What do high tech and great music have in common? To quote Bob Marley, “None but ourselves can free our minds.” Music, like high tech, is pure creation, an expression of creativity in its purest form. But what happens when you put the two together?
You get an epic Battle of the Tech Bands, like the one that will take place at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, on April 6th.
The event will bring together five Bay Area High Tech companies – WalkMe, Google, Alooma, Pandora, and SugarCRM – who will get an opportunity to show off their rock star abilities and jam out with their fellow techies!
This is not just your average meetup – this event will be the perfect chance to connect with other music lovers and tech professionals, and bring these two creative forces together.
(Google’s Red Machine USA in action)
To get a taste of what’s in store, we asked musicians from participating bands a few short questions:
What type of music does your band like to play?
Pandora’s band, ‘Your Fearless Leader’, likes to play what some call “stadium rock”, says Hannah Glass. “…Kind of pop/hard-rock stuff with a big sound and epic power chords. As for myself, I’m into Baroque string music and trap EDM. ”
“The WalkMe band likes to cast a wide net with our covers in terms of genres and time periods,” explains Roy Silverman from the WalkMe band ‘Walk This Way’. “We’ve played Sublime, The Black Keys, Cream, and the Foo Fighters. Our interests range from Phish, to Metallica, to Husker Du and Death Grips.”
What are your musical influences?
“Personally, I was raised on the usual suspects of classic rock, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc., but I’ve gone through my grunge, punk, and classic hip hop phases too. At the moment, I’m going through a bit of an ‘old school’ metal phase – your Judas Priest, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, yada yada. Things like punk and metal are genres I thought I would never be into, but there’s always some gateway band that proves most of the legends of those types of music are great musicians and songwriters who just happened to play in a punk or metal style. For me those bands were Black Sabbath and later Judas Priest for metal, and the Sex Pistols for punk.”
Do you think that there is a special connection between high-tech people and playing/writing music?
“The answer is a resounding YES,” says Silverman. “People interested in science and math feel a natural connection to music, and I think extending that connection to tech in general is not a big stretch. I think it’s something about the repeating patterns, the kind of codes built into it (different scales, modes, time signatures), but also the desire to sort of suspend disbelief and enjoy something not completely based in logic, kind of spiritual if I can sound really pretentious for a second.”
Hannah agrees with Silverman, and adds that “interpreting sheet music also mirrors reading something like code, as they are both different and not necessarily intuitive languages. But as for a special connection between high tech people and writing music, I think technology sometimes hinders the ability and initiative to sit down at a piano or other acoustic instrument and let those creative juices flow. I also think that sometimes there is a special disconnection between the tech industry and PERFORMING music. Music is part of culture, and as the tech industry grows, with more and more people dedicated to their job but not the neighborhoods that surround their buildings, music and tech grow further and further apart.”
(Some of what Your Fearless Leader have in store…)
Who would you like to have listen and provide critic to your performance during the Battle of the Bands (from the tech industry or the music industry)?
Hannah: “At the battle of the tech bands, I would love to have tech execs, coders, and corporate employees to attend. They are artists too. I think that for some of their realities, the local music scene does not exist. I want tech companies and local artists to be able to work together to keep the Bay Area a thriving, cultural community, while also having an innovative tech industry.”
Roy: “I guess if a member of a huge group was going to come watch, I might go with Eddie Vedder, just because I know he’s super down-to-earth, relatable, and there’s a huge chance he’d want to jump onstage and join in. If I could meet a member of any group, I’d have to say Jimmy Page; he was my absolute idol growing up and the epitome of cool. I mean, just look at this.”