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SA’s Hydra Melody on Third Eye Blind, Austin’s Downside and Making Smarter Music

Photo: Courtesy photos, License: N/A

Courtesy photos

Hydra Melody’s most successful lineup. From left: Jason Harari, Jordan Berlanga, Manny Prince, Taylor Ferguson and Matt Gomez

Photo: , License: N/A

The $20,000 men after winning Milwaukee’s Land the Big Gig competition

“Some people like drugs, I like pedals,” added Ferguson, who was a fan of Hydra Melody before he joined the group.

The band agreed the sound has matured significantly in the past three years and that it is now “more digestible, but not at the expense of dumbing it down,” Ferguson said. “It’s almost becoming smarter.”

That “smarter” sound is what they’ll bring to Jack’s on January 24.

“We were so used to throwing all of our energy into 30 minutes (during the tour) and now we get a chance to play for an hour and a half and spread all that energy out,” Berlanga said. “It’s going to be really nice to have a hometown show and see our friends and family. It’s going to be one that we will remember, I know that.”

The constant touring has also turned them into better musicians, and they’re eager to show off their newfound chops.

“Based on the experience we had at our last show at Jack’s, it’s going to be at a whole ‘nother level,” Ferguson said. “All the things we’ve learned ... I can’t even talk, I’m so excited! I’m just itching to get in the rehearsal room and work out. We all have these ideas we want to try.”

Fans attending Friday’s show will likely hear a sample of songs from the upcoming EP, the first to be released since 2011’s 10-track self-titled one. A full-length album has never made it out of Hydra Melody’s recording studio.

“The ultimate goal is definitely to release a full-length and we’ve been talking about it for so long,” said Berlanga, who, despite his reservations about record labels, confesses to dreaming of a bigger audience. “It would be nice to be backed by someone and release it to a lot of ears instead of just locally.”

“It’s a story, it’s a book, whether it’s small or large,” Prince said. “It’s continuing to tell that Hydra Melody story ... I’ve been in the band since 2006 and haven’t been as excited to write, play and record as now.”

With the new EP to be released prior to the SXSW Music Festival (March 11-16), it’s just a matter of time before Hydra Melody takes off again to tour and further expand its fan base.

“Three years ago, the vibe within the band wasn’t like this,” Berlanga said. “This is the lineup that always should have been there and now we’re here and it’s just the most amazing feeling.”

Smart business sense, a wary approach to record labels and constantly reevaluating the Hydra Melody sound seems to promise the momentum gained in 2013 won’t fizzle anytime soon.

“There’s a lot of blips and flash-in-the-pan kind of bands, but we really hope to God that’s not us,” Harari said. “We’d rather work our way up and pay our dues the hard way rather than hoping for the get-rich-quick scheme, because it would really suck to be huge for, like, a year. But, hey, we’ll take it if that’s all we get.”

Hydra Melody feat. Sound of Curves, Broken Buffalo

Doors at 8pm Fri, Jan 24
Jack’s Bar
3030 Thousand Oaks
(210) 494-2309

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