PÜNSAPAYA VOL 1
BAND RELEASES EARLY MUSIC FROM THE VAULT
Pino Farina Band began as four high school friends who came together as serious musicians and gave their band the unusual name of Pünsapaya, signified by a drawing of a primordial plant. Each member brought the seeds of their own innate passions, influences, and expertise to lay the groundwork of what would become their own brand of sophisticated melody-driven rock.
Lead singer, lyricist, and guitarist Pino Farina hails from a long line of Italian crooners who celebrated life with its joys and sorrows through song. Fellow guitarist Michael Poupko had been schooled in jazz guitar that translated into inventive chord progressions and a funky sonic vibe. John Cwiok, with his great love of classical music and the band KISS, delivered a plucky bass guitar sound that lent almost as much percussiveness to arrangements as the beat of the drums, played by Paul Knegten.
These earliest recordings are ground zero, including the first song they wrote together, Low Down Dirty Devil. Their process when it came to developing songs began with spontaneous collaborations during day-long rehearsals with melodies forming, choruses and bridges added, and lyrics to come a short time later. They booked their first show at Elbow Room in Chicago by submitting a three-song cassette!
Each band member scraped together money to have the songs professionally recorded at Gravity Studios in Chicago. Although it was only locally distributed, some of these early versions of songs would evolve further and make it onto official releases. Other songs would rise and find their way into current live show setlists.
“It’s our history. It’s the band laying out the foundation of music that defines us,” said lead singer Pino Farina, “But they live in a virtual graveyard where no one has access to them. It’s why we are releasing them now. It will be interesting to see where they go from here.”
A Pünsapaya garden, always growing, reseeding, evolving.
Upcoming, The Vault Vol. #2: Their first official CD as Pünsapaya, Prepare to Qualify, would go on to win the 2005 Rock Album of the Year from the Chicago Music Awards.