It’s a thick muggy Friday night at Packys Sports Grill in Boca Raton, FL, and metal heads dressed in all black horde the pocket-sized bar as neon beer logos illuminate the dimly lit room.
A turbulent drum roll begins to pulsate from the speakers, and you can practically feel the heart beats of DHARMATA fans anxiously awaiting their performance.
DHARMATA consists of vocalist Jay Slim, bassist Kevin Sanchez, guitarists Matt Sheridan and Chris Turbo, and drummer J.C. Lackey.
The band formed in 2007, and has shared stages with artists such as 10 Years, Skindred, Sick Puppies, and Nonpoint. Their first song “The Fall” was a hit, and made a contiguous result on radio with airplay on West Palm Beach’s 103.1 The Buzz.
In 2009, the famous band Skindred asked DHARMATA to join them on a tour of the Midwestern United States.
“Going on a tour with Skindred was an amazing experience,” said Jay Slim. “They’re a professional band and perform great on stage. It was an honor to share the stage with them, but also a challenge.” (The band laughs)”We had to play our best, but it makes you a better band.”
“Since our first single ‘The Fall‘ we’ve changed exponentially,” said Kevin Sanchez. “From line up changes, to style, to our music in depth. Fall was our starting point…our ‘falling out’ process. We finally found our niche.”
Finally, DHARMATA fans get their fix as the band enters the stage and harmonizes the art of their unique music.
Vocalist Jay Slim pauses on the steel podium for a moment as he looks out into a sea of screeching girls worshiping him, and die-hard metal rock men who…are also worshiping him.
“How’s everyone doing out there?” He points out to the herd of people leaking through the doorways drooling over DHARMATA.
Throughout the show Jay faithfully makes sure he is associating his audience in his performance. At one point, he leaps off of the podium and walks throughout the crowd. He could not be more intimate and humble to his audience.
“We want our fans to be just as a part of our music as we are,” said Matt Sheridan.
When asked if there was a certain message they wanted to convey to their audience, Jay replied, “It’s really mixed messages. We have uplifting songs…somber songs…it’s a wide spectrum. But all of our songs are honest. From our lyrics to our performance on stage, because people can see through bullshit.”
However, Jay admits that playing rock music in South Florida is tough. “People in South Florida would rather go to the beach and listen to reggae,” Slim said. “It’s hard to get people out and listening to rock out here. It took us playing a lot of shows.”
Regardless of aloof Floridians who’d rather listen to reggae and sunbathe on the sandy beaches of the peninsula, DHARMATA still has a growing number of fans that continues to multiply daily. The band has 2,272 facebook likes and their hit single “Do It Again” got 1,516 hits on YouTube.
“One more song! One more song!” shouts the audience, as their ears are yearning for more DHARMATA. The room roars as guitarist Matt Sheridan jumps on the podium and entices the fans with a solo performance.
“As long as this world’s turning… I’ll do it agaaainnn,” sings Jay Slim in his incomparable distinguished voice that seduces the audience.
The crowd goes rampant as heads bounce up and down, and bodies jam back and forth.
“There’s lots of hair flying at our shows,” said Jay Smith. “And I’ve never met anyone who’s went to one of our shows and didn’t have a good time.”
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