New disc opening doors for Farmington rock trio Cinematica
Band scaling new heights with release of 'Ultraviolet Waterfall'
FARMINGTON — To hear Eddie Jacquez — the drummer for the Farmington instrumental rock trio Cinematica — tell it, his band has been stuck in an underdog role for much of its existence, working hard to build its presence and catalog but not making a lot of progress in generating excitement or getting beyond regional bar band status.
That's all changed within the past several months. Jacquez and his bandmates — guitarist Brandon Mike and bassist OJ Kaminky — feel as if they have achieved a breakthrough with the release of their new disc, "Ultraviolet Waterfall."
The recording was helmed by veteran producer Kenny Riley at Rio Grande Studios in Albuquerque. The group will showcase songs from the album during its CD release party Friday night at the Three Rivers Brewery Tap & Game Room, 111 E. Main St. in Farmington.
That gig will serve as a warmup for the band's return engagement at the famed Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood on May 11. Cinematica made its debut there on Sept. 8, opening for the band Orgy. That performance was so well received, Orgy asked Cinematica to serve as its opening act again when it returned to the club, an invitation that Jacquez and his associates were eager to accept.
"We're only a month into this thing (since the release of 'Ultraviolet Waterfall'), and we think we can ride this whole year on the momentum from the new album," Jacquez said. "We think it's going to take us some exciting new places."
Not only is the new disc generating a positive response on Spotify and iTunes, but the band is finally seeing its local stock rise. After years of being relegated to opening act status in Durango, Colorado, clubs, Cinematica now commands weekend headliner status there and is regularly getting booked in markets that once were beyond its reach — Denver, Flagstaff, Tucson, Albuquerque, Taos and Santa Fe among them.
The group also will have two of its songs featured in the new film "Aurora's Law," which is being shot in Farmington by independent filmmaker Brent Garcia.
"It's our first time to be part of something like that," Jacquez said.
"Ultraviolet Waterfall" initially was scheduled for a January release, but that date wound up being pushed to March 14. Jacquez said Riley sent his final mixes to the group in the middle of January, but members of the band thought there were some elements of their performance that needed to be cleaned up, so they asked Riley for one more day in the studio to nail those parts down.
Jacquez acknowledged that, because they were dealing with a highly-regarded producer with two gold records to his credit, he and his bandmates were a little uneasy about asking for more of Riley's time and were prepared for their request to be rejected. But they needn't have worried.
"He said, 'You guys have paid $3,800 for your time in the studio with me. I want you guys to be 150 percent happy with what your music sounds like,'" Jacquez recalled.
The faith Riley showed in the band is a big reason why the members of Cinematica think they finally have turned a corner in terms of success.
"Even though he works with some of the biggest names in the business, he told us, 'I wouldn't have asked to work with you guys if I didn't see you were committed musicians and songwriters,'" Jacquez said.
Jacquez believes Riley captured the band at its best on "Ultraviolet Waterfall," and he thinks that confidence and flair is now reflected in the group's live performances.
"We have come together to make our songs as complete or magical as they can be as a unit," he said, explaining that Riley's tutoring extended well beyond achieving a good sound in the studio.
"He taught us to just calm down," Jacquez said. "Don't think about the song, feel the song. He taught us to get out of our heads and let the song move us to where we wanted it to go."
Apparently, Riley was pleased with the final product, as well. Jacquez said he's already making plans to get Cinematica back in the studio in 2019 to record a follow-up to "Ultraviolet Waterfall," and the group is writing new material with that project in mind.
Aside from perhaps striking a deal with a booking agent, Jacquez said he and Kaminky and Mike don't view a potential step up to the next level as a big change from what they have been doing. They aren't consumed with the idea of landing a recording contract. They'd simply like to be playing more shows in bigger venues in larger markets.
"It should be a big year for us in various different ways," he said.
Mike Easterling is the night editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.