For some bands, it’s a slow process working your way up the ladder, building your career and getting your music out there. Alternative rock band Jamface has a different way of approaching things. This young band, who you would expect to be filling out college applications before recording albums, will be playing the Bamboozle Festival as more of a springboard into the music scene.

Having been chosen to play the festival after performing at one of the Bamboozle Invitational Showcases, it’s not just their growing number of fans who have recognized their talent. Mixing in a variety of styles that will please any music lover, there’s an underlying ambient progressive vibe in there music that is pretty captivating. For vocalist Elana Hedrych, guitarists Mike Bottiglieri and Jim Horvath, bassist Mike Battista and drummer Julian Lee, this is only the beginning.

I met up with Hedrych and Bottiglieri to talk about Bamboozle and their music. Interestingly enough, we found ourselves at the place where it all started, School of Rock.

From your perspective, how did you know when you clicked with the guys?

Elana Hedrych: We all had a similar vision in what kind of sound we wanted and we all are serious about music. We got along really well and, musically, when we played together, we generate this sound that meshes well together.

Who are some of your inspirations?

EH: Fiona Apple, Umphrey’s McGee and like The Pixies.

Mike Bottiglieri: We all pull from different people because we all listen to completely different music. As far as guitar players go, I try to take stuff from Hendrix, as well as some new age stuff—jam bands and like Trey Anastasio or Jake Cinninger from Umphrey’s McGee. Just anything that sounds cool and not just guitar parts. Like sometimes if I hear electronica music or something that’s cool, I’ll try to recreate something. It can come from anywhere really.

You mention jam bands, is that where the band name came from?

MB: It was actually before we met Elana that we came up with the name. We didn’t have a vocalist at the time, so all that we could do was really just jam and we were really just doing it for fun. We were thinking of a name and our bassist, Mike Battista, was like, ‘Well, we jam a lot.’ And then our guitarist, Jim, said, ‘Well, I think our name should have the word face in it.’ So that’s how it came to be.

How did Elana enter the band? How did you know she was the one?

MB: We had been looking for actually not that long. When we ditched our old drummer for Julian, we started getting really tight and we were like, ‘All right, it’s time for a vocalist.’ So we were looking around, asking around to anyone that we could find. People either didn’t fit in or their vocals wouldn’t work. We found Elana through the School of Rock and we really liked her voice. Then we took her back and the song that we actually worked on at School of Rock became our first song together.

How does her voice really reflect the feel and mood that you’re creating with the music?

MB: We don’t really have a specific genre that we’re trying to portray in our music. She kind of shapes her voice to whatever the song needs. Some songs are just rolling along and she just sticks with it. Songs like “Drained,” the echo riff just keeps going and she’ll just like adapt to whatever the song sounds like.

I was actually listening to “Drained” today. Where can we find more music? Are you recording?

EH: We’re trying to set out, but we don’t know when we’ll have more.

MB: We only started recording a week or two ago. By the time Spring break is over, we’ll probably have two or three more songs finished.

What kind of set can fans expect at Bamboozle?

EH: We’re going to have like five songs plus a cover.

Is the cover a surprise?

MB: It’s a surprise because we don’t know yet [laughs].

So let’s backtrack. Give me the history on why you set out to start a band.

MB: Jim and I picked up the guitar a long time ago in like fifth grade. I stopped taking lessons because I was sick of it, honestly, but Jim just picked it up. I took a break for a few years and then in eighth grade, we both started getting good at the same level, we were like ‘Let’s just start jamming.’ So eighth grade into freshman year, Jim and I began jamming a lot. We would just like jam for quarters in Park Ridge, that’s what we would do for fun. Then we met Battista, our bassist, in guitar class freshman year at high school. So we started jamming with him, it was on and off, a bunch of different bands, then we really clicked with him and we started looking for drummers. We went through probably three drummers and then I called Julian because I would hang out with him every once in awhile. And I was just like ‘Hey want to jam?’ So then we found Julian and after that we found Elana.

Do you have a mentor—someone guiding you as a band?

EH: We just kind of improvise.

MB: That’s how we do everything.

How is it being a young, D.I.Y. band, just going out on your own?

EH: It’s really hard for people to take us seriously because we’re so much younger. But I think that because we made Bamboozle, people take us more seriously now. So it’s getting easier to find things.

MB: Helps to take ourselves more seriously.

How are you guys feeling getting ready to play Bamboozle?

MB: A big mash-up of everything. Definitely not just another show, once we get our set list down, then it’ll be much more freeing. It’s just going to be an awesome experience to play it and also being able to say that we played Bamboozle will also help with like actually getting some momentum.

After you played at The Bamboozle Invitational, you left the stage seeming like you weren’t playing the festival.

EH: We were so sad.

MB: I was a little let down, it was going from like, ‘Hey let’s try and see if we can make this band work’ to, ‘Let’s play this show to get into Bamboozle.’ Making it was the farthest thing from my mind, I just didn’t want to embarrass myself on stage. So we were like writing music a few days before and kind of throwing it all together. When they were like ‘Maybe’ I was like ‘Of course maybe, that’s probably a nice way of saying no.’ But when they told us that we did make it, I couldn’t believe it.

When did they tell you that you made it—because it wasn’t on stage?

EH: It was in this room and I was sitting on the chair and they tapped me on the knee and they said ‘Come here, I have to show you something.’ Then they showed me the box.

You note that you hurried to get songs for The Invitational. So how is the writing process normally?

EH: It’s a really, really slow process. We find different things and we try to put them together and we just pull influence from each other. Then, once we develop the structure or something, I’ll start writing lyrics and fit the mood of it, then kind of develop it, like building something. We don’t just have it right away.

MB: I think the hardest part is finding the base of a song that we’re all into. Sometimes we’ll all write an instrumental and be like, ‘Yeah, this is a great thing to work off of.’ But then like one person doesn’t like it or someone comes up with a melody that someone doesn’t quite like. But once we have that basis of the song down, then building up on it with melodies and lyrics and stuff—it’s only like a day or two. It’s really like finding the gems, finding the jewelry that is our music.

I like how on stage you guys have a way of showcasing each other, stepping aside and letting the others take the spotlight.

MB: Definitely important. We haven’t actually played too many shows. I don’t think we’ve reached 10 shows yet, so it’s tough to kind of be jumping around everywhere because we’re just getting use to being on stage. It’s getting better because we move around more and now instead of just concentrating on not messing up, we’re getting to that point of where we can play and [think], ‘What can look cool? What can look awesome?’

Where have you been practicing then?

EH: In Julian’s basement.

MB: He does have a kickass basement.

Jamface will play Bamboozle on Saturday, April 30. More info at

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