Music is Year-Round in the Coachella Valley
Written By: Sara Hyland Local Palm Springs Bands
Bandmates: Derek Jordan Gregg (vocals, guitar), Sean Poe (drums, vocals), Matt Styler (bass, vocals)
Coming off the positive response to their newly released EP Really Don’t Mind the Waiting, The Hive Minds have nowhere to go but up. Let’s not forget to mention they opened for Bernie Sanders when he paid a visit to the Desert. Yes, the Bernie Sanders. Complete with background checks and everything. They must be doing something right. Self-described as “indie rock wrapped in a fuzzy blanket of folk, ” these three gents have created a sound that is resonating with the Coachella Valley public. The excitement is reciprocated. The Hive Minds, too, receive an inexplicable enjoyment from the interaction between band and fans. “It’s like a high, ” Derek admits. “The energy of the crowd – sometimes you can’t sleep after.”
Bandmates: Dougie VanSant Jr. (vocals, guitar), Danny White (guitar, vocals) Mario Estrada (bass, vocals), Daniel Perry (drums)
One would think playing Coachella would cause a band to get a big head. Not The Flusters. “It was super cool, ” says Dougie, “but we’re still thinking about the next move.” This band is made up of self-proclaimed lovers of the intimacy of smaller venues like local art and music festivals. That kind of humility is what has built The Flusters’ unwavering fandom, along with their “dream surf” sound. At the beginning, all they wanted was a record. Now they just want to go wherever this new path takes them, and the Coachella Valley is inching them there. The band credits the desert audience with assuring them they’re doing the right thing. With the help of The Flusters and their song “That’s All I’ve Got Right Now, ” “rock and roll may save our souls tonight.”
Bandmates: Christina Reyes (vocals, keys), Adam Surdin (guitar), Brett McLaughlin (bass, vocals), Brian Pelletier (drums)
Awarded Best Band at the Coachella Valley Music Awards, it’s safe to say that Caxton is kind of a big deal in the Valley. Walk into beloved dive bar and pizzeria The Hood and their stickers are plastered all over the walls. But they’re going places. According to Christina, the band is always evolving. Until then, we can be thankful that Adam, Brett and Brian found Christina in LA and created the signature Caxton sound. The current sound is eight years in the making – since 2008 their songwriting has evolved from “frantic ideas” to “stories that have a beginning, a middle and an end.” As a result of the big win at the Awards, Caxton wants to reciprocate the honor with their best album yet. Now we must all wait in anticipation.
Bandmates: Alex Antonio (vocals), Frank Michel (lead guitar, vocals), James Hollis Eaton (rhythm guitar), Shawn “Stretch” Fisher (bass), Josh Ballard (drums, vocals)
90s alternative rock is not dead. At least not entirely. Remnants of it live in Hollace, a band that has created a sound through their influences. The name Hollace is derived from the middle name of guitarist James. This is but a glimpse into the closeness of these musical friends. These guys knew they had something special after winning a Battle of the Bands only two months after the initially forming. Indeed, when watching how the crowd responds to Hollace, the energy is palpable. Lead vocalist Alex has that Axl Rose stage presence that cannot be ignored, and Frank can shred like the best of them. When they aren’t encouraging everyone to rock out, you can find Hollace, depending on the member, teaching music, reading, playing on PlayStation or brewing their own beer.
Bandmates: Matt Costello (guitar, lead vocals), Jarrad Weaver (bass guitar), Dylan Costello (drums)
With a name like Cakes & Brains, it’s no surprise this band is made up of three fun-loving guys. Nearly a decade of music in the Valley is under their belts, creating a history and fan base that can’t be matched. “I had a guy call me and tell me our album was playing at the party where he was, ” recalls Jarrad. “It was an awesome feeling.” The reason for their success in the Valley is possibly due to the variety of genres touched on in their music, creating a sort of “reggae funk rock.” Because their last album Lords of Leisure was beloved by fans, their upcoming album Sunburn in Progress is sure to be another hit. It touches on five different genres and includes a three-part harmony. Expect it this Fall!
Bands in your Backyard!