They've got style, they've got swagger and they've got soul. From frizzy hair and velvet shirts, to tall Russian boys and sandwich careers: Ayakara have it all.
"Ayakara is a made up word. We put two Buddhist words together. Cant' remember the words though..."
The band played Leith Depot last week, as part of the Leith Festival in - you guessed it - Leith. The tiny 65 person capacity building was filled to the brim, leaving every member of the audience choking for air. The floor rumbled as sweat soaked bodies bounded in time to that smooooooth sound. If folk weren't singing their hearts out, they were definitely dancing them out instead.
The Edinburgh born boys exude an endless passion for what they do on stage. As Max's voice serenades the crowd, the other lads use their instruments to reach out and ensure that everyone is having a fucking brilliant time.
Capitalising on their common love for music means Ayakara have created a completely natural sound - which is perfectly harmonised by the effortless charm that just slips off their shoulders when they play. "People can think what they want to think with the song. They will interpret it the way that they do. They can think it means one thing, when it means something different to someone else. There's a bit of a philosophy behind it, because we are totally open to perception."
The quintet have been pals forever, spending their teenage years together at Trinity Academy. "max [main vocals] and felix [guitar] had baths together."
The band's inspiration varies in and out of music: "Sex Pistols, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Stone Roses. Even outside music, people like Muhammad Ali are a massive inspiration."
For the guys, writing and playing is an opportunity to do something more: "Using music as a platform to do other stuff is important. Youth culture and sub culture influences like Woodstock and the the Punk mentalities are pretty inspiring to us. Young people don't really have sub cultures anymore, so for us its like a nod to them."
In this generation, being called a 'hipster' is probably the closest you'll get to any subculture and that's a bit disappointing: "We aren't trying to bring those idealisms back, we are just trying to put our take on it. Giving people something to get into, you know, because it's a bit bland these days."
The creative processes behind Ayakara often vary, but the outcome is always the same: "On a good day, we'll just sit in the practice room and start jamming, then something will come out of that. Sometimes, someone will record a riff and we'll build a rhythm section on that." Although its not always that easy: "Max always has lyrics, but sometimes nothing happens. We could spend 2 weeks trying to get a song and then someone plays a riff and something just falls out and suddenly you've got a whole song there."
Their exuberance and carelessness extends a welcoming hand to anyone who wants to listen and anyone who is willing to join in. You can sing to their music, you can dance to their music and you can drink to their music.
Ayakara are exciting and they are fresh and they are one of the sparsely found saving graces of Edinburgh music right now.
"Life's worth living. I'd say as a band, if we are saying anything, then its about celebrating life. A lot of people try and paint out that life is a lot harder than it actually is, but you've just got to take it for what it is and enjoy it."
Want to see if the hype is real? Catch the band at La Belle Angele, supporting Crazy Town on July 5th.
Find Ayakara on the following sites:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ayakaramusic/?fref=ts
Twitter - https://twitter.com/AyakaraMusic
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/ayakaramusic/
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCepbgSS-KIwJ4RRDmW9sNJA
SoundCloud - https://soundcloud.com/ayakaramusic
Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/2EFAf0BKEjZwEUdFXIi63T
"Rock and roll forever..."