Chaparrals are an indie rock quintet based out of Boston, MA, creating expansive sounds that range from neo-psychedelia to Neil Young-esque cosmic Americana. Not tied stylistically, the diversity of their musical backgrounds is evident throughout their music. Best described as being strongly melodic with an emphasis on reflective lyricism and instrumental thematic parallelism, Chaparrals weave organic and synthetic sounds alike in and out of a lush sonic backdrop of ethereal and haunting beauty.
Started as a solo bedroom project in the winter of 2010, songwriter Erich Wiernasz (vocals/guitar) was at the seeming end of a long-term relationship and suddenly confronted with an empty apartment, a couple guitars, and a bunch of dusty, unused recording equipment that his musician uncle Kirk Swan (ex-Dumptruck and touring guitarist for Steve Wynn, John Wesley Harding) had given him years back after showing an interest in songwriting. What started as a simple sonic dalliance, led to long feverish nights, fueled by the only outlet that could provide solace at that time: the obsession and focus of creating music.
With a sudden burst of raw creative output, Wiernasz sought the help of Ryan McGuire (upright bass/electric bass), a friend and Berklee School of Music graduate who studied classical composition in addition to being a former member of Kayo Dot and founding Boston avant-garde metal band Ehnahre. The two soon enlisted Matthew Masuzzo (drums/percussion) and Ryan Kozin (electric guitar). Masuzzo had worked on a number of projects including the garage rock band Golden Spurs; Kozin, a college friend and jazz trained guitarist had reconnected with Erich during this period of creativity and was eager to contribute. The final addition was Erich’s childhood friend and elementary school classmate Ryan Earls (keys/guitar/vocals)—a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with a background in jazz, a capella and classical vocal training, Earls brought further vocal and textural layering to the project in 2012, helping to cement an even more dynamic direction.
Chaparrals—whose name was inspired by an admiration for the band Woods (and which also serves as a subtle nod to the band’s early more 1950s, Everly Brothers' country pop inspired sound)—cite influences that range from the melodicism of Paul McCartney's vocal themes and bass playing; the eerie and wintry elements of Radiohead’s complex arrangements; the baroque pop of Grizzly Bear; the pastoral leanings of Fairport Convention; and the psych pop bliss of Tame Impala; in addition to a general appreciation for the deliberate musicianship and innovation of modern jazz players, among others.