Local rock bands


Photo courtesy of Oscar Angel

The Bay Area is famous for being the starting point for many musicians, such as Metallica, Green Day, Carlos Santana, Tupac Shakur, and many more. Stratejacket is an alternative rock band that was founded in the Bay Area with three band members: Fabian Angel, Jackson Roemers, and Nate Mangold. 

Alternative rock is a mixture of rock and the band’s own creativity. Alternative rock first made an appearance in the 1970’s becoming more popular in the 1990’s.A band that really succeeded in fame and is alternative rock is The strokes. The Strokes is a band from New York that formed in 1998, releasing their first album Is This it in 2001.  

“It’s hard work you know, it’s a lot of competition and commuting,“ Nate Mangold from Stratejacket said when asked about what it is like being in a band in the Bay Area. Every band has its own way of recording its music; however, Stratejacket records the audio of each person individually. The process of recording is that each instrument and vocal is recorded on its own making the editing process more difficult however this will obtain a better sound for the song. Editing a song is a long and difficult process, not only do you have to actually make the song with all the audio you have but you have to make the song sound right to the listeners. Stratejacket had several singles released and all of those songs were made and recorded by the band. Creating and editing music is very difficult that may be the case but being signed under a label carries all the weight of the difficulty of creating and editing music. The label will provide a producer with their studio so that they can properly record your band and edit the songs. Stratejacket aims to have band practice three times every week. These band practices typically last for several hours in an attempt to perfect the sound that is made by the band. Stratejacket has to commute every time they go to band practice, typically having to drive 20 minutes. Stratejacket also has to commute to their performances and on average it’s a one hour drive to the show. With the rise of gas prices, commuting is a lot more expensive and having several band practices and performances within a week, it becomes very expensive every time to get gas. When Statejacket goes to these performances,it oftenly consists of three artists playing. It is hard trying to obtain the people’s choice because there are several other bands that can easily take your place. This makes the music industry very competitive. When going out to the performances, you must play your best not only for the people and fans, but there are people that could praise your music and recommend you to a label. Ciggie is a hard/punk rock band that was formed in the middle of 2020, with only two people in the band: Chris Moreno and Geovani Salto. Ciggie had many difficulties: struggling with the environment and setting of 2020 and  the state and reputation of the band. 

Releasing music can be very risky at times, with the responsibility of making sure that your songs are original but also likable. Someone interested in releasing music would also have to make sure that their music cannot be copyrighted, or else they can be possibly sued. Being on a label helps manage music production, legal matters of the music that is produced and much more. Additionally, obtaining the attention of a label can be a lot easier than one thinks. 

“We just tagged them on an Instagram post and they reached out to us,” Jackson Roemers from Stratejacket said. During the early years of the band, Stratejacket posted several posts of them playing altogether. These posts consisted of good audio quality and fine visual backgrounds. The band then decided that they should make an attempt to reach out to a label. Later on, the band decided to notify the label by tagging them on an Instagram post which obtained the attention of Edgeout Records. Edgeout records then proceed to contact Stratejacket which led the ban to many more opportunities. Edgeout records is a label that strands off of UMG ( Universal Music Groups ). UMG owns several other labels and those labels contain artists such as Taylor Swift, The Beatles, The Backstreet Boys, Kendrick Lamar, BTS, and many more. 

The band then began to communicate more with Edgeout Records; however, this was all during the pandemic, so the band could not meet the label in-person. The pandemic also affected the amount of performances Stratejacket performed around the Bay Area. To sum it up, being with a label creates more problematic situations that a band wouldn’t have if they weren’t signed under a label.

“It’s tough because there’s a lot more stuff that goes on and there’s much harder decisions you have to make and it’s when you have someone else telling you what to do sometimes and that can be stressful and it can be kind of scary,” Jackson Roemers from Stratejacket said. 

Nonetheless, it comes at a cost. When under a label, you live with the consciousness of someone relying on your success. You would also have to make music for that label, meaning that you now have to make it your main priority in life by using your time more wisely and setting aside other interests. 

“I feel like we started the band because we love music,” Chris Moreno from Ciggie said. 

When interviewing several bands, they all had started their bands because they shared an interest in music. Music tends to have an effect on your emotions: anger, sadness, happiness, and many more. All these bands that make music get to express their love and passion for music. These songs can make you feel various ways, which is what makes music so special. Music can also be made with one’s creativity by making the song rather odd and different from many mainstream genres. Alternative rock is an example of one’s creativity and a mainstream genre of music combined. Rock would be considered the more mainstream genre. People’s creativity led to many new genres such as alternative rock, classic rock, punk rock, indie rock, and many more.  want to create their own music by mixing their feelings with rock which created 

“Our influences just drive us to be better musicians and we just put all of our existence into one band and then Stratejacket was formed,” Fabian Angel from Stratejacket said. 

Fabian and Jackson both went to Fremont High School and have known each other since. Towards the end of their high school experience, they began to play with each other, but it was not until later on they declared Stratejacket a band. Stratejacket had several prior names, and they also had a different drummer at the time. “ It felt like magic,” stated Jackson When Fabian and Jackson played with Nate Mangold for the first time. Over the years of practice, Stratejacket has been perfecting their audio. 

Stratejacket and Ciggie stated that they both had a strong passion for music but also struggled with starting out. Ciggie was also created during the lockdown, and it was difficult for them to decide what they wanted to do with the band.

Overall, all these bands struggled starting out their bands. Stratejacket and Ciggie both started their bands in the Bay Area during the pandemic, both having their own set of problems. Ciggie struggled trying to endure being an independent band while also struggling to choose what exact genre they wanted to be. Stratejacket struggled with trying to work with a label without having much contact since the pandemic limited them to meet the label and limited the performances they could perform. However, both these bands have now since been performing, and Stratejacket will be going into production for their first album.