If Red Hot Chili Peppers and Slightly Stoopid got together and had a baby, and that baby was a band of its own, the band could be found right here in San Luis Obispo. Local band, Louder Space, is comprised of four Cal Poly juniors who describe their sound as a fusion of alternative, funk, rock and reggae. Louder Space released its first EP last month.
“It’s called ‘Signs of Life,’” singer Chris Kaye said. “It symbolizes that it’s our first album.”
Oren Ben-Joseph (bass/manager) and Phillip Tyler (drums/background vocals) knew each other from their freshmen residence hall — but they needed a guitarist and a singer to form a band. Clayton Daly (guitar) and Kaye found the other two through a series of connections.
“Looking back on it, it really feels like fate,” business administration junior Ben-Joseph said.
Kaye, an industrial engineering junior, stopped by Ben-Joseph’s house late one night because he knew one of Ben-Joseph’s roommates. Kaye and Ben-Joseph recognized each other from a Facebook group for incoming Cal Poly freshman in 2009. Kaye saw Tyler’s drum set and mentioned that he could sing.
The rest of the pieces fell into place, and once the four musicians decided to play together, their individual styles melded into mutual creativity.
“One of the songs on the EP, we wrote the very first day we played together,” Daly, an industrial technology junior, said. The song, “Only Seconds,” is one of five songs on the album.
“I can describe to Clayton what I want to hear, and he reads my mind and just plays what I was thinking — it’s really cool,” Ben-Joseph said.
Each of the musicians, however, bring something unique to the table. For instance, Tyler, a computer engineering junior, for instance, has been playing drums for 11 years.
“He’s our super-smart musician,” Ben-Joseph said.
On the other hand, Ben-Joseph has not had any formal training and said it’s always a learning experience for him.
Daly taught himself to play guitar six years ago. And Kaye said his prior experience comes from garage bands.
Recording the EP, continuing to write songs and performing concerts, has taken up a significant chunk of the band members’ time recently.
“We only really started to play shows winter quarter,” Ben-Joseph said.
Since then, the band played at a few house parties and in the University Union. Louder Space debuted the songs on its album at one of the first house parties they played — which Ben-Joseph called one of the best days of his life.
“It was awesome because everyone was so excited to come and hear us,” he said.
Ben-Joseph said the band’s sound and appearance on the album fits the San Luis Obispo lifestyle.
“Orangeish, laid-back, warm and happy,” Ben-Joseph said.
The band has also been asked to play at an Engineers Without Borders event, scheduled a show at Frog and Peach Pub and are hoping to play at Wildflower Triathlon, as well as a few other downtown bars.
“Louder Space is 100 percent what I’m into now,” Kaye said. “My time goes: School, work and Louder Space.”
Daly dropped out of a fraternity and Ben-Joseph abandoned an ultimate Frisbee club team to dedicate more time to their band. However, the band agrees that the members’ time is well spent.
“We like our majors and we love what we’re doing here at Cal Poly, but touring California or the U.S., just once, would be the absolute dream,” Ben-Joseph said. “After college, you can go straight into the corporate industry or you can put at least a couple years into doing what you love.”
Kaye said he always tells people he wants to be a rockstar, but if that doesn’t work out, he’ll settle for engineering.
Louder Space spent a week-and-a-half recording the songs for its EP. Members said it took longer than they expected because they realized they had been playing each song slightly different every time and hadn’t settled on concrete versions. When the album was ready, they released it for free online because they felt it would generate more buzz than it would if people had to pay for an artist they weren’t familiar with.
The album has created a buzz on the Internet, particularly on a few indie music sites.
“We’re getting put on hipster music websites because no one has heard of us yet,” Daly said.
Kaye said making money from their music would just be icing on the cake.
“We have it set up so people can download it for free and donate as much as they feel,” Ben-Joseph said. “People aren’t going to be willing to spend $5 on a band they’ve never heard of.”
The band has tentative plans to continue writing songs and perform during the summer. Running out of song ideas isn’t a worry for them. Daly said if anything, they have too many ideas piling up. They also hope to continue building a fan base and sharing their music.
“We’re all having the time of our lives right now because we love to play,” Daly said. “Everything else is a bonus.”