- Moniz Franco — Vocals
- Matt Jervis — Vocals
- Alison Murdock — Vocals
- Greta Boesel — Vocals
- Michael Shaw – Guitar
- Greg Studley – Guitar
- Andrew Stess — Bass
- Larry Marcus — Drums
SVR: Tell us about your band. How did you get started? How long have you been playing?
[Alison] The Open Source Band was formed in 2008 with the debut of Silicon Valley Rocks. Literally, it was a true Silicon Valley story — the band was formed via phone calls, Facebook, email, and quick conversations at conferences. True to our roots, we welcomed people who were freely available and unrestricted in their ability to build one of the most awesome cover bands in the Valley.
[Larry] Alison is amazing. Come on, let’s hear it for her! It’s just awesome to be playing with such great people/musicians and have this incredible venue and community to enjoy it all with.
[Alison] Oh, Larry. You say that to all the bands.
SVR: Who are your major influences?
SVR: What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune in the music business?
[Andrew] All of the above and a free night away from home.
[Larry] To the great White North.
[Alison] I’d like to keep playing — do more gigs. I’m psyched that the Open Source Band rallies every year to do this — and that more people want to join in the fun.
SVR: What are your day jobs? How does music influence your work and vice versa?
[Larry] I’m a “sprout stage” VC and an early investor/director at some companies that touch different aspects of music including: Pandora, a personalized Internet radio service; SoundHound, music search and discovery for mobile; and Root Music, a service that helps bands make the move to Facebook with its BandPage product.
[Andrew] I am a director at LyricFind, the first and leading legal provider of search and display for lyrics.
[Alison] I am founder of Silicon Valley Rocks and the VP of business development at GigaOM.
[Greta] I am a freelance writer and recently produced a CD of Greek Orthodox hymns. No electric guitars anywhere – just a capella voices.
[Greg] I regularly teach other musicians how to take my job. I am a guitarist and keyboardist with House of Floyd.
[Moniz] I am co-owner of a consulting firm, working on a demo reel for voiceovers and a studio vocalist. Pretty obvious music connection.
SVR: Why do you think music education is important?
[Alison] California is already experiencing a drastic shortfall in educational budgets. Most people don’t know it, but California is ranked 50th out of 50 states — scratch that: 51st if you include Guam — in terms of arts spending.
[Larry] Music enriches the soul, creates community and focus.
[Greta] For me, my participation in school music programs shaped my entire K-12 experience (and beyond) — creatively, academically and socially. I can’t imagine those years without it. Music education builds confidence, encourages personal expression, and brings kids together who might not otherwise interact.
[Moniz] Music education is critical for advanced thinking skills, and it is an extremely important emotional, creative and physical outlet for every child.
[Matt] Chicks dig violin, and so that’s what got me started.
SVR: What was your own experience learning music as a kid? Who flipped that switch in your brain?
[Alison] I played the piano, sang in the choir — all the normal stuff. When I attended the Ladies’ Rock Camp in Portland, OR and managed to form a band, write a song, and perform in 3.5 days — I realized that all that early training really paid off! Now, I am not only singing but a decent bass guitar player (Greg is my teacher) and using that piano training for wacky keyboard licks.
[Andrew] I loved music when I was little kid, and Abbey Road was my first album. My guitar teacher when I was six was a great influence, the music teacher in elementary school, my junior high band director, and the High School of the Arts. My switch was flipped because of my want and need for music and the great people that taught me.
[Larry] My mom noticed my makeshift drumset of tin cans and cardboard that I played with chopsticks. On my 13th birthday she asked if I wanted drum set… I liked that question, Mom. Music took over my free time at that point. At university, UC Jazz Ensembles (Director Susan Muscarella now of the JazzSchool in Berkeley) was very impactful both musically and community-wise.
[Greta] I studied classical piano from the ages of 5 to 18, but it was my choir and band teachers in junior high and high school who taught me that music could be FUN! Thanks Miss Willig, Mr. Board, and Mrs. Singer!
[Michael] I started piano when I was 7 or 8 in Ireland. The piano teacher lived around the block from us, and she would basically teach us by putting her hands on top of ours…but she had large breasts and large fingernails. We were literally caught in a booby trap and had choice but to play.
[Moniz] I began learning music when I was a toddler. My family is made up of musicians, and I had the luck of living close to NYC.