Back in the early part of the decade, there was this awesome Web site called MP3.com where bands of all sorts could generate popularity for free without being on the radio or even on a label. Local garage bands actually competed against signed acts in genre-specific top-100 charts, creating a whole mess of kids who though their band was way better than they actually were.
Luckily, some bands, like the San Diego pop-punk band Pensive, which will be playing at UC Irvine on March 10, were able to reap some benefits from MP3.com’s unique brand of competition before the site’s corporate downfall. The band gained label interest after their song ‘The Third of July’ was number one on the pop-punk charts for 76 days and was signed by popular Japanese punk label, Big Mouth Records.
‘We actually got hooked up with [Big Mouth] through MP3.com,’ said guitarist Pat Smith. ‘They heard us on there and they liked us. We got in contact with them and it just kind of happened.’
Their six-song EP ‘Something about the Stars’ was recorded at Signature Sound in San Diego, mixed at Chalice Studios in Los Angeles, and mastered at the Mastering Lab in Hollywood.
Pensive was lucky enough to have Will Salazar, former front man for pop-punk act FenixTx and current band member of Denver Harbor, sign on as producer.
‘It was certainly an experience [working with Salazar],’ Smith said. ‘The first couple of times that we met him I was like, ‘Are we allowed to talk to him?’ What are we supposed to do?’
After getting over the initial intimidation of working with the pop-punk veteran, the band got serious about the recording process, which singer/guitarist Julio Godoy explained was beneficial but challenging.
‘Personally, it was pretty intense being the vocalist. [Salazar] said I gotta get away from that same singing style. He did make me a better singer but it took a lot of work. There were days that I would cry like a little baby,’ Godoy joked. ‘He definitely took the band to that next level where you realize how much has to go into recording and putting a really good product out there.’
Pensive has definitely accomplished creating a product that kids enjoy, seeing that in addition to pleasing fans all over San Diego the band has sold over 5,000 copies of ‘Something About the Stars’ in Japan.
‘It’s kind of trippy sometimes,’ Smith said. ‘If you really just stop and think about it, the fact that there are these kids in Japan who you’ve never met and they like your music. I can’t describe it
Filed Under: A & E