Mad Traffic
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Mad Traffic

San Diego, California, United States | SELF

San Diego, California, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock

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"The Dawn Of Mad Traffic"

(Mission Valley News, San Diego, CA) – Mad Traffic is a San Diego band waiting in the wings, poised to strike out on a national level at any time. This is a band of musicians, not poseurs or wanna-bees; these guys are the real deal. They play with the depth and soul of a band that has been around for thirty years, but there is an energy between the players that reflects their youth. Mad Traffic will be recording a brand new 12-song CD shortly and singer Blaise Guld is very excited at the prospect. Whereas their last 8-track CD was a loose collection of previously written songs with newer musicians recording over old tracks, this new CD will be completely Mad Traffic from the get-go. Says Blaise, “This new CD is going to reflect who we are now that we’ve had a chance to gel as a band.”

Mad Traffic was formed three years ago and performed live for the first time on 9/11 at The Sky Box in Clairemont. As guitarist Brian Fleck puts it, “The Sky Box a quirky small club in a strip mall, but a gig is a gig and it was our first. Three years later, we are playing large clubs like the House of Blues, Wave House, and 4th & B, so it puts things in perspective." The list of clubs Mad Traffic has played is basically a who’s who of the local scene. And during the summer, they were playing shows just about every week due to their popularity. Brian and drummer David Michael Torr actually played music together as kids and somehow ended up playing in the same band years later. Brian plays with a hybrid jazz/ska tempo that gives the band energy to feed off of and this Sublime/311 influence reflects his Orange County roots. He credits drum legend Mike Bedard as a source of inspiration as well as guidance for him and the band.

Four of the guys in Mad Traffic have college degrees and this is evident in the virtuosity exhibited in their recordings. The sax and piano playing of Blaise Garza is a stellar example of the pure talent the band possesses. His playing gives an East Coast vibe to the California sound of Mad Traffic as a counter balance. Garza also plays a monstrosity called a “Contra Sax” which has to be seen to be believed. He says it is one of only 14 in existence. Garza will be taking the behemoth on the road with the Violent Femmes for a short tour next year. As for David, he actually spent two years in South Africa as part of Habitat for Humanity and immersed himself in the native beats while there. "As a drummer, it doesn’t get any better than that!" says Torr. "But being in Africa had it’s own set of realities, and being attacked by baboons was one" he added with a crooked smile and a roll of his eyes.

Mad Traffic will play a party for Pacific magazine and then take a month off to decompress before jumping back into the studio to record. After that they will focus on possible Hollywood soundtrack deals as well as live shows and mixing the recording. This will give Garza time to do his road gig and then they can hit the ground running.

Mad Traffic is at the stage where things start to happen so fast that you aren’t quite sure what to make of it. David says that getting recognized at the bank or hearing your song on the radio lets him know that things are starting to roll. Both stations FM94.9 and 102.1 KPRI have been supporting Mad Traffic with airplay, with Cathryn Beeks being instrumental in that. But as much as things loom on the horizon, the band remains grounded. They agree that the final reward is to give back the joy and energy that they got from favorite artists as kids. Says Guld, "Honestly, we would rather be known as peers among great musicians as opposed to superstars." As the rest of the band nodded, he added, "But of course realistically, you can never specifically choose what fate has in store for you, so we’ll take whatever comes."
- Mission Valley News


"The Dawn Of Mad Traffic"

(Mission Valley News, San Diego, CA) – Mad Traffic is a San Diego band waiting in the wings, poised to strike out on a national level at any time. This is a band of musicians, not poseurs or wanna-bees; these guys are the real deal. They play with the depth and soul of a band that has been around for thirty years, but there is an energy between the players that reflects their youth. Mad Traffic will be recording a brand new 12-song CD shortly and singer Blaise Guld is very excited at the prospect. Whereas their last 8-track CD was a loose collection of previously written songs with newer musicians recording over old tracks, this new CD will be completely Mad Traffic from the get-go. Says Blaise, “This new CD is going to reflect who we are now that we’ve had a chance to gel as a band.”

Mad Traffic was formed three years ago and performed live for the first time on 9/11 at The Sky Box in Clairemont. As guitarist Brian Fleck puts it, “The Sky Box a quirky small club in a strip mall, but a gig is a gig and it was our first. Three years later, we are playing large clubs like the House of Blues, Wave House, and 4th & B, so it puts things in perspective." The list of clubs Mad Traffic has played is basically a who’s who of the local scene. And during the summer, they were playing shows just about every week due to their popularity. Brian and drummer David Michael Torr actually played music together as kids and somehow ended up playing in the same band years later. Brian plays with a hybrid jazz/ska tempo that gives the band energy to feed off of and this Sublime/311 influence reflects his Orange County roots. He credits drum legend Mike Bedard as a source of inspiration as well as guidance for him and the band.

Four of the guys in Mad Traffic have college degrees and this is evident in the virtuosity exhibited in their recordings. The sax and piano playing of Blaise Garza is a stellar example of the pure talent the band possesses. His playing gives an East Coast vibe to the California sound of Mad Traffic as a counter balance. Garza also plays a monstrosity called a “Contra Sax” which has to be seen to be believed. He says it is one of only 14 in existence. Garza will be taking the behemoth on the road with the Violent Femmes for a short tour next year. As for David, he actually spent two years in South Africa as part of Habitat for Humanity and immersed himself in the native beats while there. "As a drummer, it doesn’t get any better than that!" says Torr. "But being in Africa had it’s own set of realities, and being attacked by baboons was one" he added with a crooked smile and a roll of his eyes.

Mad Traffic will play a party for Pacific magazine and then take a month off to decompress before jumping back into the studio to record. After that they will focus on possible Hollywood soundtrack deals as well as live shows and mixing the recording. This will give Garza time to do his road gig and then they can hit the ground running.

Mad Traffic is at the stage where things start to happen so fast that you aren’t quite sure what to make of it. David says that getting recognized at the bank or hearing your song on the radio lets him know that things are starting to roll. Both stations FM94.9 and 102.1 KPRI have been supporting Mad Traffic with airplay, with Cathryn Beeks being instrumental in that. But as much as things loom on the horizon, the band remains grounded. They agree that the final reward is to give back the joy and energy that they got from favorite artists as kids. Says Guld, "Honestly, we would rather be known as peers among great musicians as opposed to superstars." As the rest of the band nodded, he added, "But of course realistically, you can never specifically choose what fate has in store for you, so we’ll take whatever comes."
- Mission Valley News


"Cutting The Chord. Local bands compete for the limelight"

The Filthy Violets are a four-piece rock band. “We feature filthy, grungy rhythms with sweet, strong melodies carried by a four-on-the-floor beat,” says guitarist Jesse Lafica. Mad Traffic’s sound is alt. rock. “It has always been about friendship,” says Blaise Guld (vocals/ acoustic guitar). “We’re five brothers who push the envelope in music and life.”

These two local groups are facing off in Garage to Glory, a digital battle of the bands hosted by SoundDiego.com, an online repository of local music, album reviews and concerts. The site is supported by SoundDiego, a television show broadcast weekly after Saturday Night Live on NBC 7 San Diego.

To compete, each band posts a music video to SoundDiego.com in early August in hopes of garnering the most votes from fans. On August 24, both bands will appearance on SoundDiego, the TV show, to drum up support before online voting ends August 27.

The glory? The victor gets to open for The Devastators, the act headlining SoundDiego’s monthly music showcase, SoundDiego LIVE, to be held August 29 at Winstons in OB. (Entrance to the concert is free — RSVP at SoundDiego.com.) - Pacific San Diego Magazine


"San Diego CityBeat's 2011 Great Demo Review"

MAD TRAFFIC
Unreported

To say a band could easily be played on mainstream radio is, in these pages, usually either a backhanded compliment or a direct insult. But with a stack of mostly cacophonous Demo Review dreck on my desk, I won’t begrudge the mass palatability of Mad Traffic’s pop rock. Unreported is polished without being insincere, and while there’s a familiar underlying template, there’s also enough genuine talent and creativity—notably in multi-instrumentalist Blaise Garza’s horn work—to make it an “Extraspecialgood” selection, if not for the fact that Rob Thomas and Daughtry keep coming to mind. myspace.com/madtrafficband
—Nathan Dinsdale - San Diego CityBeat


"San Diego CityBeat's 2011 Great Demo Review"

MAD TRAFFIC
Unreported

To say a band could easily be played on mainstream radio is, in these pages, usually either a backhanded compliment or a direct insult. But with a stack of mostly cacophonous Demo Review dreck on my desk, I won’t begrudge the mass palatability of Mad Traffic’s pop rock. Unreported is polished without being insincere, and while there’s a familiar underlying template, there’s also enough genuine talent and creativity—notably in multi-instrumentalist Blaise Garza’s horn work—to make it an “Extraspecialgood” selection, if not for the fact that Rob Thomas and Daughtry keep coming to mind. myspace.com/madtrafficband
—Nathan Dinsdale - San Diego CityBeat


"Indie-rock Mad Traffic sets gig in advance of summer tour Read more: San Diego Community News Group - Indie rock Mad Traffic sets gig in advance of summer tour"

There are plenty of indie-rock bands out there trying to get the public’s attention these days. Some resort to gimmicks, some to mass promotion. But the ones that seem to stick it out in the public eye for any length of time seem to have one thing in common: the ability to pen a hook-filled tune and do so repeatedly. Such is the case with Mad Traffic.

Mixing powerpop, hip-hop, new wave, rock and folk, the band has come up with a melodic sound, complete with instantly memorable songs that are big on anthemic choruses. Amid a flurry of activity, Mad Traffic is preparing to tour this summer. But, in the meantime, it will release a new single, “Thunder & Lightning,” on

April 20 with a CD-release show at Mother’s Saloon. Then, on April 28, the band will appear on the FM94.9 program, “The Local Pyle,” with host Tim Pyles. The band will wrap up the month with the release of an EP, “City,” and adjacent release show at the Casbah on April 29.

Mad Traffic was formed in 2008, shortly after singer Blaise Guld moved to California from Philadelphia in search of new inspiration. He soon met drummer Dave Torr. The two ended up renting a house in Clairemont and holding living-room jam sessions and nascent songwriting sessions.

“We tried a couple of different bassists and started with two guitarists, but in the end the group grew into what it is almost organically,” Guld said.

Torr suggested trying out guitarist Brian Fletcher, as well as bassist Chris Murray, who he knew from local reggae band High Tide. Blaise Garza was the last member to join Mad Traffic.

“He had been playing in another local project with Dave and came to one of our band practices one day,” Guld said. “He jumped into some of our songs with his saxophone and we all knew that night that this was going to be our band.”

Though the quintet has been gigging since 2008, it didn’t rush the decision to become Mad Traffic.

“We played many shows nameless and used random names we came up with, like, ‘Tambourine Space Helmet’ and ‘Cabbages and Kings,’” Guld said.

One day, Guld was stuck in traffic on the I-5 on the way to a gig, and explaining why he was running late, told band members that there is “Mad fraffic on the freeway!”

“After that, the name seemed to stick and came to represent the bustling streets and lifestyles of Southern California,” he said.

While the energetic sound the band conjures up is strong on its own, Guld considers lyrics to be a crucial component of the band. “(I started) writing songs, poem and short stories from an early age,” Guld said. “My best friend and I back in Philly wrote a rock opera when we were 15 years old,” he recalled. “From then on I knew I wanted to write lyrics and be able to perform them on stage.”

Brian Fleck also pens lyrics for the band, inspired by the feeling of the words, not just the literal meanings.

“He and I bounce lyrics off each other sometimes for days or weeks until they congeal into something we can all experience,” he continued. “The songs are very visual and sometimes thought provoking, with themes ranging from love to aliens and philosophy.”

The band has survived all the usual ups and downs any band does. After four years of preparation, everything seems to be in place to take the band to the next level, from songs to musicianship. Guld is succinct on the reasons why.

“Every band member has been in multiple projects throughout the years,” he said. “This band is our life, music is what we care about most,” Guld said. “Mad Traffic has stuck together so well because we are all writers, creators and self-innovators. We enjoy the journey of writing a song from start to finish and challenge ourselves and each other to push the envelope of our style.”

He points out that everyone is equally involved in the creative process.

“It is like five fathers and the band is our baby,” Guld said. “We raised it from an infant over four years ago and it is now getting smarter, reasoning and beginning to understand the way the world works.”

Goals for the band this year and next include more touring, recording and releasing new material. Guld said he is happy with what the band has accomplished so far, but he’s hungry for more.

“My favorite thing about being in Mad Traffic is writing and playing music with these guys,” Guld said. “Every time a song comes together and we all leave band practice feeling like we made a difference somehow.”

Read more: San Diego Community News Group - Indie rock Mad Traffic sets gig in advance of summer tour
- SDNEWS.com


"UNSIGNED BANDS 2010: Mad Traffic"

"All of their different influences can be found deep within the folds of their music, but it all blends together into something incredibly catchy and energetic. With the ever-changing melodies and grooving bass riffs, Mad Traffic’s strengths are put on display in the jazz-tinged song “Sleep Before Dawn.” The band’s greatest accomplishment was beating out multiple other bands to win San Diego’s Ultimate Band Competition. Currently, it is looking to play on a Vans Warped Tour stage, and is playing shows in San Diego and the surrounding area. The band is still young, but incredibly experienced; expect to see more of Mad Traffic in the upcoming years." - Drew Scoggins, The Daily Aztec - SDSU


Discography

Unreported - double EP released Oct. 2010
Darling Funk - single released Oct 2011
Open Door - single released Oct 2012
City - EP released on May 7th 2013
Thunder & Lightning - single released June 2013
Diamonds - single - TBA

Radio Play on San Diego's 94.9fm, 102.1KPRI, 91X. Tracks in rotation/streaming on NBC 7, SoundDiego, Butterflies Radio, D.C. Coast To Coast... Tracks featured on Sirius XM's Playboy Happy Hour with Bob and Jessica

Photos

Bio

With a name like Mad Traffic, it’s only natural that the San Diego quintet’s sound be a careening mix of influences. Formed in 2008, the band loosely fits in the alternative rock genre, but their music takes in elements as diverse as hip hop, new wave and powerpop. The unifying factor? A strong sense of melody - This is music you’ll want to hear again and again, radio ready and custom made for the “replay” button on your stereo.

That devotion to songcraft is key to the bands longevity and key to the band’s live popularity. With West Coast tours and successful performances at events ranging from SXSW to Hillcrest’s Cityfest, now notched on their belt, 2013 is looking to be a banner year for Mad Traffic.

Indeed, Mad Traffic is a band who’s sum total is greater than its parts. Though Philadelphia bred Blaise Guld is frontman, all of Mad Traffic’s members are a vital part of the sound, with guitarist Brian Fleck joining Guld as band lyricist. One listen to any of the groups music reveals the importance of drummer David Torr, while keyboardist and saxophonist Blaise Garza adding the bit of spice that sets the band apart from typical guitar centric rock.

Heading towards 2014, look for the band to expand their touring radius as well as begin work on their next, full length, album. In the meantime, Mad Traffic continues doing what they do best - delivering top flight music throughout the Southland. Their fans won’t want to miss a minute of a show from this band, but anyone who likes their tunes with a surplus of hooks and energy will find Mad Traffics songs to be an essential part of their music collection.