Though A Broken Opera formed just last year (from the ashes of the now-defunct the Opera), the individual members have been collectively jamming together for four or five years. And despite all the music experience under their combined belt, the twentysomethings—Jose Corominas (lead vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard), Andrew Hernandez (drums) and Miguel Quintero (guitar)—haven't tried to narrow down their '90s-inspired jams to meet the music industry's genres halfway. Instead, the group genre-hops (a label-defying technique that will hopefully lead to nationwide city-hopping), touching on everything from synth-pop to alt-rock. And with a Spanish-rock EP possibly in the works, the only thing stopping A Broken Opera from total SoCal domination is the lack of a bass player. And as it turns out, they're already looking.
OC Weekly: How did the band get started?
A Broken Opera perform with Nomi Abadi, Blindboss and Ryan Ratfield at Detroit Bar, detroitbar.com. Mon., 9 p.m. Free. 21+.
Hey, Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, contact info, high-res photos and impending show dates for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or e-mail your link to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roman Racela (band manager): Miguel and Jose were a part of a Las Vegas rock band called the Opera that Jose started. When the band broke up, they moved to Orange County to seriously pursue a music career. They met Andrew, who later became their drummer. Leaving Las Vegas was also the departure from the Opera's bluesy style of rock & roll—the band started playing a more radio-friendly, modern-alternative-rock sound. The band knew they couldn't keep playing under the old name with their new sound, so a year later, they picked A Broken Opera. The new name is sort of symbolic—breaking away from what the Opera was.
How did the cover art for your EP American Dreams come about?
Jose Corominas: I'm an oil painter as well—and our friend Elaina Soco had a showing at an art gallery with a wall that you could just go up to and paint or draw whatever you want. So I drew something, and then Elaina came up and drew the hair. I was a little taken aback because she drew on my drawing, but it looked really good, so I took a picture and put a filter on it through Instagram.
So, what's the deal with "Elevator"? It's a super-catchy number.
Corominas: It changed a lot when we were in the band room. It was just a break-up song. And when it was written, it was sort of intended to have a brighter sound to it. And the word elevator . . . well, I've been listening to No Doubt, and I always listen to "Spider Webs," and I was like, "Oh, what's a catchy word I can put in this song?" I have no idea why that came out, or why that even worked, but it was an interesting experiment. I like that song because we wrote it and it came from us—but, no offense, sometimes I don't feel like it defines us too much. It's got a very pop mentality to it.
Anything you guys have been working on since your last EP?
Miguel Quintero: Something we're kinda flirting with is writing a Spanish-rock EP. Jose's parents are both native Spanish speakers.
Corominas: We're just working on our tour and writing. The next thing we're working on is a music video for "Elevator."
Will it be shot in an elevator?
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Corominas: Yeah, haha.
Hopefully an elevator in Orange County!
This column appeared in print as "A Broken Opera Get Fixed."