STORY WRITTEN BY ROB NAGY
For 21st Century Media
Imagine four classically trained musicians with a passion for rock ‘n’ roll, combined with the creative courage of improvisational jazz, and you’ve defined the group Break of Reality.
Featuring Patrick Laird (cello), Laura Metcalf (cello), Adrian Daurov (cello) and Ivan Trevino (drums and percussion), Break of Reality offers an eclectic array of captivating original and interpretational cover music. Celebrating a decade together, Break of Reality’s latest album release, “Ten,” (the follow-up to their “Covers” album in 2012) offers 10 vibrant, original compositions. Showcasing the band’s diverse talents, the album is sure to indulge a variety of musical tastes.
“We changed our mind-set about making music,” says Trevino while on tour. “I think it has been for the better, because I think it has allowed us to reach a very diverse audience.
One thing we do really well is bringing people that enjoy different styles of music together.”
“There are a lot of challenges,” added Trevino. “For example, playing really complex rhythmic music, but also from a cellist’s perspective. In order to get that articulation, we really have to change the way we play our instruments. We really have to get this super crisp precise sound to match the drums. That’s really the hardest thing. As soon as you throw me into the mix playing a drum set or playing the hand drums, you totally lose the articulation of the strings.
I think we have to adapt the way we play to really sound more like a percussion instrument or sound like a rock guitar. So that happens a good bit.”
It was at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY that Laird and Trevino merged their creative energy and gave birth to what evolved into Break of Reality. Initially comprised of four cellists, they performed in clubs and coffee shops in and around Rochester.
“Patrick Laird had the classical thing he was doing, but he also had this rock thing,” recalls Trevino. “It’s very similar to myself. I studied classical percussion in high school, but I was also in a rock band. It was just an easy transition for the both of us because of our backgrounds. Going to Eastman you don’t meet other rock musicians, so it was a pretty natural fit for us to work together and start a band together.”
“With rock music there’s so much energy, and that’s what I really love about it,” Trevino said. “The musicians are communicating with each other and communicating with the audience. We thought, ‘let’s try to do a similar thing even though we’re classically trained. Let’s see if that classical training can have the same sort of feel in our concerts.’
Also, I think just volume-wise you’re able to project probably a little bit more than what you might be used to in playing classical music.”
Releasing their first two albums, “Voiceless” (2004) and “The Sound Between” (2006), the group relocated to New York City in 2007. They developed a fan base by busking at subway stops and in Central Park, but broke up a year later, leaving Laird and Trevino to carry on. The duo feverishly wrote music and recorded together, and those efforts yielded the “Spectrum of the Sky” (2009) album. A new band was then assembled, bringing together the current lineup of musicians.
“We consider ourselves a rock band at heart,” says Trevino. “So, if we’re going to be in a rock band, we have to write our own music. You can’t be a band and only play covers. That’s a big part of what we do. We take that mind-set from rock bands and apply it to our group, so we play a lot of original music. When we play live, people are going to hopefully see the cello played in a way that they haven’t seen before.”
“I think the feel of the concert is going to be much more like going to a rock show than having to be really quiet and respectful,” he said. “We love getting energy back from the crowd. It’s probably going to be a little bit louder than what you might be accustomed to at a traditional classical concert.
I think there is a little bit for everyone. The rock fans that are going to come out are going to enjoy some of the covers that we’re playing. The classical fans are going to enjoy some of the other things that we have going. There’s a lot of diversity in our set. One of the things we try to do is always bring the unexpected. There’s always the element of the unknown. We like to keep our audiences on their toes.”
For the members of Break of Reality, their artistic passion goes beyond making a name for themselves. Giving back to the younger aspiring musician has been a priority from the beginning. “The arts are so important,” says Trevino. “Education is always a big part of what we do. We go around the country doing a lot of public school outreach and also concerts at those public schools. At those concerts we raise money and all that money goes to that school’s music program to buy instruments or make repairs. It’s always going to be a big part of what we do. We may have given a thousand educational presentations throughout the lifetime of the band. It has just been that important to us.”
While it’s a daunting task for any artist to rise above a heavily congested field of talent, Trevino is pleased with what Break of Reality has been able to accomplish. “I feel good about where we are,” says Trevino. “It’s been a really gradual development. Just recently, I’ve seen our trajectory going up at a little faster pace. That 10-year mark is always really important for any band.”
IF YOU GO
What: Concert with Break of Reality.
When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24.
Where: Sellersville Theater, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville.
Tickets: Call (215) 257-5808 or vist www.st94.com.
Info: To follow the band, visit www.breakofreality.com.