Cory Dennis, Todd Harris, and Aaron Miller's first glimpse of success came in high school with The El Guapos, an indie-rock outfit that disbanded after three years of packed Austin venues, a capacity performance at the 2009 NAMM SXSW-Underage showcase, and a botched European record deal. While Miller and Harris studied at The University of Texas, Dennis honed his recording and production skills, founding Indie Fort Studios and working with local favorites like Zlam Dunk, Mother Falcon, and Little Lo. The three remained best friends and it wasn't long before they embarked on another musical project, this time experimenting with pop and electronic music. They called it Sphynx.
Propelled by several Austin artist collectives, Sphynx's debut single, “Razberry Wine,” was released on two local compilations and picked up by University of Texas radio station, KVRX. Sphynx gained more momentum with the February 2011 release of their debut EP, 'Human Beast.' Critics applauded the EP's "elaborate synth pop," and proclaimed that "here we've got a new breed" who "recycles a bit of history and puts a bit of soul to their songs." During the summer of 2011, 'Human Beast' charted in the top 30 on radio stations in Canada, Alaska, New York, Michigan, Florida, California, Louisiana and Texas. In September of 2011, Sphynx was the featured artist on the website of nationally syndicated radio program, Loveline. The three continued to navigate their way through the world of music and in December of 2011, Sphynx released a full-length version of 'Human Beast,' in Japan on Thistime Records (The Posies, Anoraak, College). During SXSW of 2012, Sphynx was named one of the top 10 best new bands in Austin at The Austin Music Awards, presented by The Austin Chronicle. In their SXSW 2012 Awards, Unique Squared named Sphynx the "most shocking wall of sound from a 3-piece" seen at SXSW. Sphynx released their second EP, 'Pre Wild,' in October 2012, garnering praise from reputable sites like AOL Spinner, The Burning Ear, and Pop'stache. The band followed the release with a month-long US tour that included 3 dates supporting Tilly and The Wall and a sold out CMJ showcase at Mercury Lounge in Manhattan. In their review of 'Pre Wild,' Austin-based music blog, Ovrld, called Sphynx "one of the best pop acts coming out of Austin right now."
Sphynx's growing popularity is due in part to their energetic and bizarre live show, which "brings together musical elements of punk and glam rock to create a big sound and a live experience worthy of an arena." The group has toured the US consistently since late 2011 and have been official performers at SXSW Festival, CMJ Festival, Bunbury Festival, 35 Conferette Festival (35 Denton), Chaos in Tejas, and more. They've supported Wavves, Tilly and The Wall, Art vs. Science, Baths, Japanther, Maps and Atlases, Holy Fuck, White Denim, El Ten Eleven, Peelander-Z, and The Octopus Project. Their songs can be heard on independent radio stations around the US and their music video for 'Sha Dynasty' has been played in Tower Records stores throughout Japan. Sphynx is currently recording their debut full-length album.
Cory Dennis - Synths/Vocals
Aaron Miller - Guitars/Vocals
Todd Harris - Drums/Percussion
'Pre Wild' - EP (2012)
'Human Beast (Deluxe Edition)' Cassette LP - (2012)
'Human Beast' - Japanese LP (2011 Thistime Records)
'Sha Dynasty' - Cassette/Single (2011)
'Human Beast' - EP (2011)
SXSW Artist Spotlight: Sphynx
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It’s a Wednesday night and I’m not even working, I’m just here, at The Parish, enjoying some time wi...It’s a Wednesday night and I’m not even working, I’m just here, at The Parish, enjoying some time with a couple of friends and sipping a whiskey and coke. We are here, I’m told, to see a band called Black Taxi. I’ve never heard of them, but I’m told they’re good and my friend said to me the magic phrases “free show” and “I’ll drive.” I’ve got no real expectations for the evening. That is, after all, one of the benefits of living in the Live Music Capitol of The World; there’s never a shortage of music floating through the air.
Of course, with so much music, it’s sometimes hard to know who to go see or what you might be getting yourself into. For every act like The Sword or Bright Light Social Hour, there are legions of bands that, even if they try really hard, will never be anything except that band your old roommate played bass with for a couple of years.
That’s sort of the risk you take when going to a free show in Austin. There’s more than a good chance that you’re going to see another band with sub-par equipment playing barely passable chord progressions. I can’t deny these guys their heart and their drive and god bless them for trying hard and having a good time. But there’s a reason they’re a dime a dozen. On the flip side, however, once in a while you do catch something that’s really fucking awesome.
I watch as three men, dressed in their glam rock best, begin loading in their equipment. It’s a simple setup: drums, guitar, synthesizer. I see the gear and I see the guys and I can only imagine what I’m about to get into. I ask my friends if this is the Black Taxi we’ve come to see.
“No,” I’m told. “It’s not.”
Ten or fifteen minutes later, the band is set up and ready to go. They are Sphynx, they tell the crowd.
For the next 30-40 minutes, Sphynx hyped the crowd with an infectiously poppy and danceable set that had most of the audience crowding around the stage. The crowd cheered and danced as they played synth-centric, retro flavored rock that wasn’t afraid to hold back on, well, the rock. And as poppy as the music was, the band played with a spitfire, balls out energy that recalled the early heydays of punk rock. This, as it turns out, is no coincidence.
“I think energy-wise, we definitely draw that from when we used to play punk music,” says guitarist and singer Aaron Miller, a fact his counter-part, synth player and singer Corey Austin Dennis agrees with.
“We got really into punk and we’d go to all the punk shows, and we’d go to really high energy concerts, and so we wanted to apply that to kind of a little more like synth pop or whatever you would call this,” he says.
This inspiration does, indeed, lead to a high-energy performance. By the end of their relatively short set, the band is drenched in sweat and breathing heavy, both indications of a band that is giving it their all. But through the tiredness in their eyes, you can see the pure joy of a band that has their hearts set on the big time.
“I guess our ultimate goal is pretty much to take it all the way,” says Dennis. “I wouldn’t say [Lady] Gaga or Beiber or anything like that. But maybe like Flaming Lips status. That’s what we strive for and I guess shoot high.”
Currently Sphynx has a couple of EPs they sell at their shows, both of which were released as a full-length record titled Human Beast on a Japanese label.
Unlike many bands in the local scene that have a good live performance, the high energy of their show translates well in their recorded works. Human Beast is fun front to back, and positively full of the same no holds barred intensity that first caught my attention at their show.
As to the future, Sphynx is hoping to have a big year. The band is currently in the middle of finishing up their first proper full length album, a process that they’ve literally been living for the past few months. The boys have their own studio space in a ranch outside of town in Kyle, Texas.
“We all live in trailers around it, and so we’re just there every day [to] write and record,” says Dennis. While no one in the band has yet quit their day jobs, they’re all hopeful for what the future might have in store for them.
“We’re all committed to this and we work day jobs and just random gigs in Austin to just sustain ourselves as musicians, but we’re trying to gather everything to make our first big push into doing it full time,” says Miller.
Sphynx hopes to have their new album out by fall at the latest. Until then, the band hopes to just keep building and maintaining their momentum in the hopes of making their dreams of rock stardom a reality. Towards that end, they’ve gotten a good head start.
“We’ve been on about four tours, mostly the Southeast [and] Midwest, [and] most recently we played CMJ in 2012, and we did some tour dates with Tilly and the Wall in November. We’ll be back out on the road in April in the Southeast,” says Miller.
From this point, who knows what will happen? Could be that Sphynx, for whatever reason, can’t catch the break they’re looking for and will one day fade into the annals of the Austin music scene history. But with the kind of chops they’re building, Sphynx stands more than a good chance at making their mark on the national scene. Their newest record may not have a title, a release date, or even a label at this point, but this is a band worthy of buzz and support. With all of this working in their favor, it would not be surprising to see Sphynx have a major, breakthrough year.
Sphynx Pre Wild
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Sphynx, the three man group on a party jam tear, have released a new EP, titled Pre-Wild, which is c...Sphynx, the three man group on a party jam tear, have released a new EP, titled Pre-Wild, which is chock full of electro-rock anthems. The group first reached acclaim through the release of their lead single “Razberry Wine” and their debut 7-track EP Human Beast. Human Beast definitley made an impression on us and we put it up at number 10 on our list of top 25 Austin EPs of 2011. Since their debut, the group has released a couple singles and a mixtape which have all built upon their original popularity. The group’s sound has been likened to MGMT, Passion Pit, Phoenix and also Prince. I think that the Prince comparison is spot on and highlights the grandiosity of Sphynx’s songs and the excellent pop guitar work that lead axe-man Aaron Miller throws down. At their shows, you’ll see animal-print spandex, hear guitar solos played by tooth and witness other over-the-top antics. All of these match the scale of their pop anthems and heighten the live Sphynx experience. With Pre Wild, Sphynx have again demonstrated their ability to craft catchy dance songs and cemented their position as one of the best pop acts coming out of Austin right now.
Pre Wild consists of 3 songs: “Terathon,” “Sha Dynasty” and “Orbs”. Both “Orbs” and “Sha Dynasty” were released as singles prior to the EP but all the songs on the EP are strong enough to stand out on their own. With “Terathon,” Sphynx bring out the vocoder and hand clap samples to start off the EP on a synth-heavy high. Also on this track, is a wicked call and response guitar solo and a fast-paced saxophone solo. On both “Terathon” and “Sha Dynasty,” Sphynx bring out the saxophone for solos that add a throwback vibe to the tunes. Check out “Terathon” below and listen up for the solos toward the end of song.
After “Terathon,” Sphynx turn up the guitar for “Sha Dynasty” my favorite track on the EP and one of the best party songs to come out of Austin in recent history. Featured on “Sha Dynasty” is the masterful pop guitar work of Aaron Miller, falsetto vocals and punching bass lines. If you haven’t heard the song yet check out Sphynx’s dynamic video for “Sha Dynasty” here. The band closes out Pre Wild with “Orbs”, a song that keeps the momentum going with a hopping synth lead and a soaring chorus.
Pre Wild can be purchased on Amazon and iTunes now. The band is currently working on an LP that is set to release soon. We’ll keep you posted on news and a release date for this LP as we get info. Also, Sphynx will be playing at the Mohawk TONIGHT with Tilly and the Wall. A small number of the Japanese version of Human Beast will be for sale at the show too. Doors at 8pm. Tickets $12 advance, $14 at door. I definitely encourage y’all to put your dancing shoes on and check out Sphynx live tonight. Their show is really not to be missed.
From Folk to Funk: Sphynx Dive Into Synth Pop
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"The trio have put together two focused, not at all naive funk-pop EPs, and are prepping their first..."The trio have put together two focused, not at all naive funk-pop EPs, and are prepping their first, “cinematically” driven full-length."
Sphynx - Human Beast
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Pop songs have been written about an assortment of maneaters throughout the years, with tunes rangin...Pop songs have been written about an assortment of maneaters throughout the years, with tunes ranging from killer sax-solos and inspiring mustaches to slightly sexier variations on the theme.
But here we’ve got a new breed, sharing a pedigree with Passion Pit and early MGMT, and hailing from Austin, TX. Sphynx’s Maneater Pt. II is a fast, sugary-synth rush complete with falsetto chorus, guitar-stomp bridge and sing-along outro that is pure 80’s cheese-rock (download it right here). The whole thing comes together well, though; not too earnest, not too self-aware, the right amount of fun.
Sphynx’ three Texans have opened for Of Montreal, and this spring, they’ll perform alongside Dr. Dog, Big Boi and Dan Deacon at Denton, Tex.’s, 35 Conferette music festival. They’ve got an EP out Feb. 22 called Human Beast. Do yourself a favor and pick it up. You earned it.
[MP3] Sphynx - Orbs
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I don’t know why but Cory, Aaron, & Todd just seem like the names of 3 dudes who would get into the ...I don’t know why but Cory, Aaron, & Todd just seem like the names of 3 dudes who would get into the funked out party vibes. It’s only appropriate that they do that on the regular as Sphynx. It’s throwback. It’s futuristic. It’s happening right now and you should be dancing. You should also be doubling your pleasure with their other equally sexy and free new single “Sha Dynasty.”
Austin Music Awards - Best New Band
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"BEST NEW BANDWheeler Brothers 2) Ghosts Along the Brazos 3) Neon Cobra 4) Black Pistol Fire 5) ..."BEST NEW BANDWheeler Brothers
2) Ghosts Along the Brazos
3) Neon Cobra
4) Black Pistol Fire
6) Wild Child
7) The Shears
8) Ulrich Ellison
9) Sons of Orpheus
10) Liars & Saints"
SXSW 2012 - Unique Squared Awards
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"Most Shocking Wall of Sound From a 3-Piece Award: Sphynx, is a local Austin synth pop band that ..."Most Shocking Wall of Sound From a 3-Piece Award:
Sphynx, is a local Austin synth pop band that really caught our attention. We first heard their sound at the Aerobic International unofficial showcase on Saturday at Frontier Bar with our own Lonely Paul DJing. They have 80's synth sounds with beats that are easy to dance to and lyrics that are extremely catchy. They are amazing live, and put on a killer show. Their set consist of some prerecorded material but it didn’t take anything away from a tight and dynamic performance. The best way to describe their sound would be if someone took Phoenix, and somehow shrunk them while making them sound better live."
Sphynx Are Among The Many Great Bands at Tonights Shears CD Release Party
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"To say that the Shears are the only reason to look forward to this show would be a massive understa..."To say that the Shears are the only reason to look forward to this show would be a massive understatement. Of course there are local stars and recently announced 2011 ACL performers Fresh Millions, as well as clever Brooklynites Hank & Cupcakes, and local group Zlam Dunk, which warrant their own post at some point over the summer. But the group that immediately stands out to me is Sphynx."
"Their story sounds a lot like an Austin version of Miike Snow, and their music isn’t that far off either..It’s just all big, shiny synths and guitars that match the massive hooks."
SXSW Overflow 2012, Tonight at SHFL: Day One (Sphynx, Galaxy Express, & Les Racquet)
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"And in a weird twist of fate, yep, I get to start off with a band I’ve already heard. These folks s..."And in a weird twist of fate, yep, I get to start off with a band I’ve already heard. These folks sent me a download of their most recent full-length, Human Beast, last year, and while I sadly didn’t get a chance to fully review it before their show, I still walked away impressed.
The band does a spectacularly bouncy, bright-smiling kind of electro-pop, effortlessly melding electronicized beats, live drums, Gary Numan-esque synths, and sharp-edged (but still melodic) guitars for a sound that’s one part ’80s synth-pop (esp. on new single “Orbs”), one part Prince funkiness, and two parts unabashed party-rock — think of Sphynx as being the less-cheeky older siblings of fellow party-bounce-pop outfit Reptar, and you’ll be prepared. Recommended."
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"Today's feature? Sphynx. PEV's focus on this sweet 3-piece? That's a bit more complicated. There's ..."Today's feature? Sphynx. PEV's focus on this sweet 3-piece? That's a bit more complicated. There's so so so... so much we could talk about. They're out of Austin, Texas - a well-know breeding ground for absurdly talented artists representing every genre. We could talk about the fact that Sphynx is on the wave of innovation - creating new sonic pop sounds that's mixing some of the best synth styles of the past with beats of the future. But I'd rather focus on something else. Bromance. That's right - bromancing. Sphynx gets into how the band formed:
"Sphynx was conceived over three bottles of wine on a moonlit beach, and that's actually not a joke. It was winter of 2009 and Todd and I had rented a beach cabin for the weekend in Surfside, TX for Cory's bachelor party. We never stopped hanging out, but we hadn't been playing music together for a year or so. Anyways, we wound up having a very bro-mantic conversation that night about how we missed playing music together and how we wanted to spend our lives together writing songs. We started writing together again when we got back to Austin."
That probably deserves a collective "awwwww" - but we're pumped no matter the story that brought Cory "Can't Stop" Dennis, Aaron "Won't Stop" Miller and Todd "Might Stop" Harris back together. You'll be just as gitty once you sample the debut EP yourself, a collection titled "Human Beast". The band says "'Human Beast' is a crash course in Sphynx. Not many people knew we existed before that EP came out, so we weren't under much pressure to finish it. That was great because we were able to spend 7 months mixing the EP, which was crucial for us...We wrote as we went and played with a lot of different ideas. It was very laid back and very conducive to creativity." They continue on, about their sound: "I think the dynamic of Sphynx is a little more organic than lots of synth-pop bands. Todd uses a real drum set and the synthesizers and guitars play off of each other quite a bit. We also have two lead singers, which I think helps distinguish us synth-pop groups. Also we have lots of facial hair."
And facial hair is hugely important - just check out my mustache! Anyway, Sphynx is dropping a remix tape next month and will continue to take their energetic show to your face. Check them out and "Human Beast". There's a whole lot more to get into, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ's.
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out over the others in your genre?
We definitely get lumped in with the '80's synth-pop revival' that's happening right now and we're happy about that. It's an honor to be compared to bands like Chromeo, MGMT, Cut Copy, Reptar, etc. We're pretty much like those bands only better looking and cheaper to book. That's a joke (kind of). Really we all come from rock backgrounds, and though we are not a rock and roll band by any stretch, I think the dynamic of Sphynx is a little more organic than lots of synth-pop bands. Todd uses a real drum set and the synthesizers and guitars play off of each other quite a bit. We also have two lead singers, which I think helps distinguish us synth-pop groups. Also we have lots of facial hair.
PEV: Hailing from Austin, Texas, home, what kind of music were the members of the band into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
There's so much music in this city that if you're at all musically inclined, it seems like you grow up and start a band. Cory and I (Aaron) met when we were two, so we went through all of our music phases together moving from country to pop-punk, to psychedelic (weird transitions, I know), to indie, and landing where we are right now. We met Todd when we were all 14 and shared a taste for punk.
Todd's phases were about the same except he had a post-hardcore phase while Cory and I were listening to psychedelic music. Cory's first favorite song was 'Hang in There Superman' by Hal Ketchum and his first concert was Shania Twain (which is where he got his stage presence from). Todd's first favorite band was P.O.D. and his first concert was Kutless (the only non-country boy in the band). My first favorite band was Simon and Garfunkel and my first concert was Jerry Jeff Walker (both of whom I still think are awesome).
PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene when you first started out as a band? What was your first show like together as a band?
Well with Sphynx it helped that we had all been in a previous Austin band called The El Guapos. We had a few good friends who book in town and it wound up being that our first show as Sphynx was actually the headlining slot at an Of Montreal after show. It was a ton of fun, but it made the next several months of shows a little underwhelming. Austin has a good music scene, but a lot of it is made up of blues, roots, and folk. There aren't many pop and electronic bands here and it's been difficult to find our niche and get on bills that fit Sphynx. We're still one of the few pop and electronic artists here, but we've found a really supportive community of people who listen to our music and come to shows and we're super thankful for that!
PEV: What can fans expect from a live Sphynx show?
As a rule, Sphynx shows are quite wild; some might even say they are buckwild. You can expect to see us in matching pants, gold chains, 80's track jackets, and flamboyant tank tops; the band dress code is 'tacky.' Todd stands on his drum set, Cory busts out some really vintage dance moves (shopping cart anyone?), and I do a little guitar playing with my mouth. It’s a giant party. Also, last summer we built a huge metallic sign that says 'SPHYNX' to hang above Todd's drums. It takes up a lot of space and it's tricky to bring to shows. We put it in hibernation because it was just taking too long to set up, but I think we might just dust it off for next time we play in Austin.
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?
I know we have always had a tendency to get pretty nervous just before we go on stage and I'm not sure if that will ever go away. However, the nerves disappear as soon as the music starts and I'm not sure if any of us are thinking very much during shows, which is probably what spurs the dance moves, head banging, and equipment climbing that usually takes place. I think it'd be difficult to act that way if we were thinking too much or taking ourselves very seriously.
PEV: Tell us the story behind the name of the band, Sphynx.
I wish there were a more interesting story. We were booked for our first show (the Of Montreal one) before we actually had a band name. I suppose that was poor planning because it resulted in a hectic scramble for a name. We were going to call ourselves 'Empress' until we found out an artist from New York was already using that name. That's when we decided it would be cool to name the band 'Sphinx' after the mythical creature, one of the most badass mythical creatures of them all, if you ask us. Our only grievance with 'Sphinx' was that the letter 'y' just looks so much prettier than the letter 'i,' so we wound up spelling it 'Sphynx,' the same way as the hairless cat species is spelled. I guess that’s what we get for being vain about the appearance of the word, but we're happy with it!
PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?
Sphynx was conceived over three bottles of wine on a moonlit beach, and that's actually not a joke. It was winter of 2009 and Todd and I had rented a beach cabin for the weekend in Surfside, TX for Cory's bachelor party. We never stopped hanging out, but we hadn't been playing music together for a year or so. Anyways, we wound up having a very bro-mantic conversation that night about how we missed playing music together and how we wanted to spend our lives together writing songs. We started writing together again when we got back to Austin. So I guess the underlying inspiration for our music would be our friendship? We write the music together and Cory and I split the lyrical duties:
I like to write lyrics about my girlfriend, my friends, my future and my past, and books I read. Sometimes I'll write lyrics on behalf of my friends too if they're in a dilemma or a strange situation, I've always got their backs. Lately I've been writing a lot about the struggles we face as an aspiring band and how difficult it's been to stay this busy with music while working day jobs to pay the bills and trying to wrap up college as well, I wouldn't trade it for anything and it's already been worth it, but it can be a stressful way to live.
Cory: My lyrics are just about how I'm feeling that day. I just have to sit down, turn off the lights and play. Most of them are written to my wife; a declaration of love, an apology, or something I've been trying to say but couldn't find the right way to say it. So my inspiration has come from as little as a short interaction with a stranger, to something huge that has been weighing on me for quite some time.
PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you've arrived where you are today?
We feel incredibly lucky to be able to play music together and have been treated very kindly by a lot of people. We're really happy about the opportunities we've had so far, but we don't spend much time looking back right now. All of us are 21 years old and though we're happy with what we've accomplished so far, Sphynx definitely has a long way to go. I'd say we spend more time thinking about where we're going than where we've been.
PEV: What's one thing we'd be surprised to hear about the members of Sphynx?
Cory and Todd are brother-in-laws. Todd is married to Cory's younger sister, and Todd's older brother is actually married to Cory's older sister. Naturally, people seem to find this interesting as well as confusing. Also, Cory broke my favorite rocking horse when we were four. He was demonstrating how strong he was by picking up the rocking horse and throwing it. It broke into several pieces when it hit the floor and I think I held a grudge about that for quite a while.
PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a goal for you?
Like I mentioned earlier, we all played in a band called The El Guapos when we were in high school. I'm not sure if any of us were thinking about the rest of our lives at that point, but The El Guapos got offered a record deal at the end of our senior year, which sort of forced us to think about our futures. We were all going to college the next year and the band split up during the label negotiations to pursue separate lives. We were pretty bitter about it at the time, but now we're all really grateful that happened. Once we actually stopped playing music together and started being college students with jobs in the real world, we realized how much we missed music. I think that conversation on the beach solidified that playing music would be the ultimate goal for the three of us. I don't know how that would have happened without The El Guapos.
PEV: What can fans expect from your debut EP, Human Beast? Tell us more about this album.
'Human Beast' is a crash course in Sphynx. Not many people knew we existed before that EP came out, so we weren't under much pressure to finish it. That was great because we were able to spend 7 months mixing the EP, which was crucial for us. We didn't have many live shows under our belt at that point either, so the sound of the band actually developed and solidified the most during the recording and mixing process. We wrote as we went and played with a lot of different ideas. It was very laid back and very conducive to creativity. Hopefully we can record like that again someday. As far as the sound of the EP, it's very danceable with big synths, big beats, and big guitars. I think the duty of an EP (especially a first EP) is catch people’s attention. It seems like that's what 'Human Beast' has done for us so far and we hope it continues to do that.
PEV: What is the feeling you get after a song is complete and you can sit back and listen to it being played the way you envisioned?
Usually the first feeling that hits us is exhaustion. Cory owns a recording studio here in town, so we do the recording ourselves, which is really great because we get to be very hands on in every step of the process. We have a 'no settling' policy, so we keep working until all three of us are completely satisfied with every part of the recording. This means we have to work pretty hard to finish a song, but it also means we're exceptionally happy when a song is finally finished!
PEV: With all your traveling is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
Definitely! We want to play everywhere all the time. We haven't played the west coast at all yet, which we were talking about the other day. Hopefully we can get out there soon. Texas is just way too big and from Austin, it takes at least five hours to get out of the state in any direction.
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What's it like when you get to play at your hometown?
Our friends have been very nice to us and we're all really lucky to have families who support us in everything that we do, I don't know what we'd do without them. Lately we haven't been able to play Austin as much as we used to which has actually been a good thing for us. The shows we do play in Austin are usually with friend-bands and often put together by friends of ours. There are often friends in the audience as well. I think we tend to be a little more relaxed here and we usually work out new songs and stage ideas in Austin before taking them on the road. There are a lot of great people here. Our next Austin show is Wild Frontier Fest 2011, which has an incredible line-up of local and national acts, we’re stoked for that!
PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
My friends and I play a lot of NFL Blitz on the Nintendo 64, we actually just upgraded to NFL Blitz 2001, so things are getting pretty intense. Cory is a computer nerd and a Mac fan boy, so he's often tinkering with a computer or watching Apple keynote speeches. Between Netflix and TiVo, Todd’s schedule is pretty tight; he actually just finished watching both seasons of Twin Peaks. If you think that sounds like a waste of time then you obviously have never watched Twin Peaks (it's my favorite show).
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?
Is it too cliché to say Kanye West? We're all huge Kanye fans and he is one of our favorite characters in the music business. Plus, I think Sphynx would go very well with a hip-hop collaborator and it's something we'd be interested in doing. Kanye; I know you're reading this and I know you “loft in Austin.” Email us. Also, does Prince count as a past artist? Am I asking too many questions? I mean, even though Prince is still touring he doesn't really do many collaborations or production projects anymore, so I'll go ahead put him in the 'past artist' category. If Prince ever wants to take on another project band, Sphynx would gladly be his next Morris Day.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
There is a lot of great music happening right now and there's a ton of bands we know that we're really excited about. We met a handsome gentleman at our stop in Murfreesboro, Tennessee this summer on tour. His name is Jordan and his band is called Cherub. They just played with Yacht and they're play with Ghostland Observatory this fall. Cherub is extremely badass and their debut EP comes out this month I believe. Also, our pal Corduroi, who lives here in Austin and who we play with quit a bit just signed to Mush Records (Lymbyc System, Aesop Rock, Daedalus, etc.) he's awesome and you should definitely check out his music and his videos if you get a chance!
PEV: If playing music wasn't your life (or life's goal) what do you think each of you would be your career?
Aaron: If I weren't doing Sphynx I would be studying entertainment law and working on the business side of music. I'd like to help bands like us with management, booking, and affordable legal advice. I'll probably still look into law school later in my life once I've become super filthy rich from this band.
Cory: I would dive deeper into music production/recording. As Aaron said before, I own a studio called Indie Fort Studios and have been recording and producing local Austin acts since we opened roughly 5 years ago. If I ever grow tired of recording I might try my hand at sorcery.
Todd: Be a stay at home dad for a few years. Then start a synth-pop soda bar/club and name it The Juice Box Hero. Or do real-estate investing…either one would be fine.
PEV: So, what is next for Sphynx?
We are releasing our first cassette this October. It will feature a brand new single along with several remixes from some of our DJ friends. We've got quite a few regional dates lined up for this fall and continuing into the winter and there has been talk of a more extensive tour taking place in early spring. There's also a music video in the works! When we aren't playing shows, filming videos, or doing interviews, we are working on new music in the studio. There are some other exciting things in the works as well! We're active on-line (Facebook, Twitter, www.sphynxmusic.com), and we will keep everyone up to date on the latest Sphynx happenings. It’s about to get wild, America!"
Sphynx - "Sha Dynasty"
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"Maybe I just needed to crack a smile after a slew of serious SXSW bands. Sphynx is an indie power ..."Maybe I just needed to crack a smile after a slew of serious SXSW bands. Sphynx is an indie power pop band from Austin with so much brightness, you’ll have to squint your eyes. Equally indie rock and electronic pop, Sphynx’s catchy vibe could be really infectious in a live setting. Sphynx are perfect for fans who need some sugar in their rock, coming somewhere in between Weezer and Passion Pit in terms of energy and quirky songwriting. Most of their songs have mainstream appeal, but I think Sphynx are at their best when they’re willing to experiment into sounds a little left-of-center. The band only has an EP to their name, but they released the single “Sha Dynasty” late last year, so here’s hoping they’ll have a proper LP out sometime in 2012."
SXSW Day 1 Recap + Video Recap
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"Another group that stood out for us on day 1 was Sphynx (also from Austin, TX). With a very smooth ..."Another group that stood out for us on day 1 was Sphynx (also from Austin, TX). With a very smooth indie dance sound, the trio has a ton of energy (way more than expected)."
Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: Searching for Signal (Rev’d!) + Sphynx
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"Sphynx is raucous and bouncy, all primary-colored ’80s synths and dancey drums. They’re another one..."Sphynx is raucous and bouncy, all primary-colored ’80s synths and dancey drums. They’re another one of the growing gang of ’80s synth-pop revivalists (see Ladyhawke, Chromeo, or Reptar, for three more), and while my initial instinct is to dislike ‘em, the music on debut Human Beast is relentlessly, unstoppably addictive.
The band’s seriously distilled all the best parts of the synth-pop scene from three decades back and infused it with a wide-grinning glee to make a concoction that’s hard to resist."
Five Bands, Five Genres: Local Bands Release Albums
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Their music sounds like it's trying to get away with trouble - the good, fun kind of trouble. Sphynx...Their music sounds like it's trying to get away with trouble - the good, fun kind of trouble. Sphynx takes music and recycles a bit of history and puts a bit of soul to their songs. Sphynx has vocals that match the beat, and their music seems to flow effortlessly smoothly with their sound.
Wild Frontier Fest 2 | Day One
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"Gaudy pop-rockers Sphynx, filling in for Danny Malone, went for the jugular with their synth-heavy ..."Gaudy pop-rockers Sphynx, filling in for Danny Malone, went for the jugular with their synth-heavy party anthems, and the crowd went crazy, perhaps the most energetic set other than White Denim’s(Downtown Records/Third Man Records) rock clinic later that night."
Sphynx CD Release Show
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"It was the second to last band Sphynx that won the crowds attention. With their high energy and ama..."It was the second to last band Sphynx that won the crowds attention. With their high energy and amazingly crafted indie dance music... the energy on stage constantly held the attention of the crowd and forced members in the audience to uncontrollably feel the urge to dance during every song
One Band Playing Wild Frontier Fest 2010
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One group playing WILD FRONTIER FEST 2010 is newly born Sphynx. If you like Of Montreal, Tilly and T...One group playing WILD FRONTIER FEST 2010 is newly born Sphynx. If you like Of Montreal, Tilly and The Wall, or the Talking Heads, you won't be disappointed with this band. Sphynx is three hardworking, passionate friends synced through the love of music. Together, they have been playing since their youth. Now, with a a more mature sound, they have come together to wow audiences with their catchy electro-pop tunes and their unique stage performances. Sphynx is creative, ambitious, and dedicated. They are just one of 25 reasons why the Wild Frontier Fest is going to be a blast.
Sphynx - "Maneater Pt. II"
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"The Austin boys at Sphynx have continued their flow of rapid cheeriness to playout this latest sing..."The Austin boys at Sphynx have continued their flow of rapid cheeriness to playout this latest single “Maneater Pt. II”, a young boisterous pop song that even hipsters may indulge in."
Sphynx - Maneater Pt. II
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"Como adelanto publican el single “Maneater pt. II” en formato digital en su Bandcamp, un ejemplo de..."Como adelanto publican el single “Maneater pt. II” en formato digital en su Bandcamp, un ejemplo de lo que propone el grupo: pop adrenalínico con espíritu norteamericano, adornado con coros energéticos y teclados ochenteros."
"Released in digital format as an advanced single on Bandcamp, "Maneater Pt. II" is an example of what the group possesses: pop adrenaline with American spirit, adorned with energetic vocals and eighties keyboards."
Sphynx at 35 Conferette
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"Sphynx – an indie power pop band from Austin with a very upbeat sound and electronic elements. Sph..."Sphynx – an indie power pop band from Austin with a very upbeat sound and electronic elements. Sphynx bring a ton of energy to their music, a combination of crisp instrumentation, electronic flourishes, and alternative pop vocals. They somewhat resemble a hybrid between Weezer and Passion Pit, quirky pop with an electronic rock edge. The do border on mainstream rock at times; the band is best when they go for edgier sounds. All in all they are a fun band that I’m sure puts on an energetic live set. Sphynx just released their debut LP in February which they will be sure to be showcasing at the 35 Conferette gig."
Sphynx at The Parish
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It was weird to see three different guys rock nearly identical, tight-as-hell pants before the Sphyn...It was weird to see three different guys rock nearly identical, tight-as-hell pants before the Sphynx show at the Parish; it turns out they were the band. At the release party for their new EP 'Human Beast,' the trio got the floor shaking early with their electro-pop sounds. Aaron Miller is a double threat: falsetto powerhouse, teeth guitar shredder.
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"This band reminds you of just how many different genres come out of Texas. Based in Austin, they p..."This band reminds you of just how many different genres come out of Texas. Based in Austin, they produce experimental electronic music that is unique and refreshing."
Sphynx- "Razberry Wine"
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Hailing from Austin, Texas is Sphynx, an alternative-electric band, consisting of three band members...Hailing from Austin, Texas is Sphynx, an alternative-electric band, consisting of three band members, Aaron, Todd, and Cory. The band, who is not shy about using keyboard synths, has a very electronic sound without overdoing it. To download the song, it can be found on iTunes, or be downloaded for free off of their bandcamp website.
Vagabond Collective's Wild Frontier Fest proves to be a success...
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Sphynx consists of three childhood friends, Cory Dennis, Aaron Miller and Todd Harris, who have bee... Sphynx consists of three childhood friends, Cory Dennis, Aaron Miller and Todd Harris, who have been playing in bands together for around twelve years. Wearing hand-painted costumes, this three piece completed the package with their elaborate synth pop.
Motel Aviv and Sphynx at Beauty Bar
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"Motel Aviv's debut LP 'Post-Modern Nation,' which sees release at this show with slinky synth-nauts..."Motel Aviv's debut LP 'Post-Modern Nation,' which sees release at this show with slinky synth-nauts Sphynx."
Sphynx 'Human Beast' (Japanese Edition) Reviewed in Tokyo
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"?????????????????????SPHYNX???????????"Razberry Wine"????????????????????????????Of Montreal???????..."?????????????????????SPHYNX???????????"Razberry Wine"????????????????????????????Of Montreal?????????????????MTV??????????????????????????????????
?????????????8 0 s ?????????????????????SPHYNX???12?14???????????Thistime Records??????!???????????"Razberry Wine"?"Maneater Pt.II"????????EP???"Human Beast"??????????"Sha Dynasty"????????????????????
Sphynx can play original sets anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours. They also have a 20-song party cover set that they can be hired to play. Email email@example.com with event information for a quote on the Sphynx cover set.
'Maneater pt. II'
'Dark Matter Hustle'
|Jun 8, 2013 Saturday||7:00 PM||Hotel Vegas||Austin, TX, US|
|Jun 19, 2013 Wednesday||8:00 PM||Lola's Saloon||Fort Worth, TX, US|
|Jun 20, 2013 Thursday||8:00 PM||Bears Cafe||Shreveport, LA, US|
|Jun 21, 2013 Friday||8:00 PM||The Coup, Clarksville TN||Clarksville, TN, US|
|Jun 22, 2013 Saturday||9:00 PM||Pike street Lounge||Covington, KY, US|
|Jun 23, 2013 Sunday||10:00 PM||Hideaway Saloon||Louisville, KY, US|
|Jun 25, 2013 Tuesday||TBA||Bear's Den Pizza||Conway, AR, US|
|Jun 28, 2013 Friday||8:00 PM||Lambert's||Austin, TX, US|
|Jul 21, 2013 Sunday||8:00 PM||The Rogue Bar||Scottsdale, AZ, US|
|Jul 22, 2013 Monday||8:00 PM||diPiazza Restaurant & Lounge||Long Beach, CA, US|
|Jul 26, 2013 Friday||7:00 PM||Kelly||Portland, OR, US|