Pia Mater formed in the fall of 2004 at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The band started as informal weekly jams, but soon songs started forming. They allowed themselves to find their sound through improvisation and hours tweaking and twisting the songs in different ways. The initial result was bits of the hard funk of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Incubus mixed with the progressive leaning of Rush and King Crimson. On top of those influences, the band also embraced elements of jazz, reggae, electronica, along with a desire to constantly reshape the songs through improvisation.
After a year of woodshedding, Pia Mater began to perform around Western New York, tweaking their sound, learning through improvisation, and gaining important experience. Three years later, Pia Mater decided to start working on their first studio album. At the same time, original bassist Ryan Tierney decided to leave the band. After some searching and several auditions, the band decided on Jason Gilly for as Ryan's replacement. The group is currently redefining their sound while keeping true to the music that they had created with Ryan. Soon after they played their first show with Gilly, drummer Bob McCook left the band, but still occasionally joins the group onstage.
Pia Mater released their debut album, The Living Legends, on December 6, 2008. The release was celebrated with a show that was the biggest to date for the band. Inviting former members Bob McCook and Ryan Tierney on stage, the band played a 3 set marathon show that included music from all periods of their career with the album performed in full during the second set. Along with Bob and Ryan, the group also invited a 3-piece horn section and keyboard player on stage with them to fully realize the songs as they'd always envisioned them, along with playing a few very fun covers. The band recorded and filmed this breakthrough performance, and plans to release some of the 5 hour show on DVD by summer 2009.
The band continues to wow crowds with their live shows. They are working hard on new material, along finding new ways to make their live shows interesting. Look for Pia Mater in your neighborhood very soon.