summer — June 24 and June 29 — but two members are already old hands at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Martinez and Shiller were half of the prog-metal band Relentless Nation, which took the stage a few years back. The two fellows, representing Mt. Carmel and Del Norte High Schools, haven’t been back with their new band until now.
“Our musical influences,” explains Ramirez (a Del Norte alum and the only high-school grad in the lineup), “span across a variety of genres, which includes artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Dream Theater, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, and Sublime.”
Which explains why the band’s generally upbeat outlook come coated in ska, soul, prog, and all the aforementioned.
Making the band work alongside school “is difficult,” admits Garriott, who attends Del Norte with Shiller. “Three of our four members take part in high-school music programs all year long. Our schedule for writing and rehearsing for performances is very tight throughout the school year, but now that summer has started, we are rehearsing much more often and working toward finishing all our musical plans for this summer and the rest of this year.”
For all of the hassle, the quartet’s laid down several tunes and continues to progress in the studio. “Recording has gone great so far,” related Garriott. “We were able to record with professional producer Casey Sabol [former singer of the prog-metal outfit Periphery]. The actual recording is something that seemed so intangible to us, until we started the process. I’ve learned through our sessions that the slight details can make or break our songs, which our producer was able to accomplish remarkably. The two singles we recorded will be released to iTunes, Spotify, and our social networks this month.”
“We hope to continue building our fan base and plan on releasing another album by the end of the year,” concludes the drummer. Until then, mark your calendars for Del Mar.