At Our Expense
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At Our Expense

San Fernando, California, United States | SELF

San Fernando, California, United States | SELF
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Follow link to view text - Lexington Music Press Magazine


The first band Highwire Daze caught was At Our Expense from the San Fernando Valley, who in the past has opened for a wide array of bands including Love Hate Hero, the Ataris, and Close Your Eyes. Presenting an exciting set of melodic hardcore, many of the songs left lasting impressions. The absolute highlight of the set was Love Stories Don’t Come Along Like This One, a dynamic tune of anthem-like proportions that really soared into the stratosphere. Other songs that stood out in their set included Call Me Old Fashioned and Rumor Has It. The dual vocals within the band work extremely well, as performed by Angel Carmona on clean vocals and Andy Argueta on hardcore screams. The two Danny’s in the band (Danny Santamaria and Danny Lopez) provide some wonderfully atmospheric guitar work while Robert Angell on bass and Nelson on drums make up a formidable rhythm section. Save The Decade is the name of their self released EP, now available on Itunes. - Highwire Daze Online


Winning the Battle of the Bands on any level — city, district or state — is supposed to be that golden ticket that gets you to the promised land of extra publicity and record label stardom. It’s also one of the major landmarks that you have to pass in order to win at least something off of MTV and the mother of all prizes: a Grammy.

But what happens when the promised land has lost its promise? Other than getting a new experience tucked under your belt, a few handshakes, and five seconds of press coverage, you’re still not any closer to a record deal or people swarming to your shows. This is exactly what happened to San Fernando Valley’s At Our Expense. As the first place winner for the First Annual San Fernando Valley Battle of The Bands in 2009, At Our Expense is still making music — at their expense.

Although they do get invited to play at shows, At Our Expense is ultimately shortchanged. In the age of the pay-to-play venues, there are ticket quotas that the band has to meet in order to play, and if that quota isn’t met, the difference is paid out of pocket. It’s especially hard when the last time the band got paid for a show was a long time ago, for thirty bucks (which was spent pretty fast, mind you), and their day jobs only cover a small amount of the band expenses.

“A lot of it comes out of our pocket, sometimes, we actually sell them out, and then there are times where we gotta like pay half of it out of our pocket or sometimes all of it. If it’s somewhere far, we can’t bring our friends in, and a lot of people don’t want to spend ten dollars on a ticket for a band that they don’t really know.”

However, progress has been made, albeit at a snail’s pace; there are a few new faces here and there at a show, especially those who have taken one or two hours’ drive just to watch them play; it really does make their night. From their perspective, those same fans could be the ones that can really launch their music careers.

“Your fans are what make you… there is only so much we can do. Yeah, we write the music and work hard but also the people… if they’re going to put the time and spend their money and their energy on you, the least you could do is give it back.”

They have. With a little over a year’s worth of experiences from recording music in a shed with socks over the microphones (see Youtube for that) which “…didn’t sound that great but it was fun,” to playing a gig at Stanford, the band finally settled down for six months and began recording an EP on their own.

Other than the song, “Nothing Personal/It's Just Business” that retells the tale of a friend ripping them off, other songs on the EP were selected through a democratic like system even the founding fathers would have been proud of — just short of the electoral colleges and rigged electronic voting machines. “It all comes down to majority voting, we all have to vote for it — it got pretty heated.”

The end product of this voting system is a seven-song EP that originally started off with twelve to thirteen songs. For the record, expect these songs in the same hardcore vein as Senses Fail, Avenged Sevenfold, and A Day to Remember which are a few of the bands that have influenced At Our Expense.

With the release of their new EP today, “Save the Decade”, what At Our Expense is really hoping for is a break. With both physical and digital copies up for sale, there is a higher chance of their music being circulated and reaching more and more new ears. When we asked them what would happen if nobody bought their music (just for the heck of it, we’re not really that mean!) they weren’t really fazed by it at all.

“We write music that we love — we’re music fans as well, we don’t just like play music and not listen to it…. we’re pretty sure we’re not too different from everybody else. If we think, ‘Wow, I would listen to that even if I wasn’t in this band,’ then I’m pretty sure there are ten other people who would do the same.”

That doesn’t mean trying to be conformists either; they’re definitely not the ones to curb their music tastes and styles to attract more listeners.

“We’re not trying to be something else that we’re not, and we’re just trying to make our original music that we like, and if people like it, it’s cool — that’s what we hope.”

It also means that if people don’t like their music, then they’re just making music at their expense. Essentially, it all relates to how the band’s moniker was formed and their history.

The band started in high school with only Angel and Nelson, and after some persuasion, a full line-up was formed. “At first it was me and the drummer, Nelson… we wanted to start a band and like I really wanted a band, and I kinda like lied to everyone saying that everyone was really good but like we all kinda sucked then… but thank god these guys stuck around.” Currently, the line-up is with Angel on vocals, Andy on Screams, two Danny’s on guitar, Robert on bass, and Nelson on drums. All the band members have dedicated time, effort, and money into making music at their expense, and they have stuck with it because they love what they do. - Broken Asphalt


Discography

Save The Decade EP - August 13th 2010

Photos

Bio

Six guys from the San Fernando Valley in southern California, doing what they love and taking it as far as it will let them. In 2007 At Our Expense came together as a group trying to add some new flavor to a genre and scene growing staler by the album. In August of 2010 At Our Expense released their debut EP Save The Decade. “With the release of their new EP…, ‘Save the Decade’, what At Our Expense is really hoping for is a break…We write music that we love — we’re music fans as well, we don’t just play music and not listen to it…”(Broken Asphalt Music Blog) With songs such as Love Stories Don’t Come Like This One, “…a dynamic tune of anthem-like proportions that really soar[s] into the stratosphere"(High Wire Daze Online), At Our Expense combine the elements of hardcore, pop, punk, and screamo, and bring together a new sound the likes of which Senses Fail, A Day To Remember and Taking Back Sunday would be proud of.