Redemption Brass
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Redemption Brass

Murrieta, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Murrieta, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Pop Instrumental

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Music

Press


"Press Enterprise Interview"

The sparkle in Joshua Griffin’s eyes as he blew into his trombone and worked the slide back and forth, illustrates the 17-year-old’s passion for the instrument and being a part of the Redemption Brass Band.
Joshua Griffin, a senior at Diego Hills Charter School in Murrieta, and the four other members gathered on a recent evening to practice their songs, which range from pop music, rock, classics and ballads.
And practicing music is something Joshua has been doing since he was a little boy. First came guitar lessons, followed by the saxophone. During middle school, he picked up the trombone at the urging of his band director and was immediately hooked.
“Once he was in middle school, it was his life,” Crissy Griffin, Joshua’s mom said. “He would go to the band room before school and stay after school. He loved being a part of it.”
She said in his free time he would often tutor other kids and when he transferred to Murrieta Valley High School, he continued to tutor the middle school kids.
In addition to Joshua, the band consists of former Murrieta Valley High School students Alex Tostado, 19; Banyon Bachman, 18; Brandon Sparks, 20; and John Skinner, 18, who all met in band class.
Before rehearsal began, the quintet discussed which songs they would play and launched into a rousing rendition of “Seven Nation Army” by the White Stripes, before playing a funky version of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” and “Misirlou” by Dick Dale.

After running through a few songs in Sparks’ family room, they stopped to take a breather, drink water and discuss what worked and what needed improving.
The years of practice and experience has helped all five build up stamina, which is critical when they perform lengthy sets.
“We use our lips a lot and they get fatigued and tired and we get super thirsty,” Joshua said. “Especially with the fast rhythms, which also takes a lot of breath work.”
Banyon said audiences sometimes judge them when they walk onstage in blazers and oftentimes hats, that is until they start ripping into their sets.
“It’s funny because when we go on stage, people automatically think we are band geeks,” Banyon said. “And then we start playing and the audience is always totally surprised and gets into it.”
One local spot they often get the crowd going is the Shamrock Irish Pub & Restaurant in Murrieta, where the band plays every other Wednesday at open mic night.
Pre-show jitters arise just before they hit the stage, but once they start jamming everything falls into place, Joshua said.
“We know we will blow the crowd away,” Joshua said. “We play our hearts out because it’s what we love to do.” - The Press Enterprise


"Echo & Buzz Interview"

When thinking of the best location to search for the raw talent needed for a successful band, only some would think of Murrieta Valley High School. But that’s exactly how it began for Redemption Brass. All five members met in band class under the instruction of the passionate Mr. Anderson. Through his excellent work ethic and introspective approach, the individuals were able to express themselves more fully; a crucial first step to any successful artist. Banyon Bachman (who plays the Tenor Sax) states that Mr. Anderson was “someone that can get into your head, see what you’re thinking, and [then] get it out of you.” But being in such a positive environment was only the first step. The most important element, what really sets Redemption Brass apart, is the intricate assembly of the members. Every member, with the exception of Brandon Sparks “Sparky” (who rocks out on the drum set), play a brass instrument. This creates a unique platform as every member must use their own wind, their own dexterity, and funnel it into the manifestation of their musical selves. By keeping to the instrumentals, even instrumentals of the same category, they create a unique sound that appeals to the untrained ears. Instinctively, many listeners would dismiss an all brass band, because the general assumption is that using instruments within the same category will create the same, or similar, sounds. But Redemption Brass works to overcome that ideal. They not only want to spread their passion, but show their individuality by banding together against the stigma of the ‘band geek’ and ‘trumpet player’. They harness the full range that each instrument offers in order to dispel the notion that in order to rock, you must have an electric guitar, or in order to play jazz, you must focus on the saxophone. Redemption Brass wants to appeal to those of the younger generation who would see them and decide to go for the instrument they want, no matter what the stigma on that instrument is. To be able to use any instrument to better express your identity, instead of being forced into the identity of the instrument, is the foundational drive of the band.

While that motivation is incredible, it was not the original force that drove these young men together. Back in August of last year, trumpet player Alex Tostado approached long time friends baritone sax player John Skinner and the aforementioned Banyon Bachman to join: him, trombone player Josh Griffin, and drum expert Brandon “Sparky” Sparks for the Mr. Nighhawk pageant hosted by their school. They began to rehearse together last summer, along with a few additional members, but the pressures of school and the doubt of their peers transformed the band into what it is today. John Skinner and Banyon Bachman summarized those times: “We had a lot of people doubt us, people we grew up with” (Skinner). “It hurt, hearing our friends, people that we’ve been friends with for years in school, say that we’re never going to be anything” (Bachman). But the current band made it through by open communication. Bachman stated that “We’re free to talk about things. Do things need to change?” That open communication is vital to the structure of the band, which relies heavily on the wills of the individuals working for the betterment of the group. Since that talent show, they have been scooped up for private parties, Chain Reaction, the Shamrock Irish Pub, Franklin’s Cove, and many more venues. In fact, they were entered into Q103.3’s iHeart Radio contest and are eager to play at the upcoming County Fair. Every member expressed enthusiasm at even the notion of playing on stage and have all found a passion that drives them. But it’s not all fun for the band. They are very organized and even though the members have pressing obligations in their own lives, they must show up for practice and keep pushing themselves to realize their dreams. Which is where the band mentality comes in handy. When one member falls behind the rest will work to bring him back up with them; because their music depends upon, and reveals, their teamwork.

But even though they must work together at every step, each member is still able to retain their individuality and often come to events with differing expectations. Brandon “Sparky” Sparks was very apprehensive about playing on stage and said that he “was not knowing what to expect, when you see all the people. But there was a positive feedback.” Josh Griffin remembered their first time playing at the Shamrock Irish Pub as one gig that stood out to him. The “reaction from the crowd [was] more than I could have hoped for. We’ve been building off that ever since.” But the Shamrock was not the only catalyst for the band. Banyon Bachman said that at their gig at Chain Reaction, he could “feel the music.” John Skinner remembered the Chain Reaction as well, but it was the proving wrong and rising above those that assured them that they’d fail that meant the most to him. It was keeping focused and fueling the band with his own inspiration that kept him working hard every time they meet up to see how far they can go. Alex Tostado said that their very first gig, at the private party, was the most memorable for him. That “first party had a classic rock band and everyone in their was a die hard rock fan. Rock was king. But once we started playing we had a great reception. And we were playing songs by Adele!”

What speaks to me most about this band is how they mirror their values in every step (or note) of their music. First, the baseline is set up, typically by Skinner. Then the rest of the band will sit together and listen to the music, feeling it out before testing their own sound. When all of them have mixed together and they have reached that impetus of new music, they write out the music, then determine a name. Each member must determine how he hears the music and then how he can best express himself through it. And they all support each other. No song is complete without total cooperation and no member would want to be left out of that incredible creative process. In the case of the song Mr. Smith on their album “Here to Stay,” it was dedicated to their new band instructor and displays all of the excitement and uncertainty that they felt at the time with facing the changes of life and not knowing if it will work out well for you. It pairs with the song “Song for Neal” which is the farewell to their old instructor, and also a farewell to a great inspiration in their lives.

Redemption Brass is truly the manifestation of five young men’s ambitions. They eagerly set up a Facebook page and can be reached very quickly there and will post all of their future gigs on that page under Redemption Brass Band at Facebook. They also have a YouTube channel, titled Redemption Brass. Check them out and you’ll hear the singular talents wonderfully molded together into the pulse of a common dream. - Echo & Buzz


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Redemption Brass is a high-energy dance band composed of five good friends. Members include Alex Tostado (Trumpet), Brandon Sparks (Drums), Josh Griffin (Trombone), John Skinner (Bari Sax), and Banyon Bachman (Tenor Sax). The band's unique sound and energy is highly addictive and leaves audience members hooked and wanting more. Redemption's mission is to not only have a great time, but change people's outlook on music and inspire all those who listen! Redemption Brass is here to stay!

Band Members