a'tris' newest release, Lensing, is a snapshot of their
ongoing and ever-changing journey through the musical
From the innocent adolescent intermingling with Sesame
Street to the inception of a'tris, there is no
predictable or projected path for this group; they pave
their own paths as they go.
"Music is really my life; I'm immersed in it all the
time and wouldn't have it any other way," says Abel. "We
never stop writing."
You've most likely heard a musician say that the
moment they realized music and picked up an
instrument was when they heard a life-changing
album, or when they went to a stellar show that blew
their minds. For Mason Taylor (piano, vocals) of
a'tris, his musical awakening was triggered by none
other than the great Oscar the Grouch of Sesame
"Around my sixth birthday, the folks bought my
sisters and me a tiny keyboard with eight keys, each
of which corresponded to the plastic likeness of one
of our favorite Sesame St. characters," says Taylor.
"I only recall pressing Oscar's key, as he was my
favorite. My parents said that the various keys did
not have different pitches, so lessons were in
order. My tiny keyboard was replaced by a larger one
that was later traded for an old upright piano."
This strange churning of fate, music, and Oscar the
Grouch led Taylor's early blooming musical interest
straight through Berklee College of Music and into
the company of Ben Azar (guitar), Nate Lueck (bass),
and Travis Abel (drums). These like-minded musicians
found a strong communication in their collaboration,
and what we now know as a'tris was born.
Based out of Boston, MA, this foursome keeps it real
and down to earth, using music as an uncontrived
conduit for self-expression. "Every musician wants
to feel like they're unique and doing something
that's never been done before," say the members of
a'tris. "But let's face it; you need to use an
agreed-upon vocabulary to describe your music to
others. As a musician, you have to come to terms
with this as a necessity to discuss your music."
Mason Taylor, Ben Azar, Nate Lueck, Travis Abel
USA: Massachusetts (MA)
Radiohead, R.E.M., The Smiths, Peter Gabriel
Heavily influenced by the jazz, classical, and progressive
rock genres, a'tris not only gives us music as a language,
but also as a soundtrack to our lives. "Music and film are
inherently intertwined," says Taylor. "I frequently look to
film for inspiration and hope that my music has a bit of
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