Morningbell interview

By Brett Roegiers
Gainesville.com

The men and woman of the local psychedelic pop-rock band Morningbell have schedules that make finding time for the band difficult and extensive touring out of the question.

Eric Atria is getting ready to take the bar, Masatoshi Enomoto: music instructor, Travis Atria: getting a masters in journalism, Stacie Thrushman: in medical school.

However, Eric and Masa were able to find time to meet up with me at the Java Lounge on University Ave. for about a half-hour to talk.

Morningbell will be performing Thursday at Orange and Brew on the University of Florida campus alongside March to May and The Fauxmones.

“We always try to give something different every time that we do play,” Masa said.

Their sets are often decorated with whatever they find in the lighting section at Lowe’s, Eric said, and they are always having fun.

“Once when Masa couldn’t make it we just videotaped him playing the drums and played it on the TV set and put the drum sound through the house system on one of the songs,” he added.

Morningbell’s full-length album, Learning By Musical Montage, was released last month, and the band is already in the process of getting a new album started, Eric said.

At the same time, they try not to set themselves up for disappointment by planning no further than six months in advance, he added.

“This past semester, in the fall, we had a lot of lucky breaks playing with other really good bands,” Eric said. “Maybe next semester will be bigger than that. I don’t know. It’s really hard to tell.”

The members of Morningbell made the move to Gainesville from Miami as a result of Eric coming to UF’s law school, Masa said.

Eric and Travis are brothers, and Eric met Masa at the University of Miami. Eric asked Masa to join the band when they were looking for a new drummer, and he asked his girlfriend Stacie to join when they were looking for a new keyboard player.

Eric compared the band to a cooler version of the Partridge Family.

“We’ve changed a lot since we’ve been up here, but it has been very responsive and people actually check out the music,” Masa said.

“We’re doing it because we all enjoy playing together and making music.”