Republic of Letters
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Republic of Letters

San Diego, California, United States | INDIE

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




" Echo & The Bunnymen"

San Diego based Republic of Letters is a modern rock band that sounds like a fusion of 80s new wave and post-grunge rock…kind of like Echo & The Bunnymen meet Dishwalla. It is an intriguing and enticing sound for the most part, but would sound even better if these guys could write hooks that were better defined. The song structures are compelling and the lyrics interesting, so the stage is set for some very promising atmospheric rock. But there is something missing…

Fresh off the heels of this debut, “Stories”, the band continues to write prolifically, accumulating another album worth of material already. If the guys in Republic of Letters keep at it like this, odds are they will realize their full potential. Highlights from this record include “Lost Chord”, “Long Way Down”, and the title track. Check them out if you like Dashboard Confessional, Snow Patrol, or Black Lab. -

"Stories- album review"

The debut full-length release from San Diego, California's Republic of Letters. These fellows are making music for a large segment of the listening population. The tunes on Stories are upbeat, commercial, and slick. They feature nice soaring melodies and a vocalist who obviously has a great deal of stage presence (you can tell from the urgent tone of his voice). This album should appeal to fans of bands like U2, Snow Patrol, and Coldplay. It's a bit too calculated for our own personal tastes but there are some cool cuts to be found here. We particularly like "Long Way Down," "Karma," and "Endless Drive." -

"Republic of Letters is a San Diego band playing Britpop"

Republic of Letters is a San Diego band playing Britpop a la Snow Patrol, Coldplay, stuff like that - heavy emotional content, very good lead guitars and soaring melodies.

Here's the video for lead track "Lost Chord" - a big-sounding track with galloping drums and chiming guitars: -

"The mild Brit pop rock influences and cool, melancholic indie vibes permeate throughout this 10-track release"

San Diego indie rock band Republic of Letters have dropped their debut full-length album, Stories, which was produced by Brian Karscig (Louis XIV). The mild Brit pop rock influences and cool, melancholic indie vibes permeate throughout this 10-track release, as the band squeeze out some easy-on-the-ear, radio-friendly pearlers, such as ‘Lost Chord’, ‘Stories’ and ‘Running From’ .... -

"anthemy choruses rooted somewhere near the good parts of the late 1980s"

“And while the interior of the Snow Patrol-early U2-Editors triangularium isn’t a place in which we typically dwell for too long, sometimes it’s good to get clean. Factor in swoony vocals, earnest love songs and anthemy choruses rooted somewhere near the good parts of the late 1980s, and you’ve got July’s Rockands heroes: introducing The Republic of Letters.” - THE BACKSTAGE RIDER

"rocking a 10k person capacity arena"

“The music of Republic of Letters has the soul of Indie Rock combined with the atmosphere of U2 rocking a 10k person capacity arena. Trance DJ/Producers use presets to create the auditory illusion that their music is sprawling and epic; Republic of Letters has somehow managed to figure out how to do that with guitar chords and piano notes.” - EXAMINER.COM

"...their uber-catchy new song, 'Stories'…easy to dig…"

“...their uber-catchy new song, 'Stories'…easy to dig… " - THE OWL MAG

"keep your ears and eyes open for these guys. They're putting out solid music."

“First-time Summerfesters Republic of Letters were eloquent and incredibly kind. And if I had to place money on some of the up-and-coming acts we chatted with, I'd say keep your ears and eyes open for these guys. They're putting out solid music.” - MILWAUKEE MAGAZINE

"Band of the Week"

Despite not having released an official album yet, Republic Of Letters has managed to stir up local buzz on the strength of a 2005 3-song demo, already playing San Diego hotspots like The Casbah and the Ken Club, and nabbing air on both 91X and 94.9. Founded by brothers Chris (guitar/lead vocals) and Nick Venti (drums) with friend Martin Niwinski (bass), ROL's sound is a clash of frenetic indie rock with the more atmospheric and melodic sounds of "No Code"-era Pearl Jam. While Eddie Vedder goes for the baritone howl, Chris Venti’s voice is more of a gentle, high-pitched tone and helps keep the band's sound distinct.

With the addition of second guitarist Adrian Thorstensen last spring, Republic recorded its debut EP at the end of 2006 and prepares for its release this March. Promising local sets and a stop in Austin during SXSW should build on the band’s fan base and garner more shows.
February 1, 2007 - San Diego Union Tribune

"Spirit or a Ghost review"

"Spirit or a Ghost" -- Republic of Letters, Self-released
With an ultrapolished sound built around the urgent vocals of Chris Venti, the San Diego quartet is drawing flattering comparisons to U2. Its first recording, a six-song EP, is full of much the same type of thickly arranged pop-rock that Bono & Co. have ridden to music superstardom, but with more of an art-rock edge to the sound, a bit of the moody aural sepia tones that Scotland's Deacon Blue employed in the late 1980s and early '90s.....As debuts go, it's a pretty impressive introduction...
April 25th, 2007
- NC times, San Diego

"FM94.9 Member of the Day"

Featured Local Artist of the day, on FM94.9 San Diego.
January 14th, 2005 - FM94.9

"The Casbah CD Release Show"

"I think the band is great, Chris is taking a real lead as a frontman, and by the crowd filled in the Casbah, I know other people feel the same." - SD Dialed In

"Republic of Letters EP Review"

* Republic Of Letters

No Fall From Grace

Not too long ago, before Snow Patrol really hit it big with their Final Straw album, there was another Celtic-tinged rock band by the name of Idlewild who came so close to emulating the Irish band. However, despite huge songs and wonderful musicianship, they never quite got the break they deserved. Despite this, there is still a huge market for this kind of epic indie, and with Spirit Or A Ghost, San Diego quartet Republic Of Letters may succeed where their peers Idlewild failed.

Coming across as a mix of Snow Patrol, Idlewild and even a little smidgeon of much-loved Scottish band Big Country, Republic Of Letters play the kind of indie that never seems to fall from grace. With sweeping choruses, soaring vocals and hooks that grab you with no thought for your safety, their six-track EP is a wonderful sign of what this band can offer.
The Sound Of Future Festivals

Leading with Bridge, Republic Of Letters immediately make their mark and show you exactly what they're about. Vocalist Venti has that Gary Lightbody quality about his voice – at once intimate and open, and possibly where the Snow Patrol comparison comes from the most. Pulsating, unrelenting and melodic as hell, it's an impressive marking point.

Beating Faster is a glorious three and a half minute piece of sheer pop rock, and shouldn't be sitting on an unsigned band's EP. With swooping guitars and resonating bass, this is a song that deserves to be heard by anyone that's ever attended a summer music festival and caught one of these magical moments when you know you've just witnessed something special.
Instant Gratification

Whatever bands influenced the members of Republic Of Letters the most must have made one hell of a soundtrack when they were growing up, for the music on offer on Spirit Or A Ghost is both uplifting and polished. In fact, the six tracks on offer here reinforce the knowledge that some of the best music being made today is that of unsigned bands, as shown by the short but memorable Falling Back.

No Time For Fears is the longest song on display here, yet even that only clocks in at just over four minutes, and it's this appreciation for short, sharp bursts of instant gratification that makes the songs of Republic Of Letters such a pleasure to listen to (as well as the small matter of actually being impressive, too!). Lost Within reminds you of the British band James in their heyday, and shows the versatility to the band's songwriting skills.
Mass Appeal

The last song on the EP is actually the title track, and as such, Spirit Or A Ghost doesn't disappoint. Opening with an almost military-like drumbeat, it's both Celtic and dramatic in feel, with good use of echo both in the music and singing, and could quite easily sit as a closing song on the next Chris Columbus movie soundtrack.

Since their inception, Republic Of Letters has built up a loyal fan-base and a good reputation for a solid live show. With an appearance at the much vaunted South by South West festival this year behind them as well, it may not be too much longer that the likes of Beating Faster is sitting on the EP of an unsigned band. -

"Republic of Letters ~ Spirit or a Ghost"

By Derek Blackmon

Just when you’ve gotten bored with all the other crap being touted as the “next best thing,” San Diego’s Republic of Letters lays down an EP of highbrow indie-pop that even your mother would love. Not that this should be a gauge for talent but who doesn’t want their parents to be hip in a time when Amy Winehouse has made the adult world think that even though she’s a drunk, she might have talent?

The six-song Spirit Or A Ghost is a pop-hook laden trip through the land of Great Bands You Have To Work To Find. “No Time For Tears” is tucked gently between influences of Neil Finn’s unreleased b-sides and a younger less-perturbed Bono. This isn’t to imply we are looking at the next U2, merely a well sourced band with bags of potential.

As with most bands that have been formed in the last forty years, the Beatles have a large influence on the Republic, and with good measure too. Pop chords, smart lyrics, and a pleasant sound make this the perfect addition to any iPod play list for that mellow afternoon when you need to avoid tedious things like homework, housework, or life in general.

Granted, “Falling Back” sounds like the track you might hear when Jennifer Aniston is rushing through the streets in her latest feel good romance to find the guy she’s ignored for the last ninety minutes of popcorn and diet soda to apologize, slow kiss and take back. (We have to remember: It’s Jennifer Aniston. She does this in real life as well.)

As the West Coast begins to crumble into the sea, it is conceivable Republic of Letters will need to venture eastward and show their chops. We certainly don’t want anything bad to happen to Posh and David Beckham, but if it forces such good music upon us, then we can always rename Nevada’s new coastline.

"Republic of Letters, Best Alternative Nominee"

After awhile, if you catch too much local live acts, and you're a single woman of a certain age, you start to feel like you're cruising for a 24-year-old drummer (in this band, that would be Nick Venti. His brother, Chris, fronts the band). That drummer boy stalking, I didn't mean me, necessarily. I meant the granite-blond in sporty, comfy sandals, with the husky Massachusetts voice, who was hanging out with me. (It did occur to me that if I see every SDMA nom playing each week, I'm going to be a Chris Rock "Bring the Pain" quote come true.)

After the show, I tell Chris, "Republic of Letters sounds like the band U2, if The Edge was allowed to steer the course and there was no Bono." I'm not sure what I meant, because he's a passionate, heart-on-his-sleeve frontman, even for a crowd of 20 at the Ken with a crappy sound guy who went M.I.A. and abandoned them with a faulty monitor. Even then, the guy brings blissed-out feeling to the line "All you have is all you need." And the song with the tom toms feels like a safe boat on a rocky night with a shipmate you trust.

"That's 'No Time for Fears'" -- the song's name, Nick says -- "It used to be called 'Tom's Song,' because that's what the song was based off of. The tom toms." - San Diego Union Tribune


Stories- (2011) Singles: 1. Lost Chord, 2. Stories

Spirit or a Ghost- (EP 2007) Singles: 1. Bridge, 2. Falling Back

Demo (2005)- Single: 1. Saving grace




Republic of Letters is a three-man band that exemplifies the notion that the sum of the parts can be far greater than the whole. Each of its members was inspired to create and perform as a result of the major impact that music had on them and their lives. Now coalesced together with a seven-year-strong unity honed in front of many thousands of listeners at hundreds of shows, the San Diego-based group stands at the springboard of success, ready and able to have an equally great impact in today’s contemporary music scene.

You can hear that potential on their first full album Stories, a disc that melds modern musical modes and appeal with time-honored and proven classic rock’n’roll power, craft and finesse. Produced by Brian Karscig (of Louis XIV), it’s a 10 song collection rich with energy, melodic colors, rhythmic drive and grooves, emotions and lyrical observations that all echo with an inviting familiarity alongside the newness of the band’s own distinctive creativity, energy and engaging spirit. It follows their 2007 six-song debut EP, Spirit or a Ghost, produced by Ben Moore, known for his work with such famed artists as Switchfoot, Rocket from the Crypt and Hot Snakes. From a first listen to Republic of Letters, be it on record or stage, it’s undeniable that here’s an act whose fervent sense of purpose and musicality is engaging and infectious.

Republic of Letters chose an apt name for their band, taken from an international community of 17th and 18th Century scholars and writers who avidly communicated and exchanged ideas in a fashion that transcended language and borders to help inspire their peers and the world at large. In a similar fashion, popular music has transmitted and shared ideas and feelings in the modern age to inspire and enhance the lives of many millions. Among those it affected deeply and moved to add their own contributions to the canon is the members of this new musical Republic of Letters: Chris Venti (guitar and vocals), Nick Venti (drums) and Martin Niwinski (bass).

RoL, as they are known in shorthand, are not just a group of musicians but truly a band. Their songs are almost all written collectively, and together they have built their own independent career and profile that have found them earning radio play on major rock and Triple A radio stations nationwide as well as 150 plus college stations, charting in CMJ. In their hometown, they’ve been nominated three years in a row as Best Alternative Band in the San Diego Music Awards, enjoy regular rotation on 91X, FM 94/9, KPRI/102.1 and Sophie 103.7, and are the city’s opening act of choice for such touring acts as The Duke Spirit, We Are Scientists, British Sea Power, Awolnation, The Coronas, Air Traffic, Unwritten Law and Hot Water Music, to name some but hardly all. They’ve played the annual Heart of Texas Rock Fest during SXSW in 2008 and 2009, and have been heard on the radio in Europe and enjoyed steady play on XFM in Reykjavik, Iceland. And all that is only beginning as they move out on tour and prepare to cut their next album.

All three members have listened to and absorbed a broad range of music that informs the rich palette from which they draw and fashion their sound. The Venti brothers grew up in a musical household, encouraged to play instruments by their mother, a college voice and music teacher, and hearing such artists as Bob Dylan and Steppenwolf from their father’s extensive album collection. By their teens they had started on their rock’n’roll instruments and began playing in bands, both fired by the buzz of the early Southern California second wave punk and skateboard culture that emerged around them as they came of age. Niwinski started out on trumpet and French horn in school band, and in his teens played guitar but then switched to bass, prompted by the upright bass tracks he heard on the debut Beastie Boys album, Licensed to Ill.

“We all come from different and varied places musically yet find a common ground together,” notes Chris. After playing in separate bands the Venti brothers joined forces. When Niwinski joined them, the immediate musical flow and intercommunication they shared shifted his perception from playing music for fun but doubting he could make a career of it to seeing it as a viable pursuit.

Like such other acts comprised of three instruments and a lead voice as U2, The Ramones, The Who, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin, R.E.M. and The Police, Republic of Letters aim and succeed at creating a big sound and impact from such basic elements. “That’s what it’s all about with us,” explains Niwinski. Inquire about the artists they admire and who inspire them, and the responses are as wide and diverse as a huge record collection: Everyone from Radiohead to Bruce Springsteen to Charles Mingus to Depeche Mode and many more between and beyond. What results from all that is a genuinely global and timeless musical republic all their own.

“We are all drawn t