Who we are

Punchbowl Astronauts is a vibrant American alt-rock trio with an eclectic sound that veers from head-banging guitar heaviness to emotive, melodic acoustics and piano. Punchbowl Astronauts thrive on the contrast and have used it to create music that is uniquely theirs. Based out of New Haven, Connecticut, the band is comprised of guitarist/pianist/lead singer Aaron Montiel, bassist/backup vocalist Chris Vincent, and drummer Alex Hayowyk. These three musicians share an obvious chemistry as people as well as players and use this bond to stand out from the overload of cookie-cutter acts populating the modern rock scene.  

From humble beginnings

Aaron and Chris met at the University of Hartford and formed a cover band together shortly before graduating in 2014, but as the other band members started to go their separate ways, they began to focus on writing original music. As recent college graduates, Aaron and Chris created songs about their place in the world and their life experiences. Today, their music still focuses on their observations about people and society from the perspective of young adults expected to prioritize career over adventure. Their songs touch on feeling completely lost, not knowing what to do next, chasing dreams, destructive relationships, being in debt, making bad decisions, and being terrified of the future. But they also like to share the good things that come after college like wisdom, strength, and love.  

Aaron and Chris tracked their first single, “Uncle Sam,” at Eastside Sound Studios on Manhattan’s Lower East Side with Grammy-winning engineer Fran Cathcart behind the board and released the song in February 2019. In addition to guitar and vocals, Aaron played drums on the session but they soon connected with drummer Alex Hayowyk from the band Only Valerie, who was impressed by “Uncle Sam” and was interested in joining the band. By the summer of 2019, they were a solid three-piece original band and released their second single, “In Surround Sound,” in August. In Surround Sound was recorded in Branford, CT at Sound Loft Studios and independently released.  

Discover our music and our process

Writers have compared Punchbowl Astronauts to Husker Du, The Fray, The 1975, Snow Patrol, and The Temper Trap but Punchbowl Astronauts displays a high level of artistry that keeps its sound firmly in its own creative space. They cite familiar and legendary alternative acts such as Coldplay, Muse, The Police, and The Killers as their greatest influences but even with only a few released songs, it is evident they have their own distinct sound. The band prioritizes catchy melodies over all else and each member invests himself deeply in the craft of writing their material. Punchbowl Astronauts hope to connect with listeners and create a community of like-minded friends who joyfully share in the vibe and message of the music.  

« Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people »
– Prince