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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The sounds of Spring Fling

    Rebecca Noble
    Rebecca Noble/The Daily Wildcat The American Authors perform at UA’s Spring Fling on Friday, April 11th.

    The performance aspect of Spring Fling promises to provide just as much of an adrenaline rush as some of the crazier rides like Mega Drop or Cyclone. Many different UA clubs will grace the stage this weekend to showcase the extensive talents of students on campus. To add to the excitement surrounding the event, attendees will get a special opportunity to jam out and dance along with Los Angeles-based, indie-pop band Smallpools during its Spring Fling concert Saturday.   

    Among the UA clubs expected to perform is Amplified, a co-ed a cappella group founded at the UA in 2012. With their vocal chords as their musical instrument of choice, 14 members of the club will help create the group’s original sound as they embellish different pop songs with their own unique voices.

    “It’s a lot of fun,” said Kous Kondapalli, a neuroscience junior and president of Amplified. “We’re a close-knit group, and we just love getting together [to] sing. … For almost all of us, it’s kind of like a break from our regular school work, so we all … [look] forward to rehearsals.”

    Undoubtedly for many people, the film “Pitch Perfect” comes to mind upon hearing the term “a cappella.” Kondapalli said that Amplified competed in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, the same competition featured in the film.

    In addition to featuring some of UA’s finest talents, Spring Fling will also present the band Smallpools. The up-and-coming band will be performing their latest album called “Lovetap,” a compilation of songs that take imaginative risks. Michael Kamerman, the guitarist, said that the band started playing together in the summer of 2012 and released its first song about a year later.

    “Sean [Scanlon, the lead singer,] and I were both from the East Coast,” Kamerman said. “We moved up to California about 3 1/2 [years] ago to pursue something a little different than what we were doing back in New Jersey and New York. … While we were here, random coincidences led us to our bass player Joe [Intile] who introduced us to our drummer Beau [Kuther]. We just kind of started jamming and eventually, we had a couple songs. The idea was just to play a couple shows after work and whatnot, just to give us something creative on the side. And luckily, some people liked the songs, and we got to do it a little more — part-time.”

    Intile and Kuther’s low-key background in Oregon blended with Kamerman and Scanlon’s outspoken East Coast background when the two sets of friends joined musical forces.

    “It’s definitely an interesting dynamic,” Kamerman said. “Everyone brings a different opinion and a different mindset to the table and to the room.”

    The collaborative band works together to create a product that unifies their individual talents and consequently enhances the impact it has on the audience.

    “Everyone brings something different to the table which I think is really important and exciting for us,” Kamerman said. “Everyone in the band compliments each other and does something that the other person can’t do, so we all depend on each other to put our own sound … on each song.”

    The band provided a means of artistic release for its members who had somewhat mundane day jobs when they first started out.

    “It was kind of interesting just to fill our time after work,” Kamerman said. “I was serving tables. Sean was valeting cars. It was really just a creative outlet that … [made] us forget about the crappy day we had.”

    Kamerman said the band’s sound is influenced by music that they heard as children. He added that much of his inspiration comes from artists like Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon, as well as bands that they have toured with like Grouplove, Walk the Moon and Magic Man.

    Kamerman’s perspective on the band’s success reveals his humility and genuine passion for making music. He made it clear that it has always been and will always be about the creativity surrounding the art and never about the fame.

    “It’s been exciting just to see people react to the songs the way they have,” Kamerman said. “It kind of caught us off guard. It wasn’t what we expected in a good way. … You have to stay level-headed and keep thinking about what the next move is and just keep finding other music that excites you.”

    Kamerman said the UA is pretty much Smallpool’s tour kickoff. 

    “We can’t wait,” Kamerman said. “We’ll be playing a newer set that we’ve never done before. We’ve played in Tucson and Phoenix multiple times, and Tucson [has] always been great to us. [I] can’t think of a better place to try the new material out.”


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