Getting loud is not as simple as we think it is; it’s more than just cranking the amp up to 11 and breaking decibel records. There needs to be meaning and purpose, from something as simple as getting you to dance, or something as intense as getting you stoked to hit the ramp. Manyacts, particularly in the indie scene, strive hard to heighten the impact of their sound to the audience— they aim to “get loud” without making noise. In this case,harmony is necessary, and not just in a musical sense.
This is precisely the concept of “loudness” that Converse encourages, as exemplified by the bands it supports. Recently, the iconic sneaker brand found three exciting acts that shared this viewpoint: Paranoid City and Stereodeal.
Paranoid City takes the synth and melds it with anything and everything. Songs like “Hello Strange” and the anthemic “Here We Are/Here We Go” show the interplay of influences, ranging from pop punk to electro dance. Frontman Dax Balmeo provides the vocals and the guitar; Japo Araneta and Rommel Celespara are the keyboard and synth duo; and Eric Strange pounds on the drums. Coupled with their preppy Ivy League fashion sense, Paranoid City has a very energetic and youthful presence whenever they perform on-stage.
Dax mentioned that the band goes through two modes when writing songs and when performing live. “When we’re onstage, we basically just play our hearts out and party. We think that’s the performance our audience expects—because hey, you go to a gig to have a rockin’ good time, right?” he said. However, the band goes into a more seriously artistic mode when they’re writing their songs. Dax said that the songwriting process that the group goes through can become “complex” as they are focused on the artistic quality of the final outcome—he’s quick to say though that they avoid making songs that are so artistic that listeners become alienated and unable to relate to the music and lyrics.
Paranoid City embodies the preppy vibe of Converse Jack Purcell, very fashionable, fun, classy, and young.
Stereodeal’s music has been described as “quirky”, “poetic”, and “intellectual”, which is not surprising since they fall into the loosely defined category of alternative rock. Adrian Arcega fronts the band on guitar and vocals; the Dax Balmeo (Yes, also the guy from Paranoid City) and Dax Gonzaga handle guitar and bass duties, respectively; and Marie De Guzman beats the skins.
Stereodeal’s influences go beyond music—some of which include anything from comic books to theoretical physics, to mundane life situations and yes, even romantic ideas and scenarios. This range and depth of source material for the band likely ensures they won’t be running out of steam, creatively speaking, any time soon. Interestingly, they are able to fuse all these influences to create a distinct sound that is layered, rich, and uncompromising. Listening to Stereodeal is like going through a different range of emotions with no middle ground. They can go as contemplatively melancholic as “Hypertime”, to as high-energy as “Relentless”.
Stereodeal perfectly captures how classic the Cons line is—an awesome companion whether you’re just chilling out or getting hyped.