Women In Rock Series # 2 Amanda Hammers Bass/Vocals | Sunshine & Bullets
There is a lot of very talented women in today’s musical atmosphere. However in a era that is so overly bombarded by how a woman comes off in her physical appearance it can become very monotonous into overkill where true talent can not be appreciated at its true value. In this 14 part Women in Rock Series here at Power of Prog, I have chosen to spotlight women who prove that music is far more than ‘Eyecandy’. In music there is substance and grace. That is where Amanda Hammers, bass player/vocalistof Florida’s very own Sunshine & Bullets fits the bill.
Lyrically Sunshine & Bullets are as introspective as The Cranberries meets Grace Potter. Melodically the band is this side of the heavier more hard rock version of Portishead meets Paramore. There music is partially science fiction from there debut Triangulum Mechanism to very heavy social commentary on their latest EP release Centauri Conspiracies Part 1both available on Melodic Revolution Records. I recently caught up with Amanda Hammers for a interview. The following below is the interview. ‘SORRY’ guys Amanda is spoken for !
POP – Hello Amanda thank you for joining us today?
AH – It’s a pleasure to be here!
POP – What was the very thing that started your musical journey and how long have you been on this journey?
AH – It all started in 2nd grade. I had an inspiring music teacher, Mr. Carter. Without him, I wouldn’t be joining you today.
POP – What kind of musical background do you come from? What did your parents have as music in the home during your upbringing ?
AH – My mom loves to listen to music to dance to, and my dad is more of a rock guy. I like both, but when I got older I kept “borrowing” CDs from my dad’s collection. Aerosmith’s Toys in the Attic was my gateway drug.
POP – What band , artist or genre allowed you to fork off into heavier rock music?
AH – Although Aerosmith was good, I needed music of my own, so I developed an addiction to Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson.
POP – Probably a question most asked, how did you find your way into the creation of Sunshine & Bullets?
AH – I had been in bands with both Rich and Kyle before, knew they were both ridiculously talented and fun to hang out with, so all I had to do was introduce the guys, get all 3 of us in a room together with some instruments, and the musical chemistry just sparked!
POP – For the fellow musicians out there, describe your musical gear you use in both studio and live in concert?
AH – Live, I use a couple of Dean Pro Edge 5 basses. The red one is standard tuning, just dropped half a step on all the strings, but the black one is drop tuned further, depending on which song I need it for. My Darkglass B7K Ultra is my lifeblood pedal! The character on that thing is beautifully dirty but still clear and low. I also use an EHX Micropog for that 12-string bass feel. I love the new D’Adarrio NYXL bass strings, and my current head of choice is a Hartke LH1000 with a Hydrive 8×10. If it’s good enough for Wooten, it’s more than enough for me!
I use basically the same things in the studio, but I’m not afraid to experiment with different things to get different sounds and tones if the song calls for it.
POP – Is there any current band or artist whom you would like to guest on their project and why?
AH – I’d love to work with someone like Eminem. He’s got this energy about him that is manic crazy yet bare bones honest.
POP – What are your goals going forward both with Sunshine & Bullets and solo?
AH – We’re continuing to write new material, release a new album, make more videos, all that good stuff. Rich and I are starting to make our wedding plans, but no date yet. As for goals, I like to keep it open-ended and simple: Have fun, and hopefully inspire others to do what they love!
Sunshine and Bullets are a Tampa, Florida based rock band with male and female lead vocals, experimenting within the hard rock genre, creating atmospheric hard rock with a mixture of progressive metal, hypnotic harmonies and dark driving groove.
Sunshine and Bullets
Rich Keane Jr // Vocals & Guitar
Amanda Hamers // Vocals & Bass
Kyle Wolfram // Drums
When I last left off with my review to Sunshine & Bullets Triangulum Mechanism, I gave a detailed history into the musical heritage in Florida and how it had a influence on Sunshine & Bullets. It seems that Florida is a area of musical pioneers or innovators that pride themselves into maintaining a uniqueness about themselves. Sunshine & Bullets are certainly every definition to this and by no means an exception to this rule.
This time they go full on with Part 1 of a two part conceptual (EP) series titled “The Centauri Conspiracies: Part 1“ (The Awakening).Part 2 of this series will see a release sometime in 2017 along with the full album of both parts on one offering. “The Centauri Conspiracies: Part 1“ (The Awakening) is far more heavy and brutal than Triangulum Mechanism. This offering sees the band really tapping more into their alternative metal side along with all the brilliant post rock elements they employed on their debut Triangulum Mechanism.
The style, sound, delivery and presentation of “The Centauri Conspiracies: Part 1“ (The Awakening) also is continual proof that Melodic Revolution Records refuses to be pigeonholed into the genre or selection of talent they scout. While appealing to the older progressive rock/metal purists they also go into the area of modern rock and metal. IF I had to compare Sunshine & Bullets to any band I would say think Disturbed meets Shinedown with a twist of Flyleaf and The Letter Black without the grunts or growls.
However that comparison there does not tarnish the utter brutality that “The Centauri Conspiracies: Part 1“ (The Awakening) contains therein. Although this only has six songs it is the perfect set up for the full concept that will be released in 2017. The Centauri Conspiracies: Part 1 – (The Awakening) is a passionate album inspired by the propaganda imposed on us by the media and leadership. As usual, we hope to enlighten and help you get through turmoil but see through the distractions. Now without any further delay I would like to point out some highlights to “The Centauri Conspiracies: Part 1“ (The Awakening)with a track to track analysis.
Everyone’s Watching opens up with a sequence of sound and effects giving the listener the illusion that a television set is auto tuning. The band really does a creative job depicting this very effect with the instrumental tools at their call. The instrumental narrative really hooks the listener at the first not preparing them for a lyrical narrative that is truth meets sarcasm. I think whoever listens to this one will be able to identify with this track as a collective.
You Wanted A War stays on point with the conceptual narrative of the world being so interconnected yet with all the technological advances and communication their is still a present ignorance. The extremely tuned down rhythm section will appeal to Generation X and Millennials under the spell of its sonic discourse. The vocal harmonies are both beautiful and creative. The vocals give the illusion of Amanda and Rich delivering them through a megaphone from time to time like a call to action. Heads In The Sand opens up with a blistering rhythm section compounded by some , at times, almost prog rock time signatures. The harmony between male and female vocals both allow for the listener to experience this track both from a masculine side and a feminine side. The vocal harmonies are tight. The lyrical narrative explores mankind’s complacency in the face of enlightenment.
Divided We Stand begins with a heavily psychedelic element before the blistering rhythm section kicks in. Amanda has this uncanny ability to use her bass both as a melodic instrument or percussive instrument to perfectly compliment Kyle’s wicked drum work. There is almost a NWOAHM or New Wave Of American Heavy Metal vibe about this one. The sweetener to the track is the spoken word narrative in the middle.
Paralyzed is probably the most nostalgia driven track. It sounds like a 1980’s alternative or a heavier New Wave chord progression in the vein of INXS and U2 meets modern hard rock. The band does a great job bringing all the older rock elements and putting a more relevant and modern flavor to it so it appeals to a younger listener.
Let The Giants Sleep opens up with a brooding tuned down rhythm section. Kyle – Drums and Amanda – Bass really do a great job interchanging between melodic rhythm progression to a all out assault with a more percussive rhythm narrative. At times chord progressions remind me of later Lacuna Coil.
After listening to Sunshine & Bullets“The Centauri Conspiracies: Part 1“ (The Awakening) and after experiencing Triangulum Mechanism the first half of this feature, I am convinced that Sunshine & Bullets are at the forefront of another significant musical movement coming out of Florida. I believe that they are perhaps a tour or a festival away from placing Florida again on the ‘Musical Map‘. With such youth within the band they display such a veteran presence both in the delivery of the instrumental and painting the picture lyrically within the senses of the listener. Sunshine & Bullets “The Centauri Conspiracies: Part 1“ (The Awakening) does not get a rating yet. In the interest of fairness I will reserve a rating until the entire album and other Part 2 is released.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.