By Dusty Ray
With a fresh new sound and a good amount of creative ambition, Common Anomaly has been spreading their music across the Front Range and Denver for a solid three years. Consisting of members Sean Joyce (bass), Nick Lofaro (vocals/guitar), Paul Simmons (vocals/guitar/violin) and his brother Adam Simmons (drums), the band has a work ethic and writing style that is all about inclusion.
“We’re all friends,” says Lofaro, “and no single person takes over our writing process. Someone will come up with a riff and we all write our own parts around it.”
The sense of artistic equality is pervasive throughout the band. Adam Simmons designs the groups t-shirts, stickers, and posters while including hand-drawn designs by his brother Paul and Lofaro.
The band’s roots are happenstance: Lofaro and Paul shared an apartment building, heard each other playing, and decided to make music. The two would play open mic nights at Avogadro’s Number, strumming out acoustic folk-influenced tunes. When Joyce joined the band, things turned more towards rocking out, and the electric guitars were picked up. Brothers Paul and Adam had been playing since they were kids in their own band called The Inflatables, so it was natural for Adam to join the lineup.
“The way the band formed was kind of an anomaly,” says Adam Simmons.
As their name suggests, Common Anomaly is all about themes of opposition and paradox. They seamlessly blend electronica and rock in the spirit of Ratatat, producing a progressive, yet very danceable sound. They are not afraid to break beyond the typical verse-chorus-verse structure of pop-music: “We appreciate the jam,” says Lofaro.
This opposition can be seen in Adam’s design work as well; he chooses a familiar theme or image and adds in something surreal; something that makes it strange and unfamiliar.
The band’s unique sound has brought them a significant amount of success in the past year. After an epic show at the Bluebird Theater in Denver with Last Mark, The Knew and Photo Atlas, the band was approached by representatives of Offbeat Entertainment who were interested in purchasing the licensing to their song “Hate to Say” for use as downloadable content in the video game Rockband.
The group has also been working with local musician/artist collective/label Act So Big Forest, and their heavier sound makes them stand out on the label’s recent compilations.
The band has recently recorded a new album, Iridium, which was produced by punk legend Bill Stevenson and recorded at the Blasting Room. The band is very excited about the release, feeling that they were able to successfully capture their live sound (something they did not feel about their first release, These Drowning Days.)
The first release party is set for March 4 at the Larimer Lounge in Denver, with a tentative Fort Collins release date set for the beginning of March as well.
The band has also set up a tour of the Midwest circuit that kicks off around spring break. With seven dates set up, it looks like the road will become a second home to the band.
“All we want to do is tour, play, and sleep at truck stops,” says Joyce.
Find out more about Common Anomaly at www.myspace.com/commonanomaly.