Category Archives: interviews

Open Source Band is ready to bring it

Band Members:

  • Moniz Franco — Vocals
  • Matt Jervis — Vocals
  • Alison Murdock — Vocals
  • Greta Boesel — Vocals
  • Michael Shaw – Guitar
  • Greg Studley – Guitar
  • Andrew Stess — Bass
  • Larry Marcus — Drums
Tech Industry Affiliations:
Walden Venture Capital,

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?

OSB: [All] Radiohead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Police, Blondie, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, XTC, The Jam, Kate Bush, The Replacements

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.

Feedbomb: “…a little bit of fame is always nice.”

Band Members:

  • Andy Barton – Lead Vocals,
  • Randi Zuckerberg – Vocals
  • Chris Pan – Guitar
  • Robert Johnson – Keyboard
  • David Ebersman – Bass
  • Sean Chaffin – Drums
Tech Industry Affiliations:
Zuckerberg Media
, [formerly] Quora

SVR: Tell us about your band. How did you get started? How long have you been playing?
Feedbomb: We got together last January to practice for Facebook’s 7th Birthday Party on Feb 4th 2011.
AB: The first band I was ever in was high school. It was a cover band and we tried out for the battle of the bands but didn’t make it. I still blame our drummer…:)
CP: I’ve been playing since high school, although I took a long break after college and got back into playing a couple of years ago.
RZ: I have been performing “covers” ever since I was 8 years old and convinced that I was Ariel the Little Mermaid

SVR: Who are your major influences?


AB: Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Bon Jovi, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Black Crowes
CP: Ritchie Sambora (Bon Jovi), Slash (Guns ‘N Roses), Kirk Hammett (Metallica)
DE: We have an eclectic set list, so that is hard. Maybe we are notable for being one of the few bands in the world that can claim both Madonna and Foo Fighters as our influences.
RZ: Typically, anything you might hear played at 2am at your favorite bar. Or anyone who has had a recurring show in Vegas.

SVR: What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune in the music business?

AB: For me at least, that ship has sailed. I am seeking to have fun and make some good music.
CP: Just looking for the next gig where the crowd is dancing and singing along!
DE: No fortune, but a little bit of fame is always nice.
RZ: Mostly YouTube superstardom

SVR: What are your day jobs?

Feedbomb: Andy Barton – Recruiter at Quora and previously at Facebook Randi Zuckerberg, Founder at R to Z Media, previously Consumer Marketing at Facebook Chris Pan, Program Manager at Facebook Robert Johnson, Director of Engineering at Facebook David Ebersman, CFO at Facebook Sean Chaffin, User Operations at Facebook

SVR: How does your music influence your work or vice versa?

AB: These days I’m enjoying the ease of exploring new music while I work through online services like Spotify and Pandora. I believe listening to music while I work keeps me more focused and in certain cases, gives me more energy.
CP: I have worked with many bands and musicians such as Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, 30 Seconds to Mars as part of helping them optimize their presence on Facebook Pages and using Subscribe to connect with fans.
RZ: Feedbomb is made up entirely of current Facebook employees and Facebook alumns, so there is a huge work influence there.

SVR: Why is music education important?

AB: I think it’s important to give students the access to learn new things, especially things that allow them to be more creative and artistic.
CP: Music is a fun and enjoyable challenge to hone discipline, learning, and creative skills applicable to many areas in life. It’s also a great way for kids to spend free time.
RZ: Music education is the first thing that gets axed when there are budget cuts in a school district and that’s a horrible thing. As a child, I would have been lost without music.

SVR: What was your own experience learning music as a kid? Who flipped that switch in your brain?

AB: I remember music classes as far back as 1st grade and them memories are all good ones. I even remember my first music teacher and think she certainly had an impact on getting me a lot more interested in music and enough positive feedback to think I might be decent at it..:)
CP: I watched a senior named Charlie Kim play Metallica’s “One” at my high school’s battle of the bands as a sophomore and I thought it was really cool. I was a beginner then, set a goal of learning “One,” bought some books, practiced a bunch, and formed a band. Here’s me playing at my high school’s battle my senior year:
DE: I always loved listening to music. The emotional connection you can make with a great song was something that intrigued me for as far back as I can remember. So it was an obvious thing for me to want to make music when I was old enough to pick up a guitar.