RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — Nostalgia can be a powerful thing.
No matter what age you are, watching a movie you loved as a kid, seeing a photograph of the past, or hearing a song you jammed to as a teen can have you reminiscing on the good old days.
Those nostalgic feelings are part of what drove the members of Aeris to form in late 2019 as they look to capture a sound they were after when they first started making music in the late 2000s.
Aeris looks to morph a catchy 2000s screamo/metalcore sound with a modernized technical metal sound that they played in recent projects.
The band formed shortly after two members were bit by the nostalgia bug at a Silverstein concert in 2018. The two members, Jacob Goins and George Mills, were set on ending a musical hiatus and playing music that used to inspire them.
“We were watching bands we grew up with still up there giving it their all,” said Mills, the band’s drummer. “Seeing them and seeing how people were still into it was a huge motivating force.”
Goins, a guitarist, and Mills played in bands together as early as eighth grade at Jo Nelson Middle School in Santa Rosa in the mid-2000s. The lifelong friends were in bands together for several years before taking a half-decade break from music.
While they played metalcore early on, their old band later developed into a djent/technical metal sound that focuses more on musical proficiency than memorable songwriting. However, they found themselves wanting to play the music that got them going in the first place.
“I told George that when we start a new band, we need to play music with a melody and that’s catchy,” said Goins. “We want the sound of the screamo bands but also to keep the technical djent stuff.”
The pair picked up a vocalist from one of their previous bands, Alvin Olivarez, and added bassist Marco Gonzalez, another guitarist Matt Martinez, and another vocalist, Fernie Diaz.
Olivarez is tasked with handling screaming vocals, meanwhile, Diaz sings clean vocals on the songs.
By early 2020, the band’s lineup was more or less set and they were ready to start playing gigs around the Rio Grande Valley.
But those plans were soon abandoned when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
The pandemic prevented Aeris from playing shows but it drove them to exhaust all of their efforts in the studio to release music.
“When the shutdown happened we thought ‘well this gives us more time to record,'” said Goins. “Instead of us focusing on playing shows we focused on writing songs and releasing them.”
Aeris were able to release two songs in 2020, “The Forest” in July and “Terra” in October.
Right away Aeris displays the metalcore sound they were looking to achieve. On these tracks, the mood of the song shifts based on which vocal style is being performed.
When Olivarez delivers his screaming technique, the songs sound a lot heavier and technical, meanwhile, when Diaz sings the structure is simpler and catchier.
Despite playing no concerts until after they had released music, Aeris saw a quick response from fans eager to check out their music.
Their songs received thousands of plays on streaming platforms and they were able to garner a large following on social media in a short period of time, something not always easy in the local music scene.
“We weren’t expecting it to get this big this quickly,” said Gonzalez. “Whenever we put t-shirts out for sale they sell out really fast.”
When the band did start playing concerts in late 2020, they saw a surge of fans attending their concerts that were totally unexpected.
In December 2019, Aeris opened for RGV legends Sons of Texas in McAllen and were shocked at the turnout for their slot on the bill.
“We were the opening band, you’re expecting 15 to 20 people but it was packed,” Gonzalez excitedly said. “And they were wearing our shirts. That freaked me out.”
Aeris carried this momentum into 2021 where they have so far released another single, “All the Bright Places,” which follows the same rhythmic structure that their first two songs do.
Now with three songs under their belt, Aeris looks to stay in the studio and release an EP by Fall 2020.
The band is eager about Aeris’s future and collectively says their short-term goal is to play a tour across Texas or even the country.
However, their biggest goal is for more people to hear their music.
But for now they’ll keep working hard to produce a sound that made them want to play music in the first place.
Aeris’s band members are from all over the Rio Grande Valley with two members hailing from Santa Rosa and the rest coming from Edinburg, La Feria, Las Milpas, and Port Isabel. The band’s name is derived from the name of a character in the video game Final Fantasy.