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An Interview With Omar of Pysch Pop Band Amo Amo

Justin W. Price, AKA PDXKaraokeGuy, is a freelance writer, blogger, and award-nominated author based out of Juneau, Alaska.

AMO AMO, "AMO AMO"

AMO AMO, "AMO AMO"

Amo Amo: A Revolution of Love

In a world where music seems to be "wash, rinse, repeat," Amo Amo truly stand out from the crowd. Combining danceable grooves with lush melodies and pitch-perfect songwriting, Amo Amo's self-titled debut album is sure to put them on the musical map.

Campaigning for love and tolerance (and for having a good time), Los Angeles psych pop band Amo Amo’s self-titled debut album (produced by Jim James of My Morning Jacket) was recently released to much critical acclaim.

Amo Amo was formed in June, 2017, when a group of friends—Love Femme, Omar Velasco, Justin Flint, Shane Mckillop, and Alex Siegel—got together for an unrehearsed jam session in Los Angeles with Jim James of my Morning Jacket. Many suspected that the five of them shared a bond that would lead to a unique sound and a transcendent message. Five months later, after a month-long recording retreat amidst the scenic vineyards of Northern California’s wine country (and out of range of cell phone service and other modern trappings) Amo Amo emerged with a collection of soulful, magical pop songs.

The rest, as they say, is history. Amo Amo has grabbed the attention of music lovers the world over. Join the Revolucion de Amor and marinate in their self-titled debut. To learn more about this terrific and important band, check out the following interview with Omar Velasco of Amo Amo.

We feel we've barely scratched the surface as a band. There is so much to explore musically. We want to continue putting out music that is meaningful and beautiful. We also love playing live and see that as integral to our happiness, our growth, and our career.

— Omar of Amo Amo

Interview With Omar Velasco of Amo Amo

Justin W. Price: First of all, Amo Amo is fantastic. How do you feel about it?

Omar Velasco: Thank you! We feel great about it...beautiful people, musically fulfilling, in line with our heart's purpose—what more could you ask for?

JWP: What is your favorite song on the album?

OV: Can one choose a "favorite" child?

JWP: Can you give my readers a little background on Amo Amo? How did it come about? How does it vary from other projects that you have done?

OV: Amo Amo, in some ways, was a long time in the making and a result of things cooking for just the right amount of time. All of us have been playing and writing music for a long time in different situations, and so the formation of this project felt like the coming together of a lot of experience and dedication. With that comes a clearer picture of the music and the feeling we want to convey as a band.

JWP: How has the new record been received?

OV: So far, it's been great! We've received such beautiful messages from people all over the world.

JWP: Where do you see yourself over the next decade?

OV: We feel we've barely scratched the surface as a band. There is so much to explore musically. We want to continue putting out music that is meaningful and beautiful. We also love playing live and see that as integral to our happiness, our growth, and our career.

Amo Amo

Amo Amo

JWP: Where do you see yourself over the next decade?

OV: We feel we've barely scratched the surface as a band. There is so much to explore musically. We want to continue putting out music that is meaningful and beautiful. We also love playing live and see that as integral to our happiness, our growth, and our career.

JWP: Being from a big city like LA I’m sure afforded you many opportunities that smaller town musicians don’t get. But what challenges does living in LA offer?

OV: LA is a beautiful city where people from all over can come together, dream big and make amazing things. We've all gained so much from living here. It is challenging, though. Being surrounded by concrete, noise, pollution, traffic, trash... those are the difficult things. We dream of a day when a city like LA can become more balanced and integrated with nature and with life-affirming qualities.

Amo Amo: Obligatory circular band shot

Amo Amo: Obligatory circular band shot

We've written songs collaboratively, where we'll get in a room and play until something feels really good, and then we'll work that into a song. We also have songs or lyrics that are brought to the band by one individual, and that song will then become part of our repertoire. We try to stay open to all the different ways a song can be born.

— Omar of Amo Amo

JWP: What and who are some of your musical and lyrical inspirations?

OV: Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. Certainly, nature is a great inspiration for us. Also, artists who's work is true and beautiful and full of life.

JWP: What is the songwriting process for Amo Amo?

OV: We've written songs collaboratively, where we'll get in a room and play until something feels really good, and then we'll work that into a song. We also have songs or lyrics that are brought to the band by one individual, and that song will then become part of our repertoire. We try to stay open to all the different ways a song can be born.

JWP: Does pineapple belong on pizza?

OV: De gustibus non est disputandum.

JWP: What are your five desert island movies?

OV: Lord of the Rings, Embrace of the Serpent, La Belle Verte, 2001 Space Odyssey, Spirited Away.

JWP: Where are some of your favorite spots to perform?

OV: Anywhere where people are dancing, smiling, and having a good time!

JWP: If you could form a band with anyone, living or dead, who would be in it?

OV: The Grateful Dead, The Wailers, The Funk Brothers, Nina Simone, The Talking Heads, and Amo Amo. It'd be a huge band.

JWP: How often do you perform?

OV: We've been touring quite a bit lately. Summer is a busy time.

JWP: Do you have any advice to young musicians out there about how to handle yourself in the industry?

OV: With integrity, perseverance, care and love.

When it comes to music, people should only listen to what moves or interests them. We make music that we love, and that is really all we can advertise. Beyond that, it is yours to connect with or not.

— Omar of Amo Amo

JWP: What is your favorite book?

OV: I prefer not to answer "favorite" questions. It gives me anxiety.

JWP: What are your hobbies, outside of music?

OV: Gardening, cooking, surfing, basketball, reading, making art, hanging out with friends.

JWP: If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing with your life?

OV: Probably at this point some kind of social or environmental work.

JWP: Why should people devote their time to listening to your music and going to your shows? What makes you guys different and special?

OV: When it comes to music, people should only listen to what moves or interests them. We make music that we love, and that is really all we can advertise. Beyond that, it is yours to connect with or not.

JWP: Where can folks purchase your music and keep up to date on upcoming shows and events? Is there anything else you would like to add?

OV: We're on all the streaming platforms. But if you want to actually buy the music, you can do so on bandcamp or on our website amoamomusic.com. You can see our tours and news there as well. We'd just like to say thanks for your time and we hope you enjoy our music, and we wish you love and happiness!

Where Can I Find More Info About Amo Amo?

Band Site: amoamomusic.com.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amoamomusic/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amoamomusic/

BandCamp: https://amoamomusic.bandcamp.com/

© 2019 Justin W Price