Student artists rock new type of ‘Math’

Jenny Caulfield
Creative Editor

Jenny Caulfield1Jenny Caufield|The Hudsonian

Three Hudson Valley students are looking to change the world with their music, and stop at nothing to become the biggest band on earth.

Animal Math is composed of four members, three of which that attend Hudson Valley. Jim Blanas on lead vocals and guitar, Shawn Shafran on lead guitar and David Kelly on bass, make up three fourths of Animal Math.

The project came from Blanas, who had been searching on and off for the last three years trying to find members. After meeting Shafran and Kelly, Blanas knew it was time to bring his idea back to life, and settled on the name Animal Math.

“Usually when I run music, I can hear the finished product I imagine behind it,” said Blanas. After hearing Shafran and Kelly both play, he found the sound and style they presented a perfect fit for what he was looking for.

“[Shawn] came in and played things I couldn’t have even imagined and it made it better. So did David, they both played things that I wasn’t capable of seeing and the diversity they have added to [Animal Math] has just made it even better,” said Blanas.

Every member of Animal Math has different musicians who influence them and the work they produce. Tool, Born Of Osiris and Coheed and Cambria are a few of the bands that inspired Animal Math to find their signature sound.

“I take a lot of that weird almost microtonal sounding guitar lead stuff that you hear in metal and I put it over what [Jim] has done for the song structure and it’s turned out pretty well,” said Shafran.

Animal Math, which name comes from “the poetry of the words animal and math” according to Blanas, focuses their style around the style of progressive hard rock. Despite making music in this style from their individual influences, the band doesn’t feel they belong within one certain genre.

“We feel that genres put us in a box and restrict our sound,” said Blanas.

Although they haven’t found a set name, over the summer Animal Math are planning to release their first EP composed of about eight songs.

“We’re going to record a professional EP at Wandering Sound Studio in Saratoga Springs,” said Blanas.

Writing music for Animal Math for three years, Blanas is ready to record his music professionally with the rest of Animal Math incorporating all of their ideas.

“You have a structure just like a house: you have the frame of it, but what you do on the inside and the outside is entirely up to you. So the structure that I write doesn’t really dictate what the sound is,” said Blanas.

Working to bring publicity to their band, Animal Math are planning to hang posters around campus next semester of the artwork for their EP, and other artwork for promotion.

In addition to the posters they hope to hang, the band are currently working with Hudson Valley to arrange a performance next semester at Welcome Week.

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