Young band graduates to next level

Vernon alt. rock band Amistad, whose members range in age from 13 to 16, releases its new EP Friday at Vernon's Powerhouse Theatre.

You might not think so at first glance, but bands Panic! at the Disco, Incubus, and Creedence Clearwater Revival have one thing in common.

Despite the fact that each band is from a different era, their members were still in high school when they put out their first recordings.

The members of Vernon band Amistad can now put themselves in that same category.

With its members ranging in age from 13 to 16, Amistad is about to have its first recording release party at Vernon’s Powerhouse Theatre Friday.

Amistad’s EP, consisting of five original songs, was recorded, produced and engineered by student Travis Camm at the Centre for Arts and Technology in Kelowna.

The entire EP was written after band members and their families went on a five-day hike on the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska last August.

Some of the songs were written about events that occurred during that hike as well as the overall experience, said 14-year-old lead singer/guitarist Aidan Andrews.

“We usually draw inspiration from all different genres and styles of music when we write, so our sound is like a mixture of everything we listen to individually, but it always comes together as a song in the end,” he said. “We usually just go with being alternative because it’s such a wide and diverse genre.”

Andrews joins lead guitarist Brent Matterson, 16, and his brother, keyboardist/vocalist Craig Matterson,14, in the band.

Rounding out the rhythm section on drums and bass respectively are 13-year-old twin brothers Carson and Nolan Bassett. The latter brother also sings and plays the trumpet.

Since forming a few years ago, Amistad has already given a number of public performances, including the Jessica Eaman memorial concert at Polson Park June 2. The band has also competed in the Our Kids Have Talent the past two years, and won best stage performance in 2012.

“Since last year, we’ve developed a new determination and a new drive to deliver the best shows possible to our audience,” said Andrews. “If anybody is having any doubts about us, I recommend you come check out a show. We’re for playing our music live, and I can promise that we will give it everything we’ve got for you, if you just give us a chance.”

Opening for Amistad Friday, June 14 is fellow up-and-coming band Siesta Motel. Doors to Powerhouse Theatre open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5, in advance at the Bean Scene coffee house or at the door.