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The best kept secret in music



When these guys were tapped by 91X’s Loudspeaker—along with short-lived Lualta—to be the next big thing out of North Park-via-Chula Vista, they should have run screaming. Not because it’s bad to believe your own hype, but because pigeonholes really are as bad as most “successful” artists believe them to be. So Blizzard’s strengths—eclectic rock purism, passionate cluelessnesss—have been muted, it seems, by their own expectations. They’ve released another full-length since this one, and are in the studio preparing another. Gentlemen: fuck the studio, get this solid, dependable, charismatic middle-road rock en spanglish out to the masses via the old Get In The Van mentality. Go big, go far, go play live. You’ll thank yourselves—and me, of course—for it. —Will K. Shilling - City Beat

"Act naturally"

by Scoop Stevens

Act naturally

If Genesis proved anything, it’s that rock ’n’ roll is a visual medium. For local rockers Blizzard, that cliché couldn’t be truer. Over the past year, the quintet has been appearing as extras in television productions. The characters they’re playing? Themselves.

While some projects have yet to air, TV viewers can spot them in club scenes on UPN’s Veronica Mars, both as musical performers and background extras. The band was also recently filmed at a Point Loma home for a party scene in the upcoming Dianne Keaton film, Surrender Dorothy.

Over the past few weeks, vocalist Chris Leyva has been taking a solo turn, taping episodes of MTV’s Score at the Avalon in Hollywood. A twist on a dating show, contestants write and perform a song before a live audience, and the best songwriter wins a date.

“They didn’t choose me for my songwriting,” laughed Leyva. “It’s pretty random, but they liked the way I looked. The producer just pointed and said, ‘You’re perfect for this show.’”

While Leyva is happy to compete for the date (and, in true Dating Game fashion, the ensuing lovebird vacation package), he won’t be going solo.

“It’s been a lot of fun and the music turned out pretty good, so there’s always that,” Leyva said. “And it is a completely commercial kind of thing. But I’m pushing the band and anything that showcases our ability to write and perform can only be a good thing.”

Blizzard is currently in the studio wrapping up their new album, Black Cherry, due in December. - city Beat


Indie-rockers Blizzard make their cinematic debut in the upcoming CBS-TV movie of the week Surrender Dorothy. The film stars Diane Keaton with the band performing during a party scene shot at a mansion in Point Loma. Originally set for the current season, the film will now be part of the fall schedule. - City Beat


*** received / receives radio airplay

- It's Only Rock N Roll (2002)
*** Train to Fame, Superstar

- Second to no one (2003)
*** I Could Be There, Got To Get Away

- Screaming Through The Door (2004)
*** Through, Winter Night

- Curve Of Evolution (2005)
*** What I Want, We Dont Care, Mishap.

- Root of all evil (2005) so much for fun, the void.
day like today.


Feeling a bit camera shy



Real rock ‘n’ roll is elusive these days, Sure it’s easy enough to go out and buy the uniform, and then ape the latest trend. But you can’t fake swagger. And you can’t fake songs. Blizzard has plenty of both.
From the first note, Blizzard will make you a believer. Frontman / guitarist / pianist Chris Leyva exudes the kind of confidence built on years of paying dues. He’s the primary tunesmith here, but often shares co-writing credit with guitarist Gerardo Baladon. Musical support comes from keyboardist Todd Newman and the excellent rhythm section of bassist Sebastian Reyes and drummer Mike Byron. It all adds up to exciting rock ‘n’ roll that draws influences from the best of each era, while maintaining a sound that’s uniquely their own.
Founded in 2002, in its brief existence the band has covered a lot of ground. A short list of facts would include the fact that they were mentored by Danny Wilde of the Rembrandts, that the band was given its name by Beatles compatriot Tony Sheridan, and that the band roadied for indie rockers Convoy. Also of note, they have appeared on several episodes of TV Series Veronica Mars, an episode of Fox Rox and performed live on both 91XFM and FM94.9. Solo accomplishments include Leyva’s appearance on an MTV show alongside Ryan Cabrera and Byron’s endorsement by Chop Shop Drum Company. Perhaps even more impressive, the band appeared in the 2006 film Surrender Dorothy, alongside Diane Keaton.
To date Blizzard has released four albums, with the fifth, Root of All Evil, due on May 18. Prolific to a fault, work on a sixth is already under way. The group has become a perennial presence on the southern California concert scene. In 2005 they played 175 concerts and 2006 looks set to easily exceed that.
In music these days it’s all about the complete package, and these guys look like a band - That they can blast out hook filled songs is almost a bonus. Whether their sonic assault takes in slashing Clash-like guitar riffs or Beatle-esque harmonies, you can tell this is a group that lives and breathes rock ‘n’ roll.
Flying just under the radar, Blizzard has been able to build a catalog and fan-base on their own terms, all with a passion and conviction that should get the attention of any discerning music fan. Yeah, rock ‘n’ roll is elusive these days. But you know when you’ve found it.

- Alan Fleagle
Poolside, Rio de Janeiro