Open Source Band – Rock if you want in!

http://www.facebook.com/OpenSourceBand

    Band Members:

  • Moniz Franco — Vocals
  • Matt Jervis — Vocals
  • Alison Murdock — Vocals
  • Michael Papenburg – Guitar
  • Jeff Hanson – Guitar
  • Greta Boesel — Keys
  • Andrew Stess — Bas
  • Larry Marcus — Drums

SVR: Tell us about your band. How did you get started? How long have you been playing?

OSB:

[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 cover 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?

OSB:

[Andrew] All of the above and a free night away from home.

[Larry] Maybe mobile or Facebook Credits will help us reach the promised lands.

[Alison] I’d like to keep playing — do more gigs. I’m just thrilled that the Open Source Band rallies every year to do this — and that people want to join in the fun.

SVR: What are your day jobs? How does music influence your work and vice versa?

OSB:

[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 marketing at GigaOM.

[Greta] I’m currently a Document Archivist at UCSF. My co-worker and I sometimes sneak off into a particularly reverberative stairwell to sing duets of Greek Orthodox hymns and 80s power ballads. We’re thinking of starting a concert series.

[Michael] I am an estimator for Paris Printing in Point Richmond. Both music and my day job demand an extreme attention to detail that comes very naturally to me.

[Jeff] I am a Photoshop graphic artist.

[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?

OSB:

[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.

[Michael] Music has been a very important and fulfilling element in my life. While being a musician may not be right for everyone, being exposed to the language of music has been shown to be a positive influence on the creative thinking process and can only be a positive force in the world.

[Moniz] Music education is critical for advanced thinking skills, and it is an extremely important emotional, creative and physical outlet for every child.

[Jeff] Music is a highly emotional experience that’s often best shared with others. Few academic opportunities offer this kind of reward.

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

OSB:

[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 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.

[Michael] Music has been a very important and fulfilling element in my life. While being a musician may not be right for everyone, being exposed to the language of music has been shown to be a positive influence on the creative thinking process and can only be a positive force in the world.

[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 playing guitar at the age of 12 in 1978. My family is full of musicians and music fans so the interest was there from a young age. I had an aptitude for the instrument and received lots of positive reinforcement from friends, family, school, and youth organizations. I can’t imagine my life without it.

[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. I had cousins that were living with us. They were working on Broadway in orchestras and on stage. Music was a constant in our house. I learned to sing scales when I was about 2. Music is just like breathing to me. I just have to do it.

[Jeff] My parents let the first rock band I was ever in rehearse in our basement. I wasn’t much on guitar at the time, and I really think that if not for my folks’ willingness to tolerate the noise, I would have been kicked out.

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