Up Against It
Chuck Reyome is the manager of the Musician Rehearsal Center (MRC), a place where local bands and musicians go to rehearse. The Sparks building is open for rehearsals 24/7 with video surveillance around the clock. MRC has 50 practice rooms with sound-dampened walls, as well as a 2,000-square-feet room, known as “Center Stage,” with a 26-by-16 feet stage, equipped with professional lighting and sound.
“There are a lot of places that are like this, but we have heard none of them are as clean,” said Reyome. “We’re not the be-all, end-all, but we like to think we’re the top of the line here.”
Four years after opening, MRC is at capacity and is home to nearly 50 bands. One of these bands is the punk/metal band, Up Against It. The band consist of five guys—Reyome on lead guitar, Randy Granata on vocals, Jonathan “J5” Hodges on guitar, Steve Freeman on bass, and Oscar Ozuna on drums. The musicians have been playing together since June 2012. Just two weeks after Reyome and Granata joined the band, the group played its first show.
“The Alley actually gave us our first real venue break back in the day,” said Freeman. “Our first show was a little off the hook a little bit—actually the first show was not too bad at all for these two only being with us for two weeks.”
The band members have worked well together from the start—from playing their first show with little rehearsal and new members, to everyone contributing to the songwriting process.
“The beautiful thing about it is we all like different styles of music, so we have this huge collage of music,” said Granata.
They try not to turn down anyone’s ideas during the writing process, despite their different tastes in music. They play everything from punk rock to heavy metal to melodic metal.
“The best way you ever learn how to play is you play every fucking style,” said Hodges. On top of writing and playing their music, they’re also in charge of their own promotions and tickets sales.
“It’s harder that way, but I think it’s better—it’s the nucleus of us all,” said Reyome. The band members say they’re willing to put in the time and extra effort needed so that no outsiders are involved in promotion and ticket sales. They say no one tells them what to do or where to play.
“Who knows us better than us?” asked Freeman.
Up Against It will perform on Thursday, Nov. 13, at Cargo in the Whitney Peak Hotel with Buckcherry and Seasons of Insanity. The band’s set will be a collection of original songs. This will be one of their last shows for a while so they can focus on writing new music.
“I think what has happened, though, is on this promotion machine, it has been practice, show, practice, show for the last year,” said Reyome. “We really haven’t had time to make new shit up.”
They plan to be back with new music and shows in Spring 2015. In the meantime, the band will be working on new material at the MRC in Sparks.