Rock band recounts its Warped Tour experience

Members of the band Altessa, from left: Kendall Schoenfeld, Richie Gomes, Bill Zindel, Julian Grenz and Leonard Gutay. Grenz, who is an ARC music student, recalled the band's time playing The Warped Tour as going to "punk rock summer camp." (Courtesy of Altessa)

After playing on The Warped Tour, America’s largest travelling music festival, the rock band Altessa is seeking to grow their audience and to refine their sound.

American River College student Julian Grenz plays bass in the Sacramento based rock band.

Altessa was voted to be included in on the line up for the 2013 Warped Tour, which Grenz described as a “punk rock summer camp, in a way.”

Popular musicians such as Katy Perry credit performing in the festival for helping them to succeed in the industry.

Altessa is rounded out by three other guitarists: Kendall Schoenfeld, Leonard Gutay, who also plays the drums, and Richie Gomes, who also does vocals.

“Warped Tour has always been a dream for me when I first started playing in bands,” said Gutay. “Just the whole experience of promoting and eventually playing was completely surreal.”

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“When we first heard we made it, we were practically partying. Then it became this big stressful thing for a while,” said Gomes. “Warped Tour is maybe the only place in the world where you can play in front of over 300 people who’ve never heard of you and have them be genuinely interested in your sound and music … The whole experience gives you a sense of ‘this is what I’m doing this for.’”

Altessa got together several years ago when its members were still in high school. Lately the band has been working on its sound.

“What we’ve done is we’ve gotten songs recorded with Erik Ron down in L.A. He’s worked with a couple of bands like Panic at the Disco!,” said Grenz. “We brought in the songs we wanted to record and we re-arranged them, defined our sound a bit more and now we have three songs that we have fully recorded.”

Altessa’s first single, “Sara,” was uploaded to YouTube in February, where it has garnered over 35,000 views.

Grenz said that the band has had the opportunity to travel since band members have moved away from Sacramento.

“I’ve been in Altessa for two, maybe three years now,” said Grenz. “We recently got out of town to Southern California – Santa Ana. We also played in the Bay Area as well.”

Grenz said that in the immediate future, the band is working on reaching as many fans as possible.

“We’ve had fans from across the state ask if we can come to their town,” said Grenz. “It’s going to take a while with everyone living off a college student’s budget but we’re all working, saving up working on getting ourselves out there more and releasing more music.”

About the Author

John Ferrannini
John Ferrannini is a fourth-semester student on the Current, where he serves as Editor-in-chief. He previously served as managing editor and News editor. John is majoring in journalism and plans to transfer to Sacramento State.

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