Rolling Stone spotlights local music scene
Barstow bands, musicians earn major recognition
BARSTOW • With a major music and art tour set to roll through town, Rolling Stone Magazine recently ran an article online which put a spotlight on the Barstow music scene.
The magazine’s article, “Bands to Watch from Barstow,” comes amid the ongoing nine-city Station to Station Tour, which stops in Barstow on Tuesday and connects “creators in the worlds of art, music, food, literature and film for a series of cultural interventions and site-specific happenings,” according to its website.
Beck and Cat Power are among those scheduled to perform Tuesday evening at the Skyline Drive-In.
Rolling Stone wrote about bands to watch in each of the cities on the tour, including New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
“What distinguishes Barstow music today,” the article begins, “is its tight-knit DIY community.”
Local musicians Jacob Nichols and David Ribera, each of whom have been in bands that have signed major-label contracts, were interviewed by the magazine.
“I was shocked, I was starstruck,” Nichols said, remembering when the writer from Rolling Stone contacted him.
Now guitarist in the band KDNPRS, Nichols said the writer sent an email to the band and the two spoke on the phone last week.
“They wrote us and knew we were up-and-coming from Barstow,” Nichols said. “I guess they heard there’s really a music scene here.”
Even after the phone interview, Nichols said he wasn’t entirely convinced it was real until after the writer asked him to send a high-resolution photograph of the foursome.
KDNPRS bassist Kyle Nichols told Rolling Stone the band is trying to evoke sounds of 1990s radio staples such as Rage Against The Machine, KORN and the Beastie Boys.
When asked about the local music community, Jacob Nichols reiterated Wednesday much of what he was quoted as saying in the article.
“I feel like the community is such a small place,” he said, “when you get together with friends, there is not a lot of choices as what to do. The music scene is more personal (than in a big city). It becomes more intimate.”
Ribera agreed with that assessment.
Ribera had previously been a member of Duck Duck Goose along with Nichols. He is now working on a solo acoustic project.
“We’re all just friends and we grew up together,” Ribera said, speaking of the people who make up the music scene. For proof, look no further than Nichols and KDNPRS lead singer Mike Romero, who played pee-wee football together.
Ribera also said that the talent extended beyond just the bands who were mentioned in the article.
“Chrysalis (another local band) has been going at it for a long time,” he said as one example.
Nichols said that since the article was published this week, KDNPRS has received numerous offers from promoters. The band will play a festival in Las Vegas on Saturday and again at the House of Blues in Las Vegas in October, he said.
Ribera admitted that the high-profile mention provided a boost of enthusiasm.
“It definitely motivated me a little more,” he said. “But I’ve always made music because it’s something I can’t really stop.”
Find KDNPRS online at Facebook.com/KDNPRS or http://kdnprs.bandcamp.com.
Find David Ribera online at Facebook.com/DaveRibera or http://davidribera.bandcamp.com.
Read the Rolling Stone article at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/station-to-station/barstow/bands-to-watch-from-barstow.
Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.