Local alternative-rock band Louder Space is headlining a show at SLO Brewing Co. on Oct. 5, two years after forming as a band. “From being in a band for two years and from all living together, we’re a lot more comfortable with each other and a lot more willing to push each other,” Oren Ben-Joseph, bassist and recent Cal Poly alumnus, said.
[follow id = “ArynSanderson”]
Louder Space — an alternative-rock band created by four Cal Poly students — is about to celebrate its second birthday. In honor of its two-year anniversary, the band is headlining an all-ages concert at SLO Brewing Co. on Oct. 5, exactly two years after the band’s formation.
While Philip Tyler (drums) and Oren Ben-Joseph (bass) met in the dorms their freshman year, Clayton Daly (guitar) and Chris Kaye (vocals) became good friends. The two pairs met through mutual acquaintances their junior year “in a weird twist of fate,” Ben-Joseph said, and decided to jam.
“Seriously, the first day that we played together, Oct. 5, 2011, that’s when we came up with our name, our first song, everything — it was ‘BOOM,’ right out of the gate,” Ben-Joseph said.
In the two years since, the band has been busy. Tyler and Ben-Joseph graduated from Cal Poly, and the whole band moved into a house together. Louder Space has played more than 75 shows in approximately 40 different venues across California. It’s played Frog & Peach Pub upwards of 20 times, written 14 original songs and put in at least 400 hours of practice. The band’s anniversary show will be the fifth time it plays at SLO Brew, but the first time it headlines the venue.
But SLO Brew’s decision to make Louder Space the headlining act was an easy one, said Jessica Puchli, the events and promotions supervisor at SLO Brew.
“We want to bring up our local bands, so it’s always great for us to be able to offer a headlining position to a local band on the up-and-up,” Puchli said. “SLO Brew is one of the venues with a larger capacity in our area, so bands really aspire to play here. Louder Space has opened up for other acts a few times, and they’ve always done a great job.”
SLO Brew is excited for the band to “bring a funky, Chili Peppers-infused reggae rock sound” to the stage and expects a “chill but dancey crowd,” Puchli said.
From the beginning
Louder Space has come a long way since its first live show, Ben-Joseph said.
At the time of its first live show on Jan. 15, 2012, Louder Space had yet to release any music, and the turnout was purely based on word of mouth. The band was a bundle of nerves and excitement; they weren’t even sure if other people would like their music.
“We had this really big day-party-slash-concert at our house, and people actually liked our music,” Ben-Joseph said. “Honestly, that day is still one of the best days of my life.”
Since then, particularly after the members became housemates, Louder Space has come into its own, he said.
“From being in a band for two years and from all living together, we’re a lot more comfortable with each other and a lot more willing to push each other,” Ben-Joseph said.
At this point in their fledgling career, industrial technology senior Daly agreed — they need to push each other.
“This is our main focus and what we’re devoting a lot of energy to — to the goal of making music a full-time job and making Louder Space our lives,” Daly said.
So the band can’t just settle for good enough.
“We’re going to work at a song until we’re in love with it — until after we’re done playing it, we all look at each other with huge smiles on our faces, almost laughing at how amazing we think it sounds,” Daly said. “That’s the point when we know a song is done, and we won’t settle for anything less.”
As Louder Space continues to mature, the band is experimenting more technically and working to create a big sound despite a basic rock ‘n’ roll quartet.
Still, Louder Space’s main shift is lyrical. The band is focusing more on the finesse of songwriting.
Their process sets it apart from other bands, Kaye said.
“People always ask us, ‘Who’s the songwriter?’ Well, we’re all the songwriters,” Kaye said.
When the band writes music, it writes it from start to finish with all four members sitting in a room together. The bandmates draw inspiration from people they meet, moods they’re in and sunny San Luis Obispo.
“More and more lately, I’ve realized that if we’re going to keep playing these songs for years to come, I’m going to really want to like what I’m singing,” Kaye said, “so we’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on being 100 percent satisfied with the lyrics we come up with.”
Though the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime and Pepper influence Louder Space’s overall vibe, its sound is in a constant state of flux.
“Our newest two songs sound nothing like the two songs before them, or the two songs before them,” Daly said. “We’re constantly changing.”
That constant change is what makes Louder Space, well, Louder Space.
“A word I really connect with Louder Space is ‘dynamic,’” Tyler, a recent Cal Poly alumnus, said. “We have our loud, fast parts; we have our soothing lows; we have our big builds and our decays. We’re really diverse.”
A two-year anniversary
Along with fresh material, the band will bring out some old favorites for its SLO Brew show.
“We’ll be playing our first song — that will be literally two years old on that day — at that show … They grow up so fast,” Kaye said.
Louder Space says the best part about headlining the SLO Brew show will be seeing familiar faces in the crowd, such as their friend and longtime supporter graphic communication senior Mark Mac Manus.
“It’s cool because I got an insider’s view of the band’s progression,” Mac Manus said. “From that, I can tell that they’ve spent a lot more time on their newer stuff, and I’m excited to see it live. It’s super awesome to see these mellow, nice guys get a big local following. They’re living their dreams, and that’s reflected in their music.”
Louder Space’s two-year anniversary concert is slated for 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 at SLO Brew. The Fire Department and We Were Superheroes will open the show. The concert will be filmed for a Louder Space video. Presale tickets are $10 each; ticket prices rise to $12 apiece at the door.