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Local Band the Exception to the Rule

TYTO ALBA TALKS MUSICAL INFLUENCES AND SONG-WRITING

For most local bands, gaining a following takes years of hard work. Playing gig after gig for little to no money in front of small, uninterested audiences and hoping to get lucky enough to get a decent review from a local magazine or newspaper can make up a band’s entire career.

Tyto Alba is the exception. After having played for fewer than two years, the band already has attained a respectable list of accomplishments. Going to South by Southwest, releasing an EP, interviewing with AXS, a forthcoming music video, not to mention having a sizable local following are just a few of the things the band has achieved so far.

The band consists of Melanie Steinway (vocals, guitar), Matt Rossi (guitar), Jeremy Van Zandt (drums), and Danny Dimarchi (bass). Steinway took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with the Sentry and talk about Tyto Alba’s origins and their plans for the future.

Sentry: How did you all meet and come together?

Melanie: Matt and I met at a singersongwriter showcase about a year and a half ago. We saw each other play and really dug what the other person was doing. We were standing outside and we thought we should definitely do something musical together. At that point, my previous folk project was sort of falling apart. When that ended, Matt and I immediately picked up where that band left off.

Matt was playing in his own project with Jeremy, who is now our drummer. We were playing with a different bassist until fairly recently, but he couldn’t tour and move forward in the way we wanted the band to move forward, so, as of a month ago, we introduced our new bass player, Danny.

S: What were your musical influences?

M: What’s cool about this project is that a lot of our influences come from very different places. Matt is a big fan of bands ranging from Harvard to kind of more melodic things like Hey Marseilles. I come from a really folk background. All through college I was in bands that were much more acoustic: very Townes Van Zandt fingerpicking inspired. I’m also really inspired by a lot of modern post-rock stuff. Things that are really cinematic, emotive, and dynamic.

S: What is the songwriting process like?

M: I form the basis for every song just sitting in my living room, often with an acoustic guitar, and then bring something that’s still fairly rough to the band. It ends up changing a fair amount during practice. Sometimes the song will change time-signature or at the end of practice sometimes we wind up with something that is totally different than the way it sounds when I’m by myself in the living room.

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Tyto Alba continues to make strides in the Denver music scene and are playing their music video release on Jan. 30 at Syntax Physic Opera. They are definitely a band to watch out for in 2016

—Dylan Streight

photo: Korina Rojo • CU Denver Sentry

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