The Ortiz brother's Amplified Heat is a Rock and Roll power trio from Hell by way of Austin, Texas. Like their hot sauce, Amplified Heat is not for the faint of heart. They like it loud, fast and raw... no bullshit, just unrestrained, relentless Rock and Roll.
With their forthcoming release "On The Hunt", Jim (Guitar), Chris (Drums) and Gian (Bass) expand their sound into new territory, shooting up psychedelia and Lightnin' Hopkins-esque acoustic blues into their always consistent no frills Rock and Roll. The album was produced and recorded by their manager/producer, James Webber, in an old Texas homestead just outside of Austin, Texas. In an effort to go back to the basics and to get a snapshot of Amplified Heat in their most raw state, the album was tracked live and onto tape. The result is a powerful set of songs that'll make you feel like your speed- ing down the road in a souped-up black muscle car with a 44' on the seat, Robert Rodriquez-style.
The three Colombian-American brothers' banded sense of rebellion started this 'until-death-do-us-part' pact they call Amplified Heat. As youths in Houston, TX, they played only when parents were out of the house. "Growing up in Houston was not much fun at all for us," Jim recalls, "Our parents where very strict and controlling. So we didn't go out much... until we got older and started to sneak out!"
Their father confiscated their beloved Black Sabbath album after he saw what Chris Ortiz refers to "a bullshit TV special about Satanism and Rock N Roll." This only fed into their love of the pure Rock and Roll lifestyle. "We hated the shit we heard on top forty radio," Jim recalls, "all the latest music just didn't appeal to us except for ZZ TOP, Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughn and a bunch of other rock n roll bands of the day. We tuned into 95.5 KLOS, 94.7 KMET, K Earth... through that medium we were exposed to The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, Zeppelin and Sabbath."
On Sunday nights in Houston, Jim Ortiz recalls, "one evening I tuned into Z-107 Houston's classic rock station and they were playing Blues on Sundays. It is then when my love affair with the Blues began! First track I heard was Hound Dog Taylor and that was enough for me to grab a cassette tape and start recording! I heard Albert King, Lightnin' Hopkins, Johnny Winter and John Mayall's Blues Breakers! So, Chris and I set out to find other cats that wanted to play Blues and Rock n Roll."
The sound of Amplified Heat emerged years later into a punishing, sometimes abrasive sound. Their vintage Fender wall of sound consists of a 1968 Fender Blackface, 1967 Fender Bandmaster, 1969 & 1970 Fender Bassman heads and several 1966 Fender 2x15 speaker cabinets. "Why we use Vintage gear?" Jim Recalls, "Because that is the only way we found we could get the sounds we heard! We fell in love with old music! We set out to be the loudest band around! Regardless of what any sound man or club owner thinks! For us, to play music is to be true to yourself and we love it loud!"
This is the way Rock and Roll is done, there's no doubt about it. And these brothers have committed themselves to the cause.
David Fricke of Rolling Stone: "Amplified Heat...destroyed the crowd with a boogie-war vengeance. Rock dreams that quickly came to mind: Stevie Ray Vaughn fronting the Groundhogs; ZZ Top with Blue Cheer running in their veins."