Don’t call Watsonville band Aurora Beam math rock. Sure, the group has complex riffs and an instrumental prog-rock vibe that usually gets associated with the subgenre, but they also have a loose groove and incorporate unique influences. The band’s members call it “jazz punk.”
“We gave ourselves our own label, because I don’t think we’re math rock,” says drummer Shane Luevano. “We’re a little bit more than what that genre entails.”
The group started three years ago as a two-piece with Luevano and guitarist Mario Martinez-Sanchez.
“Mario had played in other bands. One was a five-piece band. Getting everyone’s schedules in line—we always seemed to be free at the same time. It just worked out,” Luevano says.
As the group found their sound by digging into complex parts and pulling from every genre they could imagine, they found they liked having just the two members. Martinez-Sanchez even got a setup where his guitar would send a low signal to a bass amp and a higher one to his guitar, creating a full sound.
“There’s a musical understanding between Mario and I,” says Luevano. “There are times when we don’t have to say anything. We just play our instruments and it goes together.”