Fall of 2008
Artist Biography Momentum is a local band's best friend and Biloxi-based rock act Aura has it in spades these days. Several members of the band have performed before 10,000 people more than once, they've got fans in other states launching street-level marketing campaigns for them and a full length album set to drop in a few weeks. A positive buzz surrounds them at home. It's fair to say that Aura currently sits atop the shifting sands of the South Mississippi rock scene. The band (Tyler Voss - vocals, Dean DeMers - drums, Chris Fayard - guitar, Jake "Duff" McDuffey - bass and Chris McKenzie - guitar/vocals) is full of veteran local musicians. Aura rose from the ashes of their former incarnation, Joshua Son. Lead singer Dean DeMers moved to the drums, leaving a spot open for Voss on vocals, who had been a guitar tech for the band for some time. Aura moves in a decidedly more aggressive and driving direction these days, helped by Voss' raw vocal power. It doesn't hurt that they've also formed a committed fan base outside of their home market.Ask any member of Aura how they were able to succeed over multiple car wrecks, equipment thefts, member changes and setback after setback."This band has been through so much," Fayard said in a recent interview. "It's just been one after the other. But everybody's on the same page and we're all driven for the same goal. One thing remains constant. We're not going to quit. We've been in contact with record labels and there's a lot of good things happening right now. Only our work ethic can determine the outcome of this whole thing.""The Fall of '08" is also Voss' recording debut with Aura. The mohawked front-man sang for Ocean Springs-based rock act Subsist for some time following Katrina. He seems to be quite comfortable in his new role, and committed to doing his part to turn Aura into something greater than the sum of it's parts."I hate to say it, but I was the class clown in school," Voss said. "I always loved the attention and I was just a singer in my other bands. I was never a frontman. But these guys worked their butts off and I always wanted to be in a band like that. I dropped everything I was doing that day (to try out for the band.)"He got incredibly lucky," Fayard joked. "Tyler was always right under our nose. He'd worked with us and had a good relationship with us. He came in to try out with no material whatsoever, but he just blew us all away. He made up lyrics right on the spot and by the end of practice, we had two songs completed from nothing at all."Perhaps the addition of Voss' more contemporary, progressive punk screams was the kick the band needed to re-invigorate themselves. Perhaps it was the synergy of great relationships and common interests. Great bands are usually overflowing with these qualities. Whatever alchemy it was that re-lit the creative fire under these guys, the local rock scene is the better for it. With the members of Aura committed to the same goal, who knows where their momentum will carry them?