Photographer Credit: Ed Ziehm

Nick Duarte did “the band thing” for many years, and when his band broke up, he found himself in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Taking notice of the vibrant music scene and supportive community of musicians around him rekindled his musical passions, and he decided to give “the band thing” another go.  Duarte, a fan of the cello, had the idea of incorporating the instrument into a rock band, and set out to find some talent.  Amy Morgan, a lifelong classically-trained cellist, relocated to Fort Collins to earn a degree in music, and realized that the symphonic life was no longer her dream.  She answered Duarte’s call for auditions, and alt-rock band Post Paradise was born.  The addition of Mark Roshon (drums) and Chris Santolla (bass) rounded out the quartet, who has opened for bands like  Murder By Death, Twenty-One Pilots, and Walk The Moon.  Interestingly enough, when I first heard their single “Ordinary,” I instantly thought of Panic! At The Disco, and guess what?  They’ve opened for them too.

I don’t really know many (or any) rock bands with a cellist, and I find Post Paradise’s brand of art thoroughly refreshing.  Morgan admits that it’s been a learning curve for her; she had to lose the poise ingrained from her orchestra days, and learn how not to sit still while she played.  In the early years of Post Paradise, she also had to navigate making her cumbersome acoustic cello operate like an electric instrument; now she rocks out on an electric cello, which solved all the issues.

The band has made a niche for itself in the Fort Collins scene; “When people think of Colorado, they think bluegrass or Americana, but the music scene in Fort Collins is a melting pot.  The industry here is on the level, there aren’t a lot of fakes or people trying to take advantage of you.  People here love music.  The bands are supportive of each other.  If you want to put in the work, and you’re nice to the people around you, you can make it work,” explains Duarte.  He and Morgan are Colorado Board of Tourism Music Ambassadors, and are part of a local organization that mentors other bands, helping them learn the business side of the industry, as well as supporting each other’s music.  A local brewery even created a beer in their honor called Post Paradise Pale Ale.  I don’t think you can get any more “Colorado” than that.

Post Paradise will be releasing a new six-song currently unnamed EP this fall, which Duarte said is the heaviest music they’ve done.  A tour is hopefully on the horizon after the EP is released; the group will probably tackle the tour regionally, but Morgan said a trip to Nashville wasn’t out of the question.  I assured them that Post Paradise was welcome to stay at my house, and I would fry things for them, southern-style.

Until the release, you can sample their music on Soundcloud, and go purchase their music on iTunes if you dig what they’re doing.

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