One of those beloved bands that never could get a break: the Los Angeles trio The Nerves, who were the talk of the West Coast club circuit during their brief lifespan (1974-78), but only recorded one four-song EP in that time, and were eclipsed by the burgeoning L.A. punk scene. That 1976 EP did produce one enduring classic, though: the surging, sweaty pop song “Hanging On The Telephone”, later covered by Blondie. This was ground zero for the movement but it wasn’t till The Knack with their seminal mega-hit, “My Sharona” did power pop gain some global respect….
Power pop was regarded as a “guy” thing.. don’t get me wrong, chics dug the music but it was mostly dudes that made up the bands…
In 1980 L.A. band Missing Persons broke the glass ceiling when they made their first record.. a 4 song EP.. They quickly became the “toast of the town”.The World Famous, KROQ banged the track, “Mental Hopscotch”… it went to #1 in Los Angeles and sold 7,000 copies! This early success then turned into a recording contract with Capitol Records. What was all the excitement about??? It twas’ their singer, Dale Bozio… She would wear these made up outfits made of clear vinyl… and teased her hair with enough hairspray that it came as no surprise it had an effect on the earth’s ozone.. Her “kitty-kat” yelps became her signature. You see Bozio was a “cat” person… She got convicted in 2009 for animal cruelty when she left over 50 cats (half had starved to death) in her New Hampshire cabin without food or water! She just forgot about them! Her lawyer pleaded for leniency but the judge, who was in fact a PETA member, threw the book at her! 90 days in jail and 250 hours of community service…Ironically, power pop’s greatest success may have also been the genre’s downfall, commercially and critically. Bozio still tours in 80’s flashback concert packages.. but her image was the prototype for Lady Ga Ga…
Dale Bozio’s Police Shot.. Lady Ga Ga …. Dale Bozio. Back In The Day
What we all like about rock and roll is that what goes around comes around…and new L.A. band, Silent Rival are at the helm of something great..
Their debut album extemporizes the diverse sound and ability to not only go from one end of the rock spectrum to another but to create a new spectrum entirely. Even though it’s a bit poppy, it keeps a certain amount of edge and the lyrics provide that same sort of duality as well. Their first single, “Die A Little” is one of the most powerfully raw songs from their debut album, “The Kindness of Strangers”. Singer, Sara Coda croons and yells the infectious chorus it tis’ bound to get stuck in your head. It’s a straight up anthem for misfits that doesn’t fail to show that her vocal cords are made of pure gold as she hits some unfathomable notes. With sleazy guitar riffs, crashing cymbals and deep bass lines.. what’s not to like about this hard rocking, fist pumping track?
What makes Silent Rival’s debut so interesting are the risks they took at the hands of producer, Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5). Making great power pop records–those disarming blends of unbending romanticism and almost paint-by-number melodic simplicity–is one of the hardest things to achieve in the entire pop spectrum, which is why there are so few classic power pop tracks. If you miss the target, the record can sound too slick and lightweight.
The band is made up of Ms. Sara Coda on vocals.. guitarist Joz Ramirez, bass player Yutaka Sao, and drummer Brock Bowers—
We had the opportunity to speak with the amazing.. Ms. Sara Coda:
Rock Bands of L.A.com:
Your album, “Kindness of Strangers”… is practically perfect… ok… it is perfect! The press always wants to put bands in a particular box… they sound like this band and they sound like that band… You’ve successfully recreated power pop noir”… L.A. style.. How about L.A. band Missing Persons’ Dale Bozio? How do you want your music to be interpreted as? Is there a description you feel comfortable with?
Did you just seriously say Missing Persons to me? We love them. Boxes are cool, it’s natural for humans to categorize. That’s why humans are on top of the food chain! And we don’t mind being in a box even though it’s something that concerns many artists. We’re still individuals within the box. And we’re powerful because of the group we belong to! Strength in numbers! I would like our music to be interpreted exactly as the interpreter sees fit. It is the interpreter’s world and we’re just players in it. I think the normal answer you’re looking for is “alternative rock with bravado. Glam punk with an open heart.”
Rock Bands of L.A.com:
How did you meet Matt Wallace? His credits are amazing…Faith No More..O.A.R. and Maroon 5…. I can go on for a full page about his dossier of artists… How was it working with him? Any pearls of wisdom he offered?
Our manager is sitting at home smugly sneering at this question. He introduced us to Matt Wallace and he’s very proud of himself for that. We were skeptical, because we didn’t know better, and Matt turned out to be the producer of our wildest dreams. We were an excellent fit, he opened chambers of our hearts we didn’t know we had. We’re not an easy group to work with and he is an adaptable, understanding, well rounded producer. But above all, the best thing he did for us was come to work with a soul full of magic. We had so much fun hanging out with him in his magical world, and when we regained consciousness, an album was sitting there. Finished. If you wanted me to list the pearls of wisdom… we would have to write a book. That man is brilliant and very very dear to us.
Rock Bands of L.A.com:
Did you take singing lessons? What music did you sing when you were younger??? Who did you grow up wanting to be?
I grew up trained as a classical pianist, I took vocal coaching, I wrote songs my whole life, and those were all things I had to fight for. I wasn’t encouraged to do music. But I always knew, since early childhood, that there was no other option for me. My mom was a singer, but she still wanted me to choose an easier path. But that easy path would have been DEATH for me. I have to sing. I HAVE to.
Rock Bands of L.A.com :
Who directed the “official” video for “Die A Little”… Who came up with the story line?
Celeb Mallory. He came up with the story line and every single itty bitty part of that video. We literally showed up the day of and provided our faces as a surface for makeup application. We were his paints and he was the artist. If you like that video, you are one of Caleb’s many soulmates. As are we.
Rock Bands of L.A.com:
You do sporadic touring… Is there a plan for a full tour???
Yes. We’ll be touring from the end of October until Christmas Eve. And after that we will keep touring as much as we can. We write songs at home just passing time until we can go on tour. Touring is what it’s all about. Meeting our long lost soul brothers and sister across he country. Touring is all the recoupment for our work that we’ll ever need.
We at Rock Bands of L.A.com wants to thank Ms. Sara & Ms. Lynn McDonnell…..