Overslept’s Elias Armao discusses his music


The blazing sun outside contrasts nicely with the air conditioning blasting inside Capitol Hill’s Pablo’s coffee shop at Elias Armao sips on his iced latte. Elias Armao, mellow with an almost-disgusted enthusiasm, is the type who looks tactfully put-together; he dresses neat with a nice haircut and tortoise-shell glasses, yet there’s something about him that conveys that he couldn’t care less, in the best way possible. As he chatters about Lil B’s release of 140 songs all at once, it is clear that Armao is a cerebral musician who is the lead singer and guitarist of the Denver band Overslept.

“I went to Denver School of the Arts, but I was a visual arts major.” Arm said. “There was this weird hyper-competitive environment where you couldn’t go outside of your major.”

Arm doesn’t look like the rebellious type, but his actions and intellect say otherwise. In Armao’s youth, metal and hard-core bands were his preference, a bit ironic considering the “prettiness,” of his own music, through listeners can certainly hear the prog-rock influence.

“I played drums first, because it was the most intrusive instrumental that I could find,” Armao said. “I went to school with kids who played violin in the hallways. It’s hard to be a rebel in an art school.”

It is difficult in a city with a such a vast range of music niches to find people who can fit the puzzle pieces together. “I didn’t really like the people I was meeting, so I taught myself other instrumentals and how to record,” Armao said. “Actually, on our first full length, I played drums, guitar and sang on it because I hadn’t met a lot of the guys I met now.”

Arm met the band members that perform with him now by playing acoustic shows around Denver.

“I made a goal to play acoustically every song on our first record twice a month somewhere for a year,” Armao said.

Arm admitted to missing one or two these shows, but his persistence resulted in his current four-piece band consisting of Evan Zeller, Mickey Postillion, and Corban Roberts. The band’s disposition and inspiration for the band name comes from the realization of oversleeping and the gnawing anxiety of not being productive.

“We have had a weird run because that is what our songs have always been about,” Armao said.

Overslept embraces the DIY-ethic; they have their own recording studio and mix their own records, preferring to jeep their process in-house to primarily to cut down on costs. Along with the band’s numerous musical talents, Armao works as a graphic designer and designs the band’s march and overall aesthetic.

Overslept is at a point in their career where they’re hovering in limbo in Denver’s music scene. “Our music is too pretty for DIY but too louder pop music,” Armao said about their musical style. Armao’s metal and hard-core influence still linger in their songs despite the pop overtones that make their music so infectious.

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