Formed as a hobby, The Asphalt now sets its sights a bit higher
KINGMAN - Local band The Asphalt is set to take the rock 'n roll world by storm as they release their newest single and music video.
Formed in 2001, the band quickly made a name for itself. The band plays in venues, both large and small, from Texas to California. Most often, though, the group performs in Phoenix, Los Angeles, Hollywood and Las Vegas, according to guitarist and backup vocalist Jason Marino.
"Sounding like the (illegitimate) child of Face to Face and The Foo Fighters," the band's bio advertises, "members Randy Mazick, Jon Stutler, Nick Turner and Jason Marino blend rock guitars, pound drums, smooth bass and scathing vocals with a high-energy live performance that has captivated thousands of fans."
Mazick started the band six years ago with the goal of it just being a hobby. Having played in various bands since the age of 16, he had become burnt out on music. However, after listening to music he used to play, he found he missed it and started a group with his friends.
Mazick said the first album came out better than he thought and things just got going. Marino, from Kingman, is the newest member of the band, joining earlier this year.
Turner, who has been in the band for two years, said The Asphalt saved his love of music and continued a career he was ready to give up. While playing in a bar band, Turner said he was about ready to give up on playing the drums. He was tired of what he was doing just ready to give up on his dream.
However, the bass player for The Asphalt approached him about auditioning to play drums one night. After listening to its CD and liking what he heard, he gave the audition a go. The rest, as they say, is history.
Turner said the audition seemed to work out for everyone and he is excited about where the band is going.
The band took off after their first album was released. "Long Story Short" had only five songs but was a popular online download.
"After locking themselves into world-renowned NRG studios in Hollywood, Calif., with Grammy nominated engineer Jeremy Parker in the producer's chair," Marino says in the band's bio, "the band reached the 75,000 mark on mp3.com before the Web site's untimely demise."
The Asphalt has been a featured artist on XM Radio's unsigned channel and gets regular playtime on Phoenix and Las Vegas radio stations.
Recently, the band's "From Afar" off its first album was chosen for "The Fast and the Furious/ Tokyo Drift" soundtrack for PlayStation2.
The band has played for as little as five people and as many as 14,000. Its largest audience was at Edge Fest in Phoenix in 2006. They have been asked back to perform again this fall.
The band performed at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, both this year and last.
In between performances, the band has focused on recording its latest album. Dividing recording sessions between Sony in Santa Monica, Calif., for whom they have recorded a few demos, and various other studios in and out of Arizona, The Asphalt is working to complete its third album, "Learning to Forget," which is scheduled to hit stores soon.
The Asphalt recently released its newest single, "Tonight," from the new album. The band also shot a new video in Tucson.
"Shot in HD, on location in Tucson and Old Tucson studios, where such films as 'Tombstone,' 'The Three Amigos,' 'Death Wish' and 'The Quick and the Dead' were famously shot, the video borrows from the Old West but has a decidedly modern feel," Marino says.
The group is not currently signed with a record label, but it is entertaining several offers, Marino says. The band has also been signed on to be featured on a new rock show on ABC that premiers this fall. The show is similar to MTV's Total Request Live, except the bands perform for live audiences.
The band continues to gain popularity, with the group recently signing a deal with rockthreads.com, an online clothing merchandiser.
The band still plays local gigs every three or four months, Marino said. The Asphalt will make one of their rare Kingman performances Friday night at Tequila Bob's on Northern Avenue at Bank St. As headliners, the band should take the stage around 11 p.m.
Bob Peet, owner of Tequila Bob's, said The Asphalt is the biggest drawing band in the tri-state area and packs the bar whenever they play.
The bands that normally play at the bar are heavy metal screamers, he said, where you can barely understand the words. These bands draw the young crowds, but The Asphalt plays more melodic music where you can really find the technique behind the songs, he said.
"I would love to be able to make a living off of playing music, but in the meantime, I'm having a great time playing with my best friends," Mazick said.
For more information on The Asphalt, visit www.myspace.com/theasphalt.