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January 7, 2014 > Fremont rocks

Fremont rocks

By Nicole Ellis

The Bay Area has bred big name rock bands like Train, Green Day, and Rancid. Fremont locals David Fray, Greg Ramirez, Michael Reynoso, and Derek Warwick hope to have the same said about their band some day. February ZeroÕs alternative rock sound features hints of electro and keyboards, adding elements that set them apart from other Bay Area bands.

Formed in 2009, February Zero was the brainchild of guitarist, Greg Ramirez, and bassist, Michael Reynoso. Reynoso, former guitarist for The Silence, always wanted to become more than just a band member, he wanted to create something personal, something special. ÒI was always a shoe-in,Ó Reynoso explained, Òsomeone that could play bass and always playing someone elseÕs songs.Ó Inexperienced in songwriting, Reynoso chose to dabble in the ÒHollywood, touring, label thingÓ in southern California. When that didnÕt work out, he moved back home to Fremont.

ÒFebruary Zero started as an inception by myself,Ó Reynoso shared. He began writing and perfecting his craft, generating songs he hoped to use for his own band one day. ÒI didnÕt have anyone to write with and luckily I found our guitar player, Greg, and he wanted to start his own project at the same time I did,Ó Reynoso said. The two men decided to blend their projects, creating something that would soon become February Zero. ÒEven though our writing styles are respectively different,Ó Reynoso explained, Òwe had the same vision for what we wanted to do musically.Ó

With a new endeavor on their hands, Reynoso and Ramirez began writing. ÒNothing too special,Ó Reynoso pointed out. ÒWe just sat down on a couch in someoneÕs house with an acoustic guitar and started writing.Ó Choosing a name for the new band was next. ÒFebruary is all about Valentines Day and everyoneÕs in love; itÕs that whole corny stuff you see in stores, so I took [hold of] that concept,Ó Reynoso pointed out. ÒFebruary Zero is the antithesis of that.Ó The rockers took a Hallmark holiday and gave it an edge.

The next piece of the incomplete puzzle was finding band mates. ThatÕs where drummer, Derek Warwick, and singer, David Fray, came in. The biggest obstacle in finalizing the ensemble was selecting a singer. Reynoso and Ramirez flew in singers from around the country to audition for a place in February Zero. None of them worked out. It wasnÕt until Reynoso was browsing the web that he came across Fray. ÒOne day, I was surfing YouTube and came across DavidÕs profile. ÔWow, this kidÕs really good,ÕÓ Reynoso said. ÒHis videos were really phenomenal.Ó Fray was the last piece of the puzzle.

February Zero reached out to two big name producers, Paul Miner and Eddie Caipo, to help them hone their craft. Combined, the two have worked with bands like Smashmouth, A.F.I., Shinedown, and New Found Glory. Working with the producers helped the band develop and elevate their sound. It was now time to share it with the world.

The band decided to use the biggest platform possible to share their musicÑ the internet. A Facebook, Myspace, BandPage, and reverbnation page were setup, but the boys still thought the best way of spreading the word was by the old fashion word of mouth. ÒFor the buzz that weÕre generating, itÕs all been word of mouth,Ó Reynoso shared. ÒThatÕs probably the best way to hear about a band. ItÕs successful up to this day.Ó

The Bay Area isnÕt a musically driven region. Hollywood, Nashville, and Austin are where the music happens, but Fremont doesnÕt even make the list. February Zero is a young band that is just starting to emerge onto the scene. It would make sense for the band to move to a more musically centered city, but February Zero is staying put. ÒMe and Greg talked about moving the project down to LA,Ó Reynoso said. ÒIn some ways itÕs great because there are so many venues and exposure to get out there, but on the flipside of that thereÕs so much congestion of all these bands trying to do the exact same thing every single night.Ó

WhatÕs next for the band? ÒHopefully tour with the label,Ó Reynoso explained. ÒThe road is ours, as we like to say.Ó February ZeroÕs music is independently distributed by their own distribution company. ÒI think a little more of our upcoming stuff is going to be a little more low key, us sitting down together,Ó Reynoso shared. ÒHot TopicÕs been interested and theyÕre going to take it on in the next year or two.Ó

The band is fairly young compared to their veteran local counterparts, like Green Day, but that only makes them more determined. ÒWeÕre learning about each other because it takes a little bit of time to get the wheels turning because weÕre so different. None of us have that rock star mentality,Ó Reynoso said. ÒItÕs all for the band.Ó

February Zero is just as unique as their name. Fremont might not have the shining lights that Hollywood Boulevard offers, but itÕs home to equally talented musicians. ÒThe Bay Area will always be our home,Ó Reynoso declared. ÒThatÕs part of the obstacle and fun of it, overcoming that, and I think thatÕs where we want to establish ourselves.Ó

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