Take the plunge: Learn that instrument. Take the plunge: Head for the city. Take the plunge: Form a band. Record your songs. Go on tour.
All first steps are leaps into a vast, deep unknown.
From the moment you hold out your hand to introduce yourself to someone new…to the first note you utter onstage at your first show…to the time you decide that there’s no turning back and take that turnoff in hot pursuit of the career of your dreams.
The last installment of HEADROOM LA 2015 is dedicated to those ballsy times; the ones where anxiety and uncertainty have you backed up against the edge of passing out or puking, but you steel yourself, clear your thoughts, and go hell-for-leather anyway.
Because deep down you know there’s no other way. Despite the mistakes, the screw ups, the impulsive decisions: you took the plunge, now you own it.
The coolest part about all this? You make friends.
A little psychological phenomenon known as The Pratfall Effect sees to this; simply put, people like you more when you’re willing to show you’re not perfect. And as you know, there’s no better place to show the world how not perfect you are than in your very first band.
So we asked four of the artists playing this weekend’s youbloomLA2015 Music Festival, in Pasadena, to let us in on the awkward details of the first bands they were ever in. We’ve even made a special playlist just for the occasion.
Take the plunge: press play, read on, and make some new friends.
Danielle (lead vox, Aigua), THE PLUNGE: “I tried to form a band in 8th grade, but it didn’t last very long. I can remember sitting in my living room, everyone barely knowing how to play their instrument, and me discussing that my best friend was going to manage us…it’s all pretty funny looking back. I forget what our name was but I think it had something to do with bow-ties.”
A Turkish-Brazilian duo with a new twist on latin sounds firmly in their cross hairs, Aigua deliver sweet, sparse melodies in their signature laid-back way. Expect a set that will refresh your ears after a long day of gig-hopping. Beautiful work. For fans of: Sufjan Stevens, Maia, Rodrigo y Gabriela
Julián (lead vox/guitar, RendeR), THE PLUNGE: “My first band was called Sick Town Bastards. I was 11 or 12. We played cover songs from Faith No More, Papa Roach, System of a Down, Pearl Jam and others. The first time we played was in a talent contest at school. We were the best band, even though we were the babies. The music teacher took me (under his wing) from then on. I’m very grateful, because that small band made me take big steps: playing with older schoolmates in Aghast, recording my first songs in the studio, playing music venues in Valparaiso (a Chilean port town; beautiful but dangerous) with fake IDs, using being in a band as a chick magnet technique, or getting into trouble.”
All the way from Chile, with commercial sensibility coming out of their eyeballs, RendeR are polished, tight, and they know their genre like nobody’s business. Headbangers welcome. For fans of: Frequency 54, Underwhelmed, Staind
Carolina Plaza (composer/vox, Carito Plaza), THE PLUNGE: “My first band was call FunkReal. It was a Chilean G-Funk band, and actually, we were pretty good! I’m talking about the year 2000; we got some of our videos on MTV, and we played in big festivals such as Rock Al Parque (the biggest festival in Colombia). Good times, good memories.”
Jazzy and sensual R&B is given the latin treatment in the hands of the very talented Carolina (“carito” means little Carolina) Plaza. A capable collaborator, but strong enough to stand alone, the music is danceable, infectious, and smooth. For fans of: Aaliyah, India.Arie, a one woman TLC
Cooper, (bass & vox, Ultra Violent Rays), THE PLUNGE: “My first band was a punk three-piece called Bang Sugar Bang. We sucked when we started. I remember I was a ball of nerves before our first show because I really couldn’t play bass and I could barely sing. My bandmate was much more experienced than me. He could tell I was freaking out. He took me aside and said, “It doesn’t matter if you can’t play or sing. Rock ‘n’ roll is 99% attitude.” I got through that show on attitude alone. By the end of our seven years together we were a great band.”
Is this the noirest electro you can find? The Ultra Violent Rays aren’t exactly violent, but they do craft a masterful, cold sultry sound that promises something hot-blooded despite evoking a kind of endless chill. Lovingly produced, carefully communicated electro-class for the space rogue in all of us. For fans of: Joy Division, Gary Numan, Patti Smith
Artists featured will be performing this weekend THU-FRI-SAT 10.11.12 at the youbloomLA 2015 Music Festival, in northeast Los Angeles. There are three different venues, fresh giveaways, a photo contest, and more. Check out the lineup and come on down tomorrow to meet your new friends.