The Ampora Interview Is It their Last Chance?

Having known each other since the age of 4, Matt Mufalli and Matt Emburgia have been best friends their entire lives and now have started a band; they didn't even think would exist.... Los Angeles' Ampora formed just a few years ago not knowing the sound they wanted to make they built their own, "We grew up listening to the same metal bands and were both always into heavy music; I think the reason we can write together so easily is that we have no hesitation being completely honest with the other" Mufalli states.

Doing a year of writing and auditions they were able to round off what would be bassist / vocalist Evan Magness, drummer Kyle Rector and guitarist John Huldt. Once that was said and done the band went on to create their debut EP "Last Chance" equipped with riffs of classic metal with an edge of song writing momentum that really kept the music flowing and focused. Amopra was determined to get their music out into the open for everyone to hear as soon as possible and now the time has come.

Frontman vocalist Matt Mufalli spoke to me about how the band got started and where they want to end up come 2012.

1. So tell me where did the band name come from and what does it represent for the band?

Matt: Actually I had the idea to call a band Ampora far before the band itself actually existed so once the members started to join and we needed to reference the project it just sort of stuck as what the band should be called.

2. "Last Chance" is your current release can you tell me about it? Like the title, album artwork, how did it all come together?

Matt: A good friend of the band, Chris Grasha did all the artwork for the album cover and website design etc.  We really just wanted him to create something simple yet classic and powerful. I think he definitely delivered.  As for the title, it was basically the mindset of the whole EP, let’s create songs with the urgency like it was the last day on earth and make the best debut we can.

3. What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)

Matt: Well like every band I think we want our listeners to take what they can from every song, and how one person might relate to a song doesn’t necessarily hold true for someone else. That being said, I think we try to take a positive path for lyrics; we want people to feel the sense of empowerment and know that any obstacle in one’s life can be overcome.

 4. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

Matt: We absolutely write our own songs and love doing so. The songs usually start with a riff and we base the structure of the song around the flow of the music first. Then we will write all the lyrics and vocal lines and go back and change any of the instrumentation we need to in order to make sure everything has it’s place and the songs flow well. Then lastly we usually add all the little nuances that fellow musicians dig.

 5. Who are your musical influences?

Matt: This band actually has influences that are all over the map. A few of us grew up on old school thrash like Slayer, Metallica, Testament etc while a few guys love the groove a little more such as Pantera, Tool, and Meshuggah. One of our guitar players is from Sweden so of course a little At the Gates and In Flames makes their way into the pot as well.

 6. How do you describe your music to people?

Matt: I think it is metal. I know there are tons of sub genres for heavy music these days but I think it just becomes confusing and alienates people when you get so specific. To me, if it is heavy, it is metal. End of story.

7. What image do you think your music conveys?

Matt: I think every song brings a different image to mind. But if a painter was to paint a portrait of warriors storming up a hill into battle while he was listening to Ampora, I wouldn’t be surprised.

8. Are you looking for an independent label deal or a major label deal? (Why?)

Matt: I think heavy music still is most at home on the indie level.  I just feel that the people that work at indies usually know what it takes to break a metal band and while there are definitely exceptions to this, overall if Ampora is lucky enough to get a deal – it will most likely be with an independent.

9. Why do you want to record and release your own music? (Be very honest.)

Matt: Well because it is fucking fun and we wanted to hear the music that was swirling around in our heads so we started Ampora. Though anytime a fan says that they enjoying listening to us, we are thrilled.

10. What's your outlook on the record industry today?

Matt: Like any change in any industry, there are good and bad things that come with it. Though it is a little disappointing there is so little money being made on recorded music right now, I think people are listening to more music than ever. So for a band like Ampora that is still just coming up, we are excited that we could record a good sounding on our own dime and get it heard almost everywhere in the world almost instantaneously.

11. You guys plan to play the Whisky a Go Go with The Faceless as a part of this year's Sunset Strip Music Festival how does this make you feel?

Matt: We are beyond excited. At an early stage of a band, you really get stoked on the little victories and to be playing at such an awesome event with an amazing band is definitely one of those victories.

12. How do you promote your band and shows?

Matt: Right now it is word of mouth and the internet. The metal community is definitely loyal so every fan we are gaining right now most likely has heard about us from a friend and we love it that way.

13. Can you describe your show, visual and musically for those who have yet to see you live?

Matt: There is energy and a lot of it. If you are looking to go to a show for a quiet and relaxing night out, ours might not be for you on that particular evening.

14. How about your summer how has that been going for you?

Matt: Well this is our first summer as a band so it has been incredible.  We have been extremely busy promoting Last Chance, playing shows, rehearsing and of course barbecuing and drinking beer.

15. What is the one thing you just have to do once the summer arrives every year?

Matt: I am from the east coast so to me summer is all about being outside, hanging with your friends and being active.  So now that I live in California, I take advantage of that almost all yearlong but especially in the summer months.

16. What else do you have lined up?

Matt: We are working on lining up a few tours at the moment that hopefully will take place this fall and also writing for our full length that we hope to have out early 2012.

17. What advice would you give to fellow bands?

Matt: Have a good time and write music from your heart and you can’t go wrong.

18. Do you have anything else you'd like to say or add?

Matt: Check out one of our lives shows and pick up Last Chance and for those that have, we appreciate it more that you know.

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