How did the opportunity to be part of, ‘If I Stay’ come to be?
About 3 weeks after our tour van rolled over and nearly killed us last year, we got an email out of the blue from MGM asking if we’d be interested in playing the part of Adam (Jamie Blackley)’s band in the film. Ben and I were the only ones physically able enough to do it after the crash (barely, at that) so we gave it a shot. We played some tunes for their casting directors and chatted for a bit, but ended up just improvising and jamming over some chords. We had no idea what we were doing; I think we were nervous or something. Anyways, somehow they dug what they saw and heard, and picked us just about on the spot. It was pretty cool.
Tommy Alto ‘If I Stay’ Premiere Los Angeles
As frontman in Tommy Alto, what did you learn from playing back up?
Being a frontman takes a lot of energy, since you need to be completely aware of everything that’s happening on (and to some extent, off) stage at all times, and be pretty in control of the show. It was nice to be able to just hang out and jam with Ben and Ryan (Willamette Stone’s drummer in the film, and real life drummer of Tough Lovers, another great Vancouver indie act). No thoughts about what to say in between songs or anything like that. Just straight feeling the music. Really chill!
Jamie Blackley plays the role of Adam, Mia Hall’s [Chloe Grace Mortez] boyfriend: Were you Jamie’s mentor on how to act like a Rockstar?
Jamie’s already a rockstar at heart. He fit the role perfectly without any real coaching! It was interesting to play in a fictional band with a frontman who comes off like he’s been a touring musician all his life when the cameras are rolling, but in reality has no proper experience playing in a band at all. That’s the sign of a great actor.
Is there a memorable moment/ story on set that will always stay with you?
The first thing Ben said to Chloe Moretz was accidentally describing his hairstyle as a queef instead of a quiff. Hilarity ensued.
With such a poignant storyline: Love, Life, and relationships. Did, ‘If I Stay’ touch you in some way personally?
In the film, Chloe’s entire family goes through a horrific car wreck. Considering we started filming only about a month after the band went through the exact same thing while on tour, it hit home pretty hard. We definitely all share an emotional connectional to the film.
Do you see any more Film roles in your future?
Ben and I have both done a bit of background stuff here and there since the filming of, ‘If I Stay’ nothing major. We’ve mostly been too busy with the band. But there’s been talk of a sequel, so who knows what might happen in the future!
What’s next for Tommy Alto?
We’re almost done our 3-month long Canadian and Western American tour, so we’re pretty excited to get home and play some hometown shows (Sept 26 @ The Roxy with Dear Adelaine and The Vidos!), write some new stuff, and keep touring. We’ll be hitting all of Canada again next year, as well as the Western, Mid-Western, and Eastern States. Lots of shows. Lots of fun.
As the abundant playlists of summer jams veer to an end, ‘Static Noise’ finds a place to swim through everyone’s veins.
To a record and vibe that we cannot wait to hear live.
Honesty blurs musical boundaries and experimentation feels key. A gentle ode as the soft winds blow, swinging hips sway to the 60‘s, eyes close to a psychedelic circus like mood, and blues cut you deep.
Brian Lopez is not afraid to make you fall in love again. Let’s start where it all began:
Rock n Roll- A fine battle between fast and slow. Lopez prevails fierce and relaxed to the world unknown.
Drake’s house. I bet it’s nice, that sunnuvabitch.
Home is where your story begins, could you tell us a bit about yours.
I was born and raised in the deep Southwest of Tucson, Arizona. Aside from a 6 month stint in Barcelona in 2005, and various stints abroad whilst touring, I’ve remained in my desert dwelling of downtown Tucson.
How did Music find you?
In 6th grade I took a music class at my school, Roskruge Bilingual. The first day of class our teacher, Mr. Holmes, asked the class to choose which instrument they’d like to learn for the remainder of the year: drums or guitar. I wanted desperately to learn drums…if only to play the opening riff on The Offspring’s “Keep ’em Separated.” But alas there was only one drum kit for a class of approximately 30 kids. I’d hardly get any chance to practice. So I opted for the guitar, by default. Flash-forward to 6 years later where I received a classical guitar scholarship at the University of Arizona. That’s when I knew I was fucked.
Photo By: Di Holmes
I honed in on classical guitar throughout college as I was a classical guitar performance major. I’m not nearly as regimented as I once was on my nylon string…but some remnants of those days remain in the hands — hence my preference for playing a classical guitar during solo gigs, as opposed to the steel-string, like most. I just feel like the nylon lends itself more equipped for my style of music and delivery..and further separates my performances from those of a standard singer/songwriter who typically will use chunky chords on a steel string. I recently did a singer/songwriter showcase in Los Angeles with 30 handpicked songwriters throughout the world — there was a performance night where all writers had to perform 3 songs from their catalogue. Out of all of these songwriters/performers I was literally the only one who played a nylon string guitar. Everyone else elected the steel string. A couple went with piano. Anyhow…this revelation made me giddy.
Static Noise the title of your upcoming Album, set for release September 2014.Tell us more:
This is STRNGRS tearing up the scene. Fresh Independence’s Band to watch out for.
Answered by: Garrett Drinon [Guitarist] of STRNGRS.
How did music find you and STRNGRS come to be?
I’m pretty sure the heartbeat in the womb was how that happened. STRNGRS came from a long history of Chase and I figuring out how we can sound together, with Chase playing different instruments along the way, until we came to this drum and guitar scenario and met Carson, which completeled this thing in ways that we never could have planned.
Undeniably, your vocals are powerfully so. Cannot imagine the outlet this may bring to you. In retrospect, how does the songwriting process work for you?
Each song comes in it’s own ways. Someone may start an idea, but it’s always a collaboration by the time it sounds like us.
Two EP’s under your belt and a Debut LP in the works. What can you tell us about the journey thus far?
We’d be playing music no matter what, but we’re very happy we’ve found each other. Good musicians are easy to find; people who are on the same page are not.