Ever since blink-182 hit the mainstream harder than a double shot of Cuervo Gold, San Diego's music scene has been doing its damnedest to recover from a nasty pop-punk hangover. With a disturbing number of teens still emulating their favorite 30-year-old adolescents, musical substance has given way to power chord slap-fests in fair San Diego.
Not if The Dropscience have anything to do with it.
There is no way to package what The Dropscience are selling. It's prog rock-artsy stuff you can't wrap your mind around in one listen, or one day for that matter. There are layers upon layers upon layers of guitar and bass and samples that would take an archaeologist a whole weekend to get to the bottom of. But that's just the way the band likes it.
“We try to pull off music for five people with four people,” vocalist-guitarist-keyboardist-mad scientist Demetrius Antuna says of his band's polyphonic approach. “We try to push ourselves so far that it's like there is that imaginary fifth person.”
The Dropscience consists of Antuna, bassist-percussionist Marc Guzower, guitarist Gabriel Cutrufello and drummer Jay Richardson. The quartet has done their best to make up for being shorthanded when it comes to putting their musical theories into practice.
In their somewhat short history, the band has definitely achieved road warrior status. Chalk up three cross-country tours and a trip to Chicago to record their newest record, Dies Tonight, with producer Bob Weston (of Shellac). Not to mention a 40-hour trek this summer to play the More Than Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio (featuring bands like Jets to Brazil and Bratmobile), only to pick up and head back home immediately after their performance.
One might argue that The Dropscience are making things too hard for themselves-that success would come a little easier if they untangled the complexities of their act and focused their energies on less taxing endeavors. But it is the strenuousness of The Dropsci-ence's regimen that puts them just left of what is comfortable-both musically and logistically, and that is evidenced by their hunger to push the boundaries of what it is possible to do with the instruments they have.
“A lot of bands just from the beginning are really straight-forward and boring,” Guzower says. “There's a lot of emo bands and a there's a lot of straight rock bands, so I think we try to stay away from that, not only because there's a lot of them but we're not happy playing just that style of music.”