By Joey P
I wasn’t exactly on this earth at that moment. The red and purple black lights dimly lit the scene where four space voyagers were about to take me on an interstellar journey.These four pioneers go by a single name: ASTROMAPS.
Hailing from the suburbs of West Kendall, the quartet consists of Diego Martinez (vocals/piano/synth), Christian Rivero (vocals/drums), Andres Echeverri (guitar/bass), and Cristian Hidalgo (guitar). The band came to be fully functional during 2009, when Andres, Cristian, and Christian were in their early years of high school. The three of them already had something going, but they wanted a fourth member, someone who would complete the union.
“We already kind of knew Diego, so we decided to check him out at his middle school’s talent show. There, he WOWed us with a rendition of Billy Joel’s Piano Man. We knew he was the one.” Christian Rivero
From then on, history was being made. These star children have come a long way since their inception. Starting off from playing backyard house shows to high school battle of the bands, they have had a great chunk of success. Cultivating an ever-growing and loyal fan base, AstroMaps has expanded their reach over the land. From those beginning shows, the band has gone on to play full houses at Grand Central, the now defunct, The Vagabond, and Revolution. Their range spreads even further, having toured up and down all of South Florida twice, and even going to a conference all the way in Pennsylvania to showcase their talent. Plans for future include a gig in Atlanta, Georgia, and a tour with the renowned, SunGhosts, taking them all the way to the SXSW grounds!
The band, formerly known as Astronaut, took a revamp on their name in late 2014, after realizing that it didn’t stand out enough.
“If you looked us up on Spotify, you wouldn’t have been able to find us. Our EP was under some DJ from the UK with the same name. To clarify -WE ARE NOT DJS, but we do also rap on our spare time” said Andres
They wanted to stay true to the Astronaut name since they grew fond of it for the years they were together. After compiling a plethora of names and ideas, they finally landed on what they are now known as AstroMaps.
Needless to say, their new name is faithful to who they are and what they do. Contrived from an eclectic mix of influences- from Paul Simon to Foals to Alt-J to Fleetwood Mac – the band has created an unparalleled, multi-dimensional sound that is unique in their own respect and to the Miami scene. They have come to describe their peculiar sound as AstroPop! (Exclamation point necessary).
It’s a funky, sort of dance your pants off, music, mixed in with hard-to-forget hooks and a surge of voltage that makes you want to take immediate action. The music is coated with ornate guitar patterns and thick, rich bass, with layers of baroque synths, intricate drumming patterns, and harmonious melodies of esoteric and earnest lyrics. Inspirations are clearly evident in the labyrinth of euphony created by these masterminds, which all have had formal training in their trades.
These spacemen have two EPs under their helmets: Their first is Self-Titled and the most popular is Eyes Closed, featuring songs like French Police and Stranger. Just from these EPs you can see the evolution of more classically composed works to more mind-warping, alternative textures, and sounds. Their latest release is a single titled, Would Be Lion, encompasses all of the groups methodologies. This single itself has garnered the group quite an amount of attention. I would be lying if I said this song doesn’t want to make you leap out of your seat and dance around. The song contains so much drive and verve that it’s just hard to keep still.
Reflecting the same exact notions that they do in their recordings, their live performances are nothing short of explosive. A bass drum with strobes and color changing LED’s, dangling hoops depicting the stars beyond, and a miniature disco ball with multicolored lights are all part of their live setups. This cannonade of colors tied in with the electrifying intensity of the motley crew make up for one out of this world show. The dynamics of the live sets, along with the ardor of all the members, resonates into each and every single person in the crowd, resulting in a massive, dare I say, pachanga between the audience and band.
If you haven’t caught them live, I strongly encourage you to do so. Give into the outer cosmos and let AstroMaps guide your way into the starry depths.