Poetic Memory: 321 Stereo (List)

MP3: 321 Stereo – “Take Me Up”

I love the 80s!

That was the name of a TV show, we think. But do you know who else loves the 80s? 321 Stereo, whose infectious brand of technicolor pop has been inspiring San Diegans to dust off their leg warmers and hit the dance floor. The band’s friendly, communal vibe is reminiscent of the B-52s, and its music is just as energetic.

There aren’t many local bands keeping the new wave flame burning, but 321 Stereo are clearly doing something right. They were just nominated for the second year in a row by the San Diego Music Awards, the ceremony for which will be held on August 8. In anticipation of their taking home the Best Pop Band award, we asked the band to list its influences for us. You can check out the dance-happy list below.

321 Stereo (as a group)

80’s music and style: Pat Benetar, The Jets, Michael Jackson.

Current Dance Pop: Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas.

We love bright neon lights, dancing the night away, old skool boom boxes, and Reading Rainbow.

Aubrey (lead vocals)

I’m a sucker for anything acoustic: Artists like Damien Rice and Ray Lamontagne have had a major impact on me, and their music never seems to lose its power when I listen to it. “The Blower’s Daughter” by Damien Rice is my favorite song of all time. Its simplicity is hauntingly beautiful.

Alanis Morrisette, Kelly Clarkson, and Fiona Apple are some of the women whose lyrics are so relatable to many, and their voices are unmistakable. I really admire them. Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrisette was the first CD I ever bought, and it’s the basis of how and why I write to this day.

Music that automatically makes you get up and dance! Katy Perry and Lady Gaga seem to have that mastered right now. I love them both. They also have a really fun and a quirky style of writing.

My 7 lb. chihuahua/terrier mix Rocky! He reminds me every day that I’m loved unconditionally, and he loves to listen to me sing. He always makes a bad day go away.

Raj (guitars)

U2: A major influence in my music.

Their ability to write simple yet unforgettable melodies and riffs gave me inspiration to start writing and composing.

Derek Zoolander: Inspires me to be good-looking, even though I was born this way.

Allan (keyboards)

I’m the love child of Electronic and 80’s music: Groups like Bruce Hornsby and The Range, A Flock of Seagulls and Human League to name a few are who I draw a lot of my inspiration from.

One of my biggest influences is my grandfather Frank Kafka: He could entertain a crowd with his amazing piano skills, and did so all by ear as he was never musically trained.

I am a lover, not a fighter: I love Russell Terriers, I love horror movies (favorites include Dead Alive and Wax Work), I love eating garlic-stuffed green olives with a bold cabernet, and most importantly I love my wife Erica, and my family with everything I am.

Jennie (bass)

Shakira has been a great influence in my life, I grew up listening to her music and her story really has inspired me to overcome so many barriers not only in music but also in life. This is my favorite video of hers; she mixes tango (Latin music and dance) and rock along with super heroes, cartoons, and love triangles (which suck!) but she is being portrayed as a strong woman, and that’s what a woman should be!

I have a humble, very united family with a strong faith in God that has showed me to give unconditionally. They reminded me that I had to appreciate every little bit I had because where I grew up, people had to work really hard just to get by. My Dad is the cornerstone; he’s worked literally his entire life helping his parents and his 9 siblings make for a better living. Gracias a mi padre por ser el hombre noble, fuerte y trabajador pero al mismo tiempo cariñoso y comprensivo. Gracias por enseñarnos por medio del ejemplo y por ser el ejemplo que muchos quisieran seguir…

Patrick (drums)

Travis Barker: His passion for drumming continues to motivate me. Travis plays with so much emotion and has his own unique style. His successful ventures outside of music also remind me that I can do anything I want as long as I have the drive to do so.

Santanas Mexican Food (now known as MXN), along with my Mom’s home cooking! My ideal meal would be a California Burrito, lumpia (Filipino egg roll) with pansit (noodles) and lichon (pork dish).

I am a proud Filipino, and other Filipinos such as Manny Paquaio (boxer) and Arnel Pineda (singer for Journey) inspire me to never give up on my dreams as a musician.

Saving the best for last – my wife Noel: She is my #1 fan and means the world to me. I’m so grateful she supports me with all that I do.

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