Moodhosa
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Moodhosa

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"Band mixes moods and grooves for eclectic sound"

http://www.alligator.org/the_avenue/music/article_3b38dab2-022e-5d16-ab7e-6f264e90291a.html - Independent Alligator


"Behind the scenes with Moodhosa: A look at what it takes to make music in Gainesville"

The music is leaking out through the bar and onto the porch from inside Common Grounds, where Gainesville bands dream of getting booked. There’s nothing bigger than Common Grounds – there, local talent can play on the same stage that national acts have graced, where a faithful audience will gather on a floor permanently warped from spilled alcohol. Inside the dark venue, cigarette smoke chokes the air as the four-members of the blues funk rock band Moodhosa play, rocking out for the third time at the venue.
They don’t usually sing covers, maybe two a show, but Jose Peruyero, 25, lead singer, has picked a familiar song to close the night with.
“Oooooh, you make me wanna shout!” He calls out, jumping back from the microphone, his jeans hanging loosely as his eyes close, fists clenching before grabs the mike again, his eyes shining under his snug hat. “Come on, now – SHOUT! Come up here and get on the stage!” He yells.
An audience member, beer in hand, climbs on stage, grinning. It all seems so spontaneous, like just another Friday night in Gainesville, a city know as an epicenter of music in the southern United States where bands are churned out from garages, apartments and dreams. But when Jose glances at lead guitarist Jason Moody, 21, who is grinning as the half-way drunk participant mimics playing a guitar solo next to him, the two of them are aware of the hours of practice and patience it took to get them there, and the many more to come.

It’s Thursday night, rainy, cold and predictably damp. Outside of 23-year-old drummer Ari Scott’s house, cars are piling up in the driveway. Inside, the air is warm. Three weeks from now is the big show at Common Grounds; two weeks from now the police will stop by and let them know, with a formal warning, that it’s time to stop practicing.
Jose strolls in, the last to arrive, his characteristic hat pulled low over his eyes. He walks into the dim, off-white room, past the hanging black comforter that’s draped from the ceiling to a table, separating the practice area from the kitchen. The cotton comforter is designed to help cushion the sound; in front of it, a small Hindu figurine is seated in meditation, a candle in its lap.
Amps sit on the beige carpet; chords, like living bunches of black intestines, burst out of them in all directions, plugged up to the bass guitar of David Cotton, 20. David joined Moodhosa – a clever combination of “Moody” and “Jose,” the two original members – after they became college buddies, later introducing them to Ari to complete the outfit about six months ago.
Facing his three bandmates, Ari continually adjusts his cymbals, fixing the tilt before sitting down behind his drumset. In the center of his snare drum, a shiny, beaten circle gleams from inside a sphere of yellowed drum skin that has been pulled tight against the silver struts. His drumsticks are chipped and flayed from long hours of whipping against the rims; he picks them up for the next round of rhythm.
Beside David, Jason begins to strum his electric guitar – it’s not hooked up to the amps yet. For now, he’s just warming up, waiting to fine-tune Tom Petty’s version of “Shout!” for their set list.
“Hey, get your mike set up, Bro,” Jose says to David.
And it happens – the four guys finish setting up and come together as one band among hundreds, Moodhosa, and prepare for the long road ahead.


Whether it’s chemistry or just combined talents, when Moodhosa plays, music – lacking pretense, infused with passion – happens. It’s a rare find; the sound that they produce is the kind that stops you in your tracks and splits a smile across your face.
More importantly, it’s the kind of music that draws the crowds. It’s grassroots supporters that get a band paid; the larger the crowd they bring, the easier it is to get booked, which has never been a problem for the band.
Still, money isn’t a factor – the goal isn’t to turn a profit. Part-time jobs pay the bills while they pursue the chance to make it big. Every dollar made is turned back around into recording and financing the band. For them, the only real factor is intangible, summed up in a question they asked themselves before stepping onto the turbulent music scene of Gainesville.
“How far are you willing to take this?”
To be a ‘Gainesville band’ is to continually chase after a separate life of ‘what if.’ School, careers and relationships can all slip away – already Jose’s four-year college degree has stretched on and on as music has become the driving factor in his life. For some, the competition in Gainesville is too fierce, the road too long. On www.gainesvillebands.com, 307 bands are listed as “Active;” 239 more haunt the digital graveyard under “Retired.” But for Moodhosa, the workload is never a burden. It’s merely a way of life.
Each member of the band is willing to quit their education, their jobs – “life itself,” David half jokes – to pursue music and go on tour; a deep sense of dedication and a healthy dose of realism keep them grounded, fixated on their goal.
“I haven’t been in a band that has had this much dedication on an individual level. Most guys want the fun of the music, but they don’t want the hard work,” Jose says.
Fun comes in the form of beating the air to Ari’s solos; work is figuring out what those solos should sound like at 2 to 3 hour practices three times a week with countless individual hours wracked up between.

A week later, the band has “Shout!” down and has moved on to an original.
Jason’s guitar cries out a deep blue melancholy. When he starts practice, his legs are stiff, awkward.
“If I’m really feelin’ the music, then I don’t let my posture bother me at all,” he says.
And now, he’s feelin’ it. His eyes go half-lidded and his shoulders jerk back; sometimes his head shakes, and his jaw sets firmly as he finds the melody he wants.
“Well, I’ll tell you a little story, baby, ‘bout this girl I know … she don’t know me well, but I want to take her home,” Jose sings. His hands are shoved down into his pockets, his back arched up as he floods his voice in the mike, the brim of his hat almost touching the microphone. His hands come up and grab the mike, cup it, the left fingers pressed under the right as he moves in close, like a lover, and sings.
“Yes, I’m an EMMMM – aaaaay – EENNNN,” he sings. “MAN!” He pulls away, writhing as Jason’s guitar laments this unknown woman, crying foul with a bluesy tune. Jose moves and shakes his head, his eyes closed, as Jason takes the solo.
The muscles on Jason’s forearm twitch as he makes the chords tremble with dissonance – he shakes his head, his fingers flailing and his knees bending into it. And he’s not done, the solo goes on – he rocks forward, forward, forward, driving it home and craning down into the guitar before looking up at Ari with a grin on his face, working his way back into the melody.
Ari works with him on the drums, and even while the beat is hot, moving, he rarely blinks, never smiles, and always watches. Three weeks from now he’ll be wearing sunglasses at Common Grounds to shield himself from the crowd, a remedy for pre-show jitters.
“The crowd can’t look at my eyes – if they can’t see me, I feel more isolated,” he says. Half way through, he’ll take them off.
In the seclusion of the room, Jose stops him now, grinning.
“I want you to do a solo where I can go stop, pee, take a break and come back,” he laughs.
Behind them on the kitchen refrigerator, magnets comment “WHO COULD MAKE SOUND MORE THAN MUSIC?”

And the music is everywhere in Gainesville. It’s integrated into the culture – not just record stores and recording companies, but even in local pizza venues, where old vinyl albums cover the walls. The folklore and myths of Gainesville are immortalized in the songs of local artists turned national stars.
But music begins first on an inner level before it ever hits the stage.
It started years ago, when as a child Jason saw an old man play the guitar and sing the gospel in his church, and when Jose inherited the Hispanic blood that he attributes his natural-born rhythm to.
And now, years after music first touched their lives and days after their last practice session, as the lights fall on the stage at Common Grounds and Jose moves, overcome by the music, Moodhosa’s set ends. The crowd cheers, entertained for one more night by a band that has grabbed their attention.
“Thank you!” Jose says with a grin, his hat pushed back and damp with sweat. “We’re Moodhosa – come hang out with us after the show.”
Already Ari is tearing down the drumset. There’s a feeling left behind on the stage that maybe, hopefully this band will be the one to go all the way. For now, instruments are being put away, waiting in their cases until the next practice; work is never over for any of Gainesville’s bands.
But for Moodhosa, the real work – the kind that pays off in the end - has just begun.

-Lindsay Smith - InSite Magazine


Discography

Moodhosa - Woodhouse
(Independent Release)

Moodhosa - 10th St. Sessions
(Independent Release)

Photos

Bio

Moodhosa's music is straight from the hip. Whatever they feel, they play. Tight grooves, haunting riffs and soaring vocals make the sound of this band out of Gainesville.