Pia Mater
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Pia Mater

Rochester, New York, United States | SELF

Rochester, New York, United States | SELF
Band Rock Funk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review: Pia Mater - The Living Legends"

Pia Mater rode the tiger. The band formed at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall of 2004, slowly building a song and repertoire that has seen them garner consistent crowds and praise in upstate New York. In December 2008 they released their debut album, The Living Legends. Personnel changes and many gigs have seasoned the band, and they are ready to step out of Western New York’s wintery shadows and present themselves to a larger audience.

Pia Mater hits the highs and lows on Living Legends, vacillating between songs that make you sit up and take notice to more obscure musical explorations that take some serious listening. What is certain is that an hour spent with Pia Mater is bound to be enlightening. Piledriver is a great start, featuring attention-getting guitar work and a punk feel. Mirror Images runs to the other end of the scale, a well-intentioned but unremarkable pop construction that slides by almost without notice. China Girl is a catchy post-punk tune full of fuzzy guitars and a lively bass line. Pia Matter runs the Progressive Rock route on Salsa, opening with some faux flamenco guitar and winding up in a power-chord driven chorus before settling into a reggae backbeat filled out with vibes and a funky, almost independent bass line. Moses Walks Along In The Desert is my favorite song on The Living Legends, between the lively bass line, the funky and intricate guitar work and Red Hot Chili Peppers-like precision, this song is a winner all around. Also be sure to check out Take Me To The Doctor and 5 In 6.

Pia Mater has an interesting sound that's part funk, part alt-rock and all energy. Pia Mater enjoys what they're doing, a fact that shines through clearly on The Living Legends. There are a couple of rough spots here, but all in all it's a great effort. Check it out!

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5) - Wildy's World

"Pia Mater Local post-jam band gears up for a gig at Water Street"

According to Lucas Sienk, guitarist for progressive post-jam band Pia Mater, college kids aren't affected by the weak economy. "(College kids) spend their money on booze and fornication — sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll ... so in the fall, we're gonna hit up a lot of college towns," he says.

But before venturing into the world of frat houses and beer pong, the band will play The Club at Water Street on April 15 as part of the venue's Groove Nights in The Club.

The band members — Sienk, 24; vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tom Montagliano, 28; drummer Matt Blauvelt, 23; and bassist Jay Gilly, 28 — are excited to play their first gig at one of Rochester's most prestigious music venues.

"Water Street is like a rite of passage for us. That's the venue to play ... to show you're really coming of age," says Montagliano. "Hopefully we can work our way over to the other side [Water Street Music Hall] eventually, but it's gonna be a long road to get that far."

In advance of the show, we sat down to talk with the band in its St. Paul Street practice space.

How often do you guys practice here?
Sienk: We've been known to practice seven days a week.

Montagliano: We get drunk and then we think, 'Hey, I'm better now,' and I usually record it and listen back and we do not sound as good as we thought.

Do you record all of your practices?
Blauvelt: We try to record everything — practices, shows ...
Montagliano: It's a really good learning experience
Sienk: We'll record them and listen to them and send them out to our fans through Facebook.

During your live shows, how important is improvisation?
Montagliano: It's extremely integral to the band. It's probably the defining characteristic.

Sienk: And it keeps us from getting bored. We played a residency over the summer, and if we wrote a set list with too many composed songs I'd start to twitch ... We like to joke onstage. Matt's got a mini-drum pad onstage and he puts classic sitcom theme songs on there. He did The Golden Girls one time, (and the) last couple of weeks it was Full House.

Your Web site says Matt enjoys saving abandoned kittens.
Blauvelt: That's not relevant at all. It's just something stupid I put on there.
Montagliano: That's funny, though, because I was hanging out with Matt the other night and we were just sitting there, and all the sudden this cat just walked into his house, and I was like, "Just let it be."

Blauvelt: The cat was so hungry and I was like, "I don't know what to feed cats."
Montagliano: He wouldn't eat the Fruity Pebbles that I tried to feed him. I don't know what else to do.

Link to full article: http://rochester.metromix.com/music/article/pia-mater/1084788/content - Metromix Rochester

"What's the Mater?"

Bassist Ryan Tierney explains that "the pia mater is a Saran Wrap-type layer that encases the central nervous system, following all the grooves of the brain." The quintet known as Pia Mater says their music will get all up in and throughout the grooves of your brain.

Just "come see our live show," says Tierney, 22, who came up with the band's name. He, along with Luke Sienk, 21, on guitar and background vocals, Tom Montagliano, 25, on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, and the two --- yeah, two --- drummers, Bob McCook and Matt Blauvelt, both 21, form this funk/soul/dub/reggae/jazzy jam band of current and former RIT students.

I had the opportunity to chat with the Mater guys at a recent practice session. Their rehearsal space in the heart of the St. Paul Quarter is spacious enough for the band's two drum kits to breathe easily. The ceiling is high, allowing their musical journeys plenty of hang time in the airy room, decorated with a couple 420-friendly posters, foam "sound-proofing," and a slew of empty beverage containers. The six of us chatted in the makeshift guest area while the band took a break between songs to figure out what kind of music it is that they play exactly.

"We are just this kind of gigantic clusterfuck of musical backgrounds thrown into one," says Blauvelt of Pia Mater's genre. "Luke has the whole jamband thing going; Tom has the reggae/Sublime thing; Bob's all metal; I like jazz a lot. But, without Ryan" --- who is more into funk --- "we wouldn't sound the way we do." Thanks, Ryan, because the sound projected whenever these dudes get into their music will certainly funk you the funk up. "I guess the common denominator would be rock and funk, with sprinklings of all this other stuff," adds Sienk. "We do whatever."

Pia Mater has been doing "whatever" since the two drummers met as freshmen dorm-dwellers in 2003. They were playing on the drum kit that McCook brought up from his home in New Jersey when they got busted. "Ryan was an RSA, which is like a student-campus-safety type thing," says Blauvelt. "He said, 'You guys are making too much noise.' But, actually, he was just a bassist that wanted to play." From there, Tierney hooked back up with Sienk, who he used to play with in another band back in Buffalo. Montagliano was the last to join the band, giving voice to the outfit for the last year and a half.

The group has been pretty steady with shows of late, with a few gigs at their RIT home base, and at Richmonds and Damian's; in the future they hope to play Milestones and a Groove Fest or two. "Things have just been falling in our lap for the past couple of shows we've been doing," says unofficial booking agent Sienk. And these live shows have garnered quite the following.

"We like to think of our live shows as a giant party," says drummer McCook. "And we like to interact with the crowd. So, we have an interpretive dancer." That would be Patrick Dobson, who the band describes as their human, musical accessory.

"Originally it started because we didn't have a singer," says Sienk. "We needed something to help hold the attention of the crowd while we were playing." Though Montagliano has taken over the vocal duties, they kept Dobson around. He spends equal time on the stage and in the crowd, singing along with the band, and, along with a bag of props, improv-ing acts to keep show-goers visually entertained.

The actual musicians on stage usually have the audio side of things covered. But, don't forget to bring your earplugs: it's loud, Sienk says of the band's two drummers. "Though you don't notice it unless you pay attention, to see, like, the poly rhythms and the syncopation that's going on."

"It's a challenge, it's fun to try to figure out who plays what part," says McCook. For the percussive pair, which is more heard than seen, it has been a learning experience. "We've been overlaying fills, trying new things," he adds, "and our music is constantly evolving. It's definitely made us better musicians."

For more information on Pia Mater and to hear a few songs, check out the band's website, http://www.piamatermusic.com - Rochester City Newspaper

"CONCERT REVIEW: Pia Mater at Lovin' Cup"

How do you jam without staying at the party too long, or getting the jam all over you? You follow Pia Mater's lead. I've heard these cats in acoustic situations more than I've heard them plugged in, so I know the tunes at their barest. When a song remains funky even when it's unplugged, that's funky. It's like being naked and still being considered well dressed.

Pia Mater has one song in particular, "Take Me To The Doctor," which is an extrapolated, funky opus that clocks in at more than 10 minutes when played live. I walked into Lovin' Cup just as the band kicked it off. The song is neatly Frankensteined with pieces that shake, run, bop, sway, and soar. And it seemed as if each part was created for a different section of the crowd. The band was slick and proficient and wry throughout its set. The grooves were fresh and the numbers --- though lengthy in some schools of rock 'n' roll thought --- rocked righteously and clean, like Primus without the need for a straitjacket, or even Dave Matthews, but with an end in sight.
- Rochester City News


Technicolor Duck - Released 07/08/10
1. Humonjez Funkus
2. Cabbage Stalk
3. Anteater
4. Vehicle
5. Lockbox
6. Duck in the Fog

The Living Legends - Released 12/06/08
1. Piledriver
2. Mirror Images
3. China Girl
4. Salsa
5. Exile In Alba
6. Moses Walks Along in the Desert
7. Alien Love Song
8. Take Me to the Doctor
9. 5 in 6



Pia Mater formed in the fall of 2004 at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Since then they have been crafting great songs along with developing their improvisational prowess. The initial lineup of the band released it's first album, The Living Legends, on December 6th, 2008. The current version of Pia Mater is putting it's stamp on the Northeast music scene with it's strong songwriting, inventive setlists, and strong improv.

In July of 2010, the band released their second album, Technicolor Duck. The main tracks of the album were recorded live in one day and the album features minimal overdubs. The music ranges from straight dance floor grooves to dark hip hop to some of their trademark funk. The album also mixes strong lyrical content and vocal melodies with extended instrumental pieces that move through a variety of styles.

The band is currently maintaining a busy live schedule while working on writing new material. The band plans to enter the studio in spring 2011, but with the ever changing landscape of the music industry, they have no specific plans on how they will release this material to the public.