Playing Around: 

Less Than Zero

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he Ritz Bar & Grill, 15 S. Tejon St., 635-8484 Friday, March 30, and Saturday, March 31, 9:30 p.m 21-plus, no cover.

What does a new band in the Springs do to get started? Usually, it plays covers.

Now, Less Than Zero isn't your typical new band. It features four members Cristian Asuncion, James Tagawa, Matt Mengel and Leon Lala who are members of GPM, an established local metal group. The fifth member, lead singer Tim Gates, recently finished recording a CD with his other band, 6 Point Syntax, which fuses synth pop, industrial, goth and black metal.

So, what do these guys do with a side project?

They play '80s covers.

"We try to play the songs as true to the original as we can, but we also put our own little twist on the genre," says Gates.

That little twist pays off. The group members' metal background electrifies even the stuffiest of '80s songs. Their music brings back the music's feel-good sound while giving it the energy it always needed.

"We all have a passion for the genre, so we just go out and have a good time," says Gates.

Already, the group has built a solid following. Many of the same people show up every week looking for and finding an escape.

As Gates puts it: "Every show is just a big freakin' party."


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