Making a career from playing in a band is putting your faith into a happy accident and trusting in something that organically arose from the Earth.
Miles Davis, legendary Jazz guru, said he was no accident when describing his own rise to prominence. There’s not much mysticism when sitting alone in a room grinding out countless hours of practice. Having an ear and passion for music is a seed. Persistence, tenacity and hard work are water and soil in which that seed can blossom.
No matter how talented four or five individual musicians are, musical ability, alone, will not guarantee any creative success whatsoever. The combination of band members and it’s origin couldn’t have been planned. Drive By Cinema, a local Pop-Punk band, is the direct result of this spontaneity.
“This entire band is a happy accident,” Singer Jesse Alezano said with a laugh.
Guitarist Gabriel Olea Macias agreed, saying, so are the members.
“That’s how we got Ivan Oliva to join the band,” he said. “He is our bass player. Initially, he didn’t want to join the band. We got him to help with recording a song and had a show coming up. He said, ‘Alright fine, I’ll do that.’ When we asked if he wanted to join the band, he said ‘No, I don’t.’ We took him to a bar and after two Adioses, he said, ‘Sure I’ll join the band. I’m having fun with you guys.’ ”
Here’s a warning to all young musicians out there when drinking: you may end up in a Pop-Punk band the following day. Alezano and Macias both laughed after sharing that story. Their friendship arrived from a sober but equally unplanned path. They happened to meet in a songwriting class at Antelope Valley College.
“It was one of those things by fate,” Macias said. “We got paired up on a project and everything started flowing from there. This entire band came from AVC. Our original drummer and I met in the ‘Beginning Rock Band’ class. This band wouldn’t exist without the Commercial Music program there. We’re really privileged to have that. Especially, for people in college, it’s a tough time. You’re on your own for the first time, even if you’re still at home. You’re just trying to find your way and some other friends out there.”
Alezano describes what his life was like around that time.
“Songwriting was the only music class I took before I dropped out of college,” he said. “Initially, I went to college for political science. I had no direction and didn’t know what I wanted to do. They told me I had to take an elective course and I picked songwriting and all fell into place from there.”
In a continuation of these happy accidents, Drive By Cinema have recently recorded a new single with producer/engineer Jonathan Mireles, titled “Summer Sonnet.”
Mireles has recently worked with Travis Barker of Blink-182 and rapper Machine Gun Kelly — two of the band’s biggest influences. Their new single combines Pop-Punk and vibe together under one song.
With the use of live drums and electronic beats, Drive By Cinema’s style continues to evolve under the guidance of Mireles in the studio.
“This was a sound we were always trying to go for anyway,” Alezano said. “It wasn’t something we had to shift into. It was definitely a learning curve getting used to certain things in the studio but our producer (Mireles) is so good at what he does”
For Macias, the recording process became a bucket list moment.
“I got to use the direct sounds that Matt Skiba (Blink 182’s guitarist) used on the latest Blink album. So I just tried to go super Blink when creating the lead riff in the song. I got to touch Matt Skiba’s guitar. It was the greatest moment of my life.”
When asked about the future of the band, Macias said, “I want to see how far this band can go. I wouldn’t say I’m putting my life on hold, but I’m trying to give everything I have to it. I want to make this a career. I want to keep playing in this band as long as I can.
Alezano said when it comes to the band, it’s not so much that’s he’s putting his life on hold because the band is his entire life.
“I don’t really have a back-up plan,” he said. “I’m putting my all into it and it has to happen.”
Beyond the songs, friendship is the glue holding any good band together and being able to find those crazy enough to pursue the dream together. Drive By Cinema is on that road together.
“In five years, Drive By Cinema will be the biggest Pop-Punk band in Southern California,” Alezano said.
Macias said with a laugh, if they don’t do that, then they will never be a band again.
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