Open Air Stereo: From the Shores of Laguna to Stardom
Since 2005, the members of Open Air Stereo have been working to make it big, and with today's release of their self-titled EP, this could be their year. The Laguna Beach based band has been busy recording and touring for the last year and has found inspiration all around them.
You might recognize lead singer Chase Johnson and the band from the 2004 to 2006 MTV show that oozed drama, Laguna Beach, which of course was my (and every other girls’) guilty pleasure back in our middle school days. Johnson believes the band has evolved since the show and has really found their niche. “If you practice your craft enough, and you stick with it enough, like we have, you just continually grow,” says Johnson.
The band has released their single “Damned,” a “damn good song” that gives us a taste of the band’s catchy sound — which drummer Nick Gross describes as “progressive alternative pop.” I would also liken their sound to a love child of Imagine Dragons and Paramore with a splash of One Direction. The EP, which drops September 23, was mostly written on tour, as the band was cooped up in a van while they made their way from venue to venue. “It was cool because instead of goofing off, we took all the time that we had traveling and we made a lot of new music from our inspirations of being on the road,” says Johnson. Besides “Starbucks and whiskey,” one of the band’s favorite parts of making this record was being able to work with producer Neal Avron who has worked with artists like Switchfoot and Linkin Park, two of Open Air Stereo’s favorite bands.
The band is not only made up of talented musicians, but also authentic do-gooders. Open Air Stereo has teamed up with Pledge Music and will be donating 20 percent of all money raised from the first $10,000 of EP sales, and 50 percent from anything above their goal goes to three different charities: The Young and Brave, Autism Speaks, and City of Hope. If you make a pledge, you’re entered for a chance to hang out with the band, get a Skype drum lesson from Nick, receive a signed guitar, and more! Pretty cool, if you ask me.
While the details haven’t been worked out just yet, fans can expect a tour in the near future. “We pride ourselves on being a live band,” says Johnson. “We really love to perform, and I think it’s because we love writing the music and when you get on stage it’s that much more exciting to portray your creation to people that are willing to listen.”
If you can’t wait to see the band until they tour, you’re in luck! Axs TV filmed the band’s performance at the Bluebird Theater-Denver and will be airing the show on November 25.
Photo courtesy of the band