By Michelle Colesanti

There’s been a lot of buzz locally about a local band called Actual Bank Robbers (ABR). The only thing these bank robbers hope to steal are new fans and some air time.

Band members are Bloomingdale High School graduate Pedro Amaral on lead vocals, Anthony Santaniello on lead guitar, Robert Tait on rhythm guitar, and Mike Pinder on drums. For live gigs, Austin Petersen is featured on bass.

Amaral met Tait and Pinder while working at Busch Gardens. Tait and Santaniello played music together in high school and always wanted to form a band. In the spring of 2015 while composing music, they reached out to Amaral to help with lyrics, and that song became their first single, Confetti. Pinder joined soon after and completed the foursome.

“We consider ourselves “Indie Dance-Rock,” but our music has a very present pop sensibility. We are a mix of the more eclectic, indie-sounding bands such as Two Door Cinema Club, mixed with the mainstream pop sound of something like One Direction, but they’re better looking than us,” added Amaral.

According to Santaniello, it’s all about the mood. “Moods that make you want to dance; moods that make you think about the people you care for. The best part is it feels so natural. I love this band and hope we can make music together for years.”

Their first CD, Checklist, was recently released.

“We decided right away after writing our first two songs Confetti and Wintercoat that we wanted to stick to a one-word naming system for songs. So we came up with the Checklist concept – the album’s song titles are a sort of mock list of everything someone would need to rob a bank – Shotgun, Flashlight, Backpack, Hideout, etc. The songs are all written based on personal experiences of ours such as first crushes, hangouts, heartbreak, our parents and more,” explained Amaral.

The band enjoys performing live and interacting with their fans. Pinder said that, “[It’s] all about having fun. The music is upbeat and energetic, and the lyrics are catchy and very tongue-in-cheek. The five of us are great friends and all have a very big sense of humor, and that comes out in the music. This is easily my favorite project I’ve ever been on. I’m very happy to be sharing this experience with my friends.”

Tait has the highest regard for all of his band mates. “I am just so incredibly lucky to know and be able to make super fun music with these guys.”

Checklist is available across most digital music platforms: iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, and CDBaby. You can stream through Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Prime. Physical copies are always available through a band member, at live gigs, and soon through the Website.

ABR will perform at the Second Annual Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival on Saturday, March 12. Performing several sets throughout the day as part of the festival, the show is included with park admission.

The band loves connecting with its fans. Listen to the music and let the band members know what you think at, Facebook, Twitter: @actbnkrob and Instagram: @actualbankrobbers.

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.