Gray area


Prodigal sons Drew Zaragoza, James Gepner and Justin Miller of Sinicle return to Reno.

Prodigal sons Drew Zaragoza, James Gepner and Justin Miller of Sinicle return to Reno.

Sinicle's Still In Mind record release party is at 7 p.m. on March 22 at Jub Jub's Thirst Parlor, 71 S. Wells Ave., with Dedvolt, Chon and She Has a Fashion Vice. For more information, visit

Musicians are notorious for presenting dramatic, eccentric and overthought themes of complicated intimacy in their music and lyrics, sometimes starting as superficially as their name. Such is not the case with Sinicle, a Reno-born metal band currently located in L.A.

“We thought it was an awesome name,” said Drew Zaragoza, guitarist and vocalist for the band. “I, for one, didn’t know the meaning nor correct spelling. We were 14!”

Filling “the gray area between heavy metal and rock ’n’ roll,” and ping-ponging between Reno and LA, Sinicle has been jamming in town, as well as the big city, since 2005.

Zaragoza, James Gepner and Justin Miller all met at Vaughn Middle School, where Gepner and Zaragosa—bass and guitar, respectively, and both contributing vocals—began jamming and later recruited Miller while at Wooster High School, before moving their operation to Hollywood in 2008.

“We initially moved down to Hollywood to attend [Musicians Institute] and get our degrees on our respective instruments,” said Zaragoza. “Much of the industry is based in LA, including many labels. But labels were never our main goal and still aren’t, even more so after learning how they work. Our goal has always been to be the best we can be for our fans.”

That’s a goal that appears to be satisfied, considering the commitment from the band to stay independent, both in their sound and their business. The band’s new album, Still in Mind, is all about community.

“We don’t have fans we have fam—the Sinicle fam,” said Zaragoza. “We got their backs and they got ours and it grows daily. It is also important for us to stay true to ourselves and our sound. We don’t jump on musical trends, we would rather be organic.”

Sticking to such organic sounds has proven successful for Sinicle as its members work to maintain the purity of their band’s nature while climbing the daunting ladder of success in the music industry. Rather than work with the swarm of music labels in LA, they have chosen to educate themselves on the production process in order to prevent from getting any mud in the water.

“Record labels are a funny thing and have lost a lot of power in the last 10 years,” said Zaragoza. “Nonetheless, they can still wield great power. It is easier than ever for independent artists to take control of their own career. Justin and I both have degrees in audio engineering as well, and I am a certified Pro Tools Operator.”

Their latest single, also called “Still in Mind,” is a fast-paced slap to the face with ripping guitar leads, strong bass lines and driving, forceful drums.

“I like to describe it as the gray area between heavy metal and rock ’n’ roll with every one contributing vocals, we utilize harmonies, screams, whispers, etc. With strategized heavy riffs and arrangements to complement.”

Growing up in Reno was of monumental influence to Sinicle, and they pay their respects dutifully by naming the city in some of their lyrics.

“We owe our homage to Reno,” said Miller. “It has a great diverse musical scene, and we have built a strong following there. When we were growing up, there wasn’t a whole lot of direction, but over the past years the scene has really blossomed. The city has some great people and the nature is beautiful. Sure we can talk about the drugs, violence and troubled youth, but that’s all over America.”

The band will return home for the release party of Still in Mind, playing at Jub Jub’s on March 22.