By Kevin Zimmerman
Letters Burning, Rock Band On Fire
Sometimes the best things happen at lunch.
At least that’s the prevailing theory for rock band Letters Burning, which is in the midst of putting together a tour of high-school cafeterias. According to lead guitarist/vocalist Gabriel Kubanda, playing such venues while their audience devours the pizza of the day has already resulted in a growing army of fans throughout southern California, with more on the way.
“The response has been overwhelming,” he says. “What we’d like to do is play high schools during lunch hour five days a week, and mix in a couple of all-ages club shows at night.”
It may seem an odd ambition, but the members of Letters Burning – which include Tal Mir on lead vocals and guitar, Carl Buena on bass, and Joe Giorgi on drums – haven’t made a misstep yet. Emerging in 2005 with a sound not far removed from the heavier end of the pop/rock spectrum (think My Chemical Romance and All-American Rejects), they’ve since completed three EPs and seen their songs “Critic’s Last Stand” and “Strip Me Down” enjoy regular rotation on influential radio station KROQ.
Being selected as a fan favorite at an Ernie Ball “Battle of the Bands” led directly to a slot on the 2008 Vans Warped Tour. Since then, the group has conscientiously taken small steps to steadily grow a rapidly – and rabidly – expanding fan base.
“We constantly set goals for ourselves,” Mir explains. “One of our first was to play the famous clubs on the Strip – the Whisky, the Roxy – then get onto KROQ, the Warped tour, and in Vegas,” which they achieved at the Mirage. “Now we’re focusing on the high school tour, where we hope to get a couple of sponsors, and shooting our first-ever music video.”
As Letters Burning continues to grow, SESAC has maintained a major presence. “We take the big decisions very seriously, which led us to signing with SESAC,” Mir says.“We think we’re in a pretty good spot right now,” Kubanda adds. “Having SESAC along has kind of heightened our sense of being artists. And that’s cool.”
Thousands of hungry teenagers would surely agree.