Native Maze raises The Bar

In 1988, Nike coined the slogan “Just Do It.” For many, the phrase was simply a saying to get you motivated to go out there and “do it” — all while wearing the sneaker giant’s products. However, for many musicians, they were living this idea long before the 80’s, specifically through the genre funk. Funk legend Bootsy Collins said that “Funk is the absence of any and everything you can think of, but the very essence of all that is. And saying that, I’m saying funk is anything that we create in our minds that we want to do, what we want to be … “

For Vin Giardelli and his band Native Maze, they are living Bootsy’s mindset in more ways than one.

For Native Maze, the bands formation was as organic as the genre of music they make, as the members came together by either being in close proximity to each other or random mutual connections.

Althought the band has dwindled on members over time, Giardelli recalled how all of the members became a unit fondly.

“Zach, Stan and Jason lived really close to each other. Jason went to Millersville and was in the same hallway with Tim and Kevin, who also knew Adam. Then one day, Jason told Zach ‘Hey, I think we have a band here.’ So, Zach transferred to Millersville, partly because of the band, and Stan was going to school in North Carolina.”

However, Vin didn’t join the band until a chance suggestion by his number one fan — his mom.

“I didn’t meet them till about a year later. My mom works with Zach’s mom, and she was like ‘My son plays guitar!’ and Zach’s mom said, ‘My son plays guitar, too!’ So, they invited me over, we jammed, and that was it.”

At first listen, it would be easy to categorize Native Maze’s sound as simply funk. But according to the members themselves, it is much more than that. Giardelli credits the bands unique sound to the plethora or musical inspiration that each member of the band brings to the table, which also lends to the group dynamic.

“We all have really different influences, but we all kind of have the same taste. We bring something different and open each other up to something new each time we’re together.”

With influences ranging from Phish, to Dream Theater, and even Iron Maiden, it is easy to see where they get their eclectic style from. However, it also is easy to see why it would be difficult to describe their sound, even for someone in the band.

“That’s tough. We’re mainly rooted in rock, but sometimes we’re progressive, sometimes we’re funky. I guess an underlying theme of the music is there’s a lot of improvisation when we perform, so there’s even a jazz element.”

Native Maze has also made quite the same for themselves. Opening for big names such as Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Dopapod and Jimkata, Native Maze certainly has made their rounds on the circuit.

As for the future of Native Maze, they are gearing up to put out new material, as well as putting together a full-length album.

They’re looking to follow up the success of their previous two projects, From the Ground released in 2015, as well as a 2016 live EP.

You can lose yourself in Native Maze’s music 9 p.m. Saturday at The Bar on Market, 341 Market St.

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