100 Proof

By Waleed Rashidi

Posted June 23, 2011 in Music


Eric Estrada (lead guitars, vocals); James Estrada (keyboards, vocals); Julian Gonzalez (bass); Mike Brazfield (rhythm guitars); Mike Pasillas (drums); Jarrold Taylor (MC).


Mentone, Redlands, San Bernardino, Highland.


One Hundred Proof EP (2011).


The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill, Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.


A buffet at the Ritz—that’s one of the several ways 100 Proof MC Jarrold Taylor describes the myriad combinations of styles and sounds that his genre-mashing band has been producing since its inception.

“You get a blend of top-shelf everything,” he continues. “There are a few different ways the songs have come together . . . I think the key’s adding something [without] overpowering the song. You know, like adding too much oregano to the sauce.”

Yeah, we’ve definitely heard what adding too much oregano can do to a sauce—or a band’s sound. However, for the 100 Proofers, their homemade musical sauce is a finely-measured blend, one of those somethin‘-for-everyone. And Taylor’s dutifully detailed descriptions continue.

“Our music [is] a breath of fresh air . . . sort of a ‘rebel with a cause,’” he says.

According to Taylor, that aforementioned cause launched when lead guitarist/vocalist Eric Estrada connected with him to assemble some programmed hip-hop tracks. Aiming to move beyond the boundaries of a drum machine and an MC, Estrada enlisted his brother James on keys, rhythm guitarist Mike Brazfield and drummer Mike Pasillas. The act was completed by the addition of bassist Julian Gonzalez.

With a full line-up on board, 100 Proof’s embarked on a number of live outings. As Taylor describes, the band’s stage show is like “being chained at the ankles for 10 years and you’re finally released from the shackles. You just want to move—it’s like a sort of freedom with no boundaries, just go for it.”

The band’s currently in the process of completing its debut album, aiming for a release sometime before the end of the year. They’ll also be playing at Celebrities Lounge in Beaumont this weekend.

“This will be our first time playing at Celebrities and we expect to [be] full of energy, like usual,” says Taylor. “Whether the numbers are 10 or 10,000, it’s the same approach and goal, give it all we got . . . if you were to just keep a camera on us, minus the crowd and applause, you would never be able to tell how many people we were performing for.”

100 Proof at Celebrities Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge, 550 Beaumont Ave., Beaumont, (951) 845-0822. Sat, June 25. 9PM.


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