No Money in the Lyrics

Oxnard High school students discuss their hopes for their band and how it started


”My uncle is part of a band, to the point where I also wanted to create solo music and create a band with my friends and jam out,” said senior guitarist and lead singer Chris Pascua. AC/DC, Metallica, Iron Maiden, and Pink Floyd have been many student’s inspirations sometimes to form a band with all their own musical talents and splendid ideas. But many students have a different taste in music and have an idea of also becoming famous later in life, but not all bands have the same path in many occasions.

R&B and rock band JACE was started by Chris being a solo artist with creating his own songs with the name of Chrxs. Guitarist, bassist, and Oxnard High school graduate Armando Castillo, and senior drummer Jade Ricasata soon became involved in playing music with Pascua. Senior producer and pianist Eddie Quirino, Ricasata, and Pascua have known  each other since the second grade of elementary school. In the beginning, they decided to play music together for the fun experience with each other. Later on Quirino was invited to the group so he can play bass with them.  

“I started making beats and experimenting with my computer,” said Quirino. Quirino started producing during his sophomore year when he started creating unique sounds with his sister’s keyboard. One late night Quirino was busy with his keyboard and came up with his name, “Half Asleep”. The group agreed to stay on track and create a band name for themselves which soon they became known as JACE. The name JACE was brought up by Quirino by having each letter of the band members names into the acronym, JACE. The music created by Pascua and Quirino is uploaded on their Soundcloud by the name of HalfAsleep.

The band is involved playing as many genres their interested to and also covering many songs they have in mind. In addition, Chris and Quirino have been creating new songs and sounds. JACE’s music reflects on past relationships and experiences that are important to them and their audience can relate to.

JACE has been part of multiple of events and worked hard into getting better equipment and instruments in order to keep the band on the track. Two out of four members have a job, with the benefit of receiving money they use it for buying better equipment and instruments.

“Were not doing it for the money. Were doing it for fun, but if a record label is interested were probably only going to do an EP,” said Pascua. JACE also wants to improve and refine their sound to make them unique and different from other bands with the same genres.

JACE created business cards so they can spread out the word for who they are and also through social media. Most importantly they would like others to listen to their music and have as many chances to perform their musical talents. Ricasata said, “You don’t want music to be your job. You want it to be your passion and your craft.”

  “It’s amazing that he always makes it to band practice,” said Quirino. Castillo balances his schedule with college by having his work done as possible and never misses a day of practice with his best friends. Ricasata sometimes is also busy from a jazz band he’s also involved in. JACE practices during any spare time they have scheduled or during the weekends. Before accepting gigs or a place to perform they also make sure they have the spare time. In addition, they also accept voluntary gigs. Pascua said, “We do it because it’s fun for us and it’s fun for the crowd.”

Alternative rock band Steadyfast was created by four best friends who were passionate with music individually since junior high later having the idea of creating the band during high school.

Senior lead guitar and singer Leonardo “Leo” Lopez looked up to Megadeth and other rock bands. He listened to a lot of metal music. During his spare time he plays the guitar, creates new sounds, and songs. “Stay dedicated and keep playing. Stay consistent to what your playing, and also if you’re writing a song come back to it and then later add your ideas,” said Lopez.

Lopez has been friends with senior and drummer Jacan Stone since intermediate school where they both love discussing about music and their similarities. “Sometimes they need to cover the basics of their music or just have fun in general as a band,” said Stone.

Later on, Lopez met senior and bass player Michael “Mike” Reyes who lived in the same neighborhood as Lopez’s. Lopez and Reyes shortly after became good friends also and was introduced to Stone. Band practice is held at Reyes’s home during the weekend or if the members have spare time during the weekdays. To know what’s coming up you can follow Steadfast on twitter by the name of @Steadyfastband and also their Soundcloud with the name of Steadyfast.

Senior rhythm guitarist and singer Nathan Dale was invited to join the band because the band’s previous rhythm guitarist didn’t show enough effort as the rest of the members during practice or outside of practice. Dale was inspired by Led Zeppelin, Mac DeMarco, and many other great influences. Nathan Dale said, “Everyone has to stay dedicated even if you’re not with the band.”

Lopez was the creator of their band logo which is “Fry the Fly”. Fry came up in Lopez’s dream one night with a tuxedo on. The next day Lopez thought it meant something so he later researched in the web for approximately an hour looking for any sort of design of a fly in a tux. Surprisingly it was not found and later discussed it with the other members and claimed it as their own band logo.

The band name was brought up by Dale when he was writing lyrics for a new song. Dale combined the words steady and fast soon the band was recognized as Steadyfast.

The band would like to keep improving and put much effort towards their music by respecting each other’s schedules and await what’s coming up for them in the near future. “It would be nice if we could play in other places like out of state,” said Stone.

“We would like to write an album, record it, spread our music as much as we could to get known. And then from there maybe we can start touring and have fun with our music,” said Dale. In addition, Stone said, “Maybe we can get an EP going then later on go locally, maybe cross state.”

“We’ll try to send our music to many different record labels,” said Lopez. Dale also mentioned, “I like to play guitar by myself but then with the band, we all have the same musical taste and experiment with our musical talents.”

“When we come together everyone is similar enough and different enough to the point when it’s fun to play,” said Stone.