Saturday, September 29, 2012

Amphora (Band)

Left to Right: Jason Judkins, Hunter Hamilton, Nathaniel Walker
'''Amphora''' is a band from Nashville, Tennessee (not to be confused with the Sacramento, California based band “Amphora”) and was formed in 1998 by Nathaniel Walker (Vocals, Guitar, Bass), Hunter Hamilton (Guitar), and Jason Judkins (Drums).  Nathan and Hunter met while attending middle school in Arkansas and both attended college together in Nashville, TN.  Nathan and Hunter had previously played in a band called, “Together We’re Tugboat.”  Which was a popular band on the local scene of Little Rock. 

Nathan met Jason though a guitar teacher named Jackie S. in Nashville, who was also a mutual friend of Nathan’s.  Jason began playing drums at around age 10.  Whose father, [Rick Judkins], also played drums professionally.  Although his dad played drums, Jason learned how to play drums by watching his older brother.  Jason played drums in various bands in high school and also recorded 1 and 2 song demos with various bands.  Jason was taking guitar lessons at the time but played drums for his guitar teacher’s recital.  The guitar teacher was impressed by Jason’s drumming skills from this performance.  Nathan had given Jackie a two-song demo tape of himself and told Jackie he was looking for a drummer.  After the recital performance, Jackie referred Jason to Nathan and gave him the demo tape.  Jason was impressed by Nathan’s writing and singing ability’s.  Soon after, Jason called Nathan to set up an audition time. 

The first time Nathan and Jason met was at Nathan’s apartment on college campus.  Jason played the audition on Nathan’s own drumset.  One of the first songs that came out of the audition was, “Answers.”  Which Nathan called, “The Funky Tom Thing,” before it had a song title.  After that, the three practiced together.  Forming what would be, “Amphora.”  They practice repeatedly, at different locations, and adding songs to the catalog.  Amphora's sound was unique.  It was a mixture of Nathan and Hunter’s influences of U2, Jeff Buckley, P.M. Dawn, and Radiohead combined with Jason’s influences of Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Buddy Rich.  The band recorded some demo’s with a couple of different engineers but couldn’t capture what they had in mind.  That change in the spring of 1999. 

The band recorded its first album “Sometimes Stillborn Breathing” at a college studio in Nashville, TN on spring break of 1999.  All the drum tracks where recorded the first day.  The remaining tracks were recorded over the following 1–2 weeks.  Nathan also recorded the Bass tracks since Amphora didn’t have a bass player at the time.  Amphora later had various Bass players when playing live.  The album was then mixed in a mobile studio.  CD’s were printed up and the band played clubs around Nashville.  Soon after, the first song on the album, “Last Train to Kolyma” was played on Nashville’s rock station 102.9.  The group then went and did an interview for the radio station promoting the album.  The song, “Simple Six” reached number one on’s recording contest but placed 3rd when the contest ended.  The number one spot winning a $250,000 recording contract.  Amphora being a Rock group and Nashville being a Country town, the two didn’t seem to mix.  Amphora’s music would of probably been more supported on the West Coast. 
Inside CD Booklet w/ Lyrics

CD Booklet (Back w/ Credits)
   Having to start a career and a family, Jason regretfully felt like it was time to leave the band.  The band changed its name to “The Ups and Downs of Industry,” and used various drummers until landing a permanent one for their 2nd album.  Jason did come back temporarily during this time and record the drums on a 3-song demo for the new group and filled-in on a live show.  “The Ups and Downs,” put out their 2nd album in 2004, but shortly after went there separate ways and moved on to different towns to start careers of their own. 
Came the spring of 2000 and Jason was graduating from college.

For better or worse, it’s hard to find the creative music style that Amphora embraced.  Sometimes life happens during Art but maybe Amphora's greatest days are still ahead! 

The Track Listing to Amphora's "Sometimes Stillborn Breathing," Last Train To Kolyma, Pilot, Simple Six, Little Postcards, Quiero, Painkiller, Flirting with Solar, Answers, Embryo, Safe, For the Rats, and Triangle.  The album was released on July 1st, 1999.  Check out a sample of the album at and on Spotify!!  Also help us out by sharing the Amazon and Spotify links on your Facebook and Twitter!


Amphora changed its name to The Ups and Downs of Industry in 2001.  The track listing to their first self titled album; Better Luck, Gemini, MPD, Hannover, Flightness, Hide-Out, $5.15, The Bees, Workers of the World' Unite!, Book of Saints and Martyrs, and Perfect.

The track listing to their second album "Transit;" Auto Auto, Your Big Idea, Failsafe, Canada, Neustadt, You Don't Know What You're Asking For, Humdrum Town, Tribute, Kinetic, I Have to Go, Dresscode, and Utopia Crush.   The cd was released of July 25th 2003. 

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Amphora Ó 1999-2015

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