Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the OC Music Awards kicked off on January 4th with seven weeks of free showcases at different venues across the county. 35 local artists will compete for the titles of Best Live Band or Best Live Acoustic and a performance slot at the 2011 OC Music Awards, March 5 at the Grove of Anaheim. And, the voting is open now!
5-piece Anaheim-based band, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]She Screams Remedy[/lastfm], has just about everything on their side: youth, alternative good looks, kicking guitar hooks, otherworldly two-part harmonies centered around philosophical lyrics, a dedicated fan base, and the kind of music that inspires their peers and transcends easy labeling.
While their powerful, anthemic instrumentation punctuates the air with sharp barbs of sound, She Screams Remedy’s brooding vocals are almost ethereal. There is a melodic dichotomy to She Screams Remedy’s music; a yin and a yang; a light and a dark; a scream and then a remedy.
Comprised of what Trevor Koch (vocalist/guitarist) calls “anti-rock stars,” Kyrsten Gammon (vocalist), Anthony Agostinacci (drummer), Tim Berman (guitarist/keyboardist) and Chris Cisneros (bassist) [pullquote quote="It's such a great feeling. That connection with people that you've never met before. Being able to play where your heroes have played and knowing that you're making a difference to these kids who really need music to turn to." credit="Kyrsten Gammon"]are all full-time students or work full-time with no time to party hard. They devote their free time to the band and playing mostly competition shows. Koch, who is finishing up a philosophy major at USC and thinking about going into pre-law, says music is his number one passion but thinks musicians should “work hard with the music but don’t gimp yourself at life.”
She Screams Remedy has hardly “gimped” themselves at life. Even while devoting themselves to other aspects of their life, the band in its current incarnation has recorded music, finessed their craft, and played major shows like Bamboozle and Warped Tour. Gammon said that playing at Warped Tour was one of the coolest experiences of her life:
“I’ve always looked up to the bands on Warped Tour. You know, Thrice. They’re like the pioneers of Warped Tour. And to actually be able to play at Warped Tour, especially when we played up in San Francisco and to see the fans singing our songs.”
“It’s such a great feeling. That connection with people that you’ve never met before. Being able to play where your heroes have played and knowing that you’re making a difference to these kids who really need music to turn to.”
She Screams Remedy’s sound at first listen falls perfectly into the Warped Tour mold: Gammon’s dreamy voice has tonal similarities to Lacey Mosley’s from [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Flyleaf[/lastfm] or Hayley Williams from[lastfm link_type="artist_info"] Paramore[/lastfm], while the band sounds more like [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Versaemerge[/lastfm] with the progressive edge of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Circa Survive[/lastfm].
However, the more one listens, the more it becomes impossible to tag She Screams Remedy with any kind of definitive genre. Koch relayed a typical conversation about She Screams Remedy’s sound:
“‘Oh, so you guys are a hardcore band?’ Kind of not really. No screaming here…We don’t fit in a box. Especially the stuff we haven’t posted or anything. The newer stuff. It’s kind of like post-hardcore, but post-hardcore is totally dying. There’s no screaming, but it’s rough. It’s just what we like to do.”
Both Koch and Gammon don’t have typical post-hardcore vocalizations; their voices add some softness to the hard edges of the music and take them to a more sophisticated sonic level. Gammon who is nineteen now, joined the band when she was only 16-years-old, meeting the slightly older guys in the band at a creepy warehouse for her first audition. Koch explained:
“I found Kyrsten on Craigslist actually. It’s really funny because where we rehearse, it’s actually a giant warehouse and it’s my dad’s manufacturing plant so it looks like a scene from ‘Saw.’ So this 16-year-old little girl just came by herself to this giant warehouse with a bunch of guys. She probably walked in thinking she was going to die.”
Gammon who once had massive stage fright, but loved music enough to risk her life meeting some random guys in a warehouse, said that joining a band when she was sixteen changed her life for the better:
“It was big changing part of my life. Especially when you are 16-years-old, you learn how to drive, you’re almost done with high school, you’re getting your first job. So it was a really great time to learn who I was. It really helped me buckle down and understand what I wanted out of life. And I think that the band is really important, especially that we have the ability to help people with our music. It’s an incredible experience.”
“I guess I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience. It teaches you a lot of managerial skills. You have to really organize, buckle down, and divide up your time. Because it is a very time-consuming adventure. But it’s worth it. But it’s great to be able to say, ‘These are the things I’ve done.’ It’s a very humbling process I guess.”
[pullquote quote="And the kids here are incredible. Like, we have some of the best fans. And that's my favorite part of it. In Orange County, you have some diehard fans that will do anything for you." credit="Kyrsten Gammon"]
Once the band had fully settled into their current line-up and their very organized songwriting process, the kids got cracking on some recording with infamous Orange County punk rock producer legend, Eric Garten. Not only Garten has been supportive of their musical endeavors; Gammon explains that most of Orange County has been very encouraging–especially the fans.
“I think that there’s a lot of unity in Orange County…You know, surf music came from here. Our hardcore scene is very different than others. I think because they always call it the Orange County bubble, it helps cultivate a really different and unique kind of music scene. And the kids here are incredible. Like, we have some of the best fans. And that’s my favorite part of it. In Orange County, you have some diehard fans that will do anything for you.”
Motivated to get into the recording studio by the energy of their fans, but slowed down by full-time commitments and their collective eye for perfection, She Screams Remedy are now making good headway towards a full-length album:
“We cranked out an EP. We’ve just been slowly piecing an album together. We’ve had twelve songs done, but the last couple of years we’ve played literally nothing but contest shows.”
“That’s how we got Warped Tour and Bamboozle and all that stuff…It’s really hard. Like our band, I feel like we’ve done so much, but it’s all been contest shows. To be able to do that again next year, we have to just go through the whole competition process again.”
And perhaps patiently creating a perfect product is àpropos considering the context of She Screams Remedy’s name. Koch explains it as a metaphor about music is the remedy to life’s daily grind:
“One of my friends came up with it. It’s just a straight metaphor: She would be the music, Screams is like loud coming out of the speakers, and Remedy is just the music. It’s the fix. I remember when we first started playing it was my first year in college and I’d have to come home every weekend to play shows and practice and record and stuff and it kind of washed away the stresses of the week.”
[lastfm link_type="artist_info"]She Screams Remedy[/lastfm]-”Travesty”
The 2011 Showcase Series runs every Tuesday night, January 4 -February 15 with stops at:
Five Showcase Series finalists in each live category will then move on to the Showcase Series Finals.
2011 Best Live Band winner will receive a performance slot on the four Southern California Vans Warped Tour stops!
Night Five of the OC Music Awards Showcase Series features nominees for Best Live Band on Tuesday, February 1st at the Tiki Bar.
READ MORE INTERVIEWS ON KROQ.COM FROM SHOWCASE NIGHT 5 BANDS:
Friday, January 21st-She Screams Remedy
Saturday, January 22nd-Seedless
Sunday, January 23rd-Railroad to Alaska
Monday, January 24th- Pistolero
Tuesday, January 25th-Entice
You have the power to send one Showcase artist to the Best Live Acoustic Finals and Best Live Band Finals.
Cast your vote and enter to win a massive prize pack from the OC Music Awards partners (To be Announced). Voting will begin on December 27 and will be open through the last Showcase on February 15. The votes will be tallied and the band with highest score will automatically move on to their Series Finals! Click here to vote
LEARN MORE AT: OCMUSICAWARDS.COM