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Style Magazine

Into the Open

May 03, 2011 08:41AM ● By Style

Photo by Dante Fontana

Since September 2009, Derek Rambo, Sheridan Reed, Keith Barreras and Dane Arnold have been aspiring musicians in the local, alternative-progressive rock band Into the Open.

All between the youthful ages of 17 to 18, they have managed to find local gigs, get their music on iTunes, work on two different EPs (extended play) – a CD with four to six songs instead of 10+) – and also get into the semifinal round of the Jammies.

“The Jammies is Sacramento’s version of the Grammies for musicians under the age of 21. The winners of this round go on to play a show at the Crest Theatre where there is an amazing list of sponsors and prizes for the top three bands. In years past, the Jammies filled the Crest Theatre, so that is a great reward for the bands as well,” Rambo explains.

Music and playing instruments have been significant elements in their lives since they were young. For Rambo, it seems like it has been a part of his life forever, yet for Barreras it began in middle school when he got Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory album, and for Reed it was from childhood. Arnold even managed to teach himself multiple instruments before the age of 18!

Arnold recalls, “Drums and guitar were something I learned on my own. I started off with viola, later moved on to trumpet, and then in eighth grade, started percussion. I grew a strong interest in this and purchased a drum set in ninth grade.” Arnold continues, “After a while, I decided that I wanted to continue drums, but learn a new instrument as well. So, during 10th grade I purchased my own electric guitar. I began to teach myself and only about six months into playing it, Derek asked me if I wanted to join his band…”

The advice the band has for aspiring musicians is simple, but so often overlooked. “Stay relaxed and make it fun. Also, don’t worry what people think about your music. Just play what you like,” Barreras says. They also tell musicians to stay true to their own style rather than imitating others, and to stay humble and realize that even an unpaid gig can be a great experience. Reed adds, “The reason we work well together is that we all bring different things to the table – different ideas and influences – and we manage to use them all and work together to come up with something that sounds good, but more importantly something we all like and are proud of.”

Into the Open is already making a name for themselves as they made the Jammies finals, which take place May 13 at the Crest Theatre. It is stories like theirs that remind us to dream.

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