The Shake Up
By Waleed Rashidi
MEMBERS & INSTRUMENTS:
Justin Velarde (vocals); Robert Rodello (guitar); Manuel Arredondo (guitar); Anthony Bueno (bass); Matt Lafferty (drums).
CITIES OF ORIGIN:
Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Moreno Valley, Yucaipa.
Best Kept Secret (2011).
“We all listen to so many different things. I’m surprised we all come to an agreement on writing,” says Velarde. “Our musical influences range from punk, hardcore, pop-punk, emo, indie. We’re just all across the map. You name it, one of us is bound to like it.”
Pro athletes sometimes emerge from retirement to re-enter the court, ring or field. Many musicians have done the same, forging ahead with reunion shows after swearing to never be seen on stage again. And the “never say never” adage may ring true here, woven into the history of pop-punk rock act The Shake Up.
After spending time in local bands, vocalist Justin Velarde had pretty much nixed the idea of performing again. But a quick jam session at the park with his former (and now current) bandmate Robert Rodello last summer changed the course of Velarde’s years spent away from the stage. The pair simply missed playing together and before they knew it, a new band was in order.
The duo met with bassist Anthony Bueno and eventually recruited drummer Matt Lafferty after spending time seeking a stable sticksman. Rounding out The Shake Up’s roster was guitarist Manuel Arredondo, who was located through a mutual friend.
“All this ‘scouting out’ took a lot of time,” says Velarde. “We had some songs written over the summer and fall and were ready to record with the other members. But with all the changes in the lineup we didn’t record ‘til December. It kind of set us back.”
In fact, Velarde was predicting additional shake ups in The Shake Up. “I was expecting more setbacks and people leaving because of the possibility of our musical [tastes] clashing. But it’s made the music so much better. We’re full force ahead now, so it was worth it.”
Yes, The Shake Up’s really making headway with its four-song EP, Best Kept Secret, released in the spring and a slot at Upland’s The Wire this Saturday opening for New Year’s Day.
“Our philosophy is to write solid, catchy, music,” says Velarde. “Have fun, put on a good show. Most of all, be a sincere and honest band. I try to write about what I see and what I go through and try not to over exaggerate. It just works for us to be who we are. We just want people to easily relate to our music.”
The Shake Up with New Year’s Day, Girl On Fire, The Material, Goodnight Sunrise, At Your Expense and Always and Never at The Wire, 247 N. 2nd Ave., Upland, (909) 985-9466; www.thewire247.com. Sat, July 23. 5:45PM. $12.