Pierce College students connect through music band show in Granada Hills

Pierce College was represented in three of the six bands performing last Friday at a Granada Hills house show just north of the Valley Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The show was hosted by Cardio Arts, a collective aimed at promoting local bands all artistic mediums.

Brittany Scheffer, 19, is a psychology major at Pierce and is the founder of Cardio Arts, which, along with booking bands, produces a monthly zine that contains photography, poems, short stories, drawings and just about any creative outlet that can be displayed in print.

Currently Scheffler interns at The Church on York, a music venue in Highland Park, and hopes to grow Cardio Arts into a larger scale curator for arts of all mediums.

“I started it I think mostly to bring people together,” Scheffer said. “I think the music scene in L.A. is kind of fragmented so I like the idea of booking shows where the bands are different so it’s an interesting variety of artists and everybody gets to make friends with each other and make connections so there’s sort of a networking aspect to it as well.”

So far Cardio Arts has gathered three other members that help Scheffer. Devonte Johnson, Taylor Oh, who assists with the zine and Tone Escoto, whose house was the scene for the night’s show.

Escoto has been hosting shows at his house since the beginning of the year and while house shows aren’t uncommon, this house has been treated to help dampen some of the sound so as not to disturb the surrounding residents.

Julian Tallman-Rogantini, 19, is a mechanical engineering major interested in fabrication and metal working but has been playing music since he was young thanks to his mother.

“My mom kind of always forced music at me throughout my life whether it was guitar, piano, flute,” Tallman-Rogantini said.

It wasn’t until he found the right instrument that his focus for music took hold.

“Then I was like, ‘Mom I wanna play drums,’ and she was like, ‘No,’ but finally she caved and that was the only thing that stuck,” Tallman-Rogantini said. “But after I started really getting into it, all of what I learned previously started coming back and I could apply what I had learned and it just grew naturally from there.”

Cesar Atlas, a 20-year-old music major at CSUN writes the music and lyrics for the band but Tallman-Rogantini has full control over the drums.

“When it comes to drums, especially in the beginning, I was like, ‘dude I don’t even know what I’m doing,’ and he’s like, ‘don’t even worry I got you,’” Atlas said. “He just makes it happen.”

Tallman-Rogantini and Atlas have been making music together since early in high school but their band The Unending Thread as it exists today began in 2012.

“That’s when we really started to take things seriously, started to record and play shows in the area,” Atlas said.

Atlas describes the sound of the band as a little bit of indie, a little bit of pop punk with funk and jazz influence.

“But we also aren’t afraid to get heavy,” Atlas said. “We do know how to bring the mosh.”

“That’s always fun. Being able to have two completely different sounding sets,” Tallman-Rogantini added. “We’ll play an indie show so we’ll bring out all of our lighter stuff, all of our dancy stuff and then we’ll go to a metal show and just throw everything against the wall.”

The Unending Thread is participating in this year’s Warped Tour Battle of the Bands. The band has a profile on the tour’s website and the winners are selected by the number of votes they receive.

“The Warped Tour Battle of the Bands is an online competition, there is no actual battle. People just need to vote once a day and get our buzz rating up and as long we’re in the top 100, we’ll be eligible to perform at warped tour,” Atlas said. “We tried before back when we barely had a couple singles for our first album so this time I feel like we’re a lot more prepared and we have a lot more experience.”

The voting is still going on and will end in early June. The band’s profile, voting and audio to some of their tracks can be found at warped.battleofthebands.com/u/theunendingthread.

Adrian Jardines, 19, is a student at Pierce who has been playing guitar for five years and is currently playing in The Voxes, a band made up of five Pierce students. Along with Jardines on guitar, the band consists of 19-year-old art major Alec Perada on bass, Brian Lopez, 19, a dentistry major playing guitar, singer Javier Valenzuela, 20, who’s looking to get an associate degree in recording and audio engineering and John Toledo, 19, who is an undecided major and plays on drums.

The name came after some confusion but eventually they were inspired by the name of another band.

“I wanted something with ‘The’ in it. I think it’s classic and simple,” Valenzuela said. “There’s this band that [Lopez and Toledo] listen to called Voxtrot and I liked the word vox. There’s the Vox amps that are great and vox for voice.”

The band met on the Pierce College campus last year when Toledo and Lopez were playing a Strokes song, which the band credits as one of their main influences. Valenzuela was walking by and recognized the song.

“He was walking by and started singing it,” Toledo said.

“So they told him about this idea and said ‘we should form a band’ and we all just kind of came together,” Jardines added.

“I asked if they played their own personal stuff and they did,” Valenzuela said. “I was extremely impressed they made stuff up on the spot and there you go. That’s basically a roundup of how we met. A ‘Pierce Roundup’ of how we met,” Valenzuela added with a laugh.

Since forming, The Voxes has been busy playing as many shows as it can.

“Last year we had a lot of live shows,” Jardines said. “We have one coming up this Tuesday at the Whiskey A Go Go. It’s our second time playing there.”

When it comes to Jardines’ reason for playing music, the creative process itself is what he enjoys the most.

“For me it’s just having fun playing music and creating music you like,” Jardines said. “If you like it, you like it. If you don’t like it you throw it away, or put it aside and just work on it.”

“Our message is just really to help people with music and know that everything’s OK,” Valenzuela said. “Try any output of any emotion and turn it into a piece of music. That’s what’s most important to us.”

Josh Soloman, 19, is a music major and was also present playing bass for the band Young Lovers, a name he said a fellow member came up with out of the blue while folding laundry.

Cardio Arts will be hosting their next show on May 9 at the same location in Granada Hills. More information can be found through facebook.com/cardioarts.