The Open Source Band is an SVRocks tradition – available to the public for use and modification beyond its original design. Band members this year include: Jonah Matranga, Moniz Franco, Whitney Nichole, Greg Studley, Larry Marcus, Andrew Stess, Maxine Marcus and Alexandra Elliott.
Tell us about your band. How did you get started? How long have you been playing?
The Open Source Band was formed in 2008 with the debut of Silicon Valley Rocks. 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. We’ve added new and different players every year.
Who are your major influences?
Radiohead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Police, Blondie, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, XTC, The Jam, Kate Bush, The Replacements, Duffy, One Direction
What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune in the music business?
All of the above and a free night away from home.
What are your day jobs? How does music influence your work and vice versa?
Larry is a “sprout stage” VC at Walden Venture Capital and an early investor/director at digital media companies including: Pandora (Internet radio); SoundHound (music / sound search); Aarki (joyful mobile advertising), Boombotix (ultraportable audio), BandPage (online Platform for bands); Jukely (concert discovery with friends), LessThan3 (Live Online platform) and LyricFind, a service that helps bands make the move to Facebook with its BandPage product. Andrew is a director at LyricFind, the first and leading legal provider of search and display for lyrics. He also does biz dev for RDIO. Alison is the founder of Silicon Valley Rocks and the VP of business development at Gigaom. Jonah is a regularly touring musician, former lead singer of Far and is super well-versed on the use of tech to keep his fans happy and informed. Greg regularly teaches other musicians how to take my job and is a guitarist and keyboardist with House of Floyd. Moniz is co-owner of a consulting firm, working on a demo reel for voiceovers and a studio vocalist. Whitney runs Songbird Studios and is a vocal instructor to many of us. Alexandra is high student at George Washington High in SF. Maxine is in an 8th grader in Hillsborough.
Why do you think music education is important?
Music enriches the soul, creates community and focus. Music education is critical for advanced thinking skills, and it is an extremely important emotional, creative and physical outlet for every child. Frankly, none of us would be where we are now without.
What was your own experience learning music as a kid? Who flipped that switch in your brain?
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.
[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.