They’re young, they’re talented and they’re part of an emerging rock scene with roots planted firmly in Queens.
Bands like L Train, a quartet that formed several years ago, when three of its members were students at Bryant High School, are hitting Queens venues to showcase their talents.
The band named after the subway train which travels from Brooklyn to Manhattan and Queens, was struck by the variety of social classes using the line. Lead singer Crystalla Gonzalez, 21, said the riders “symbolize what New York is. We are so inspired by that train.”
For the past two years, L Train has been playing in the subway, getting close to their favorite line. They are planning to give concerts at every stop along the L line, which runs from 8th Avenue in Chelsea to Canarsie, Brooklyn, serving, in between, the neighborhood of Ridgewood, home of guitarist and singer Gabriel Castellar, 23.
“The subway is really interesting,” Castellar said. “It’s the best place to play. It’s a real theater experience.”
“We emphasize our interpretations of what New Yorkers are like in our music,” said Castellar. “We talk about the real people.”
The band, which also includes Juan Gonzalez, 20, of Astoria on bass, and Will Matson, 23, of Flushing on drums, fuses rock ‘n’ roll with jazz and blues, to create a sound that Castellar refers to as funk.
Another up and coming Queens band, Summer Fades To Fall, is named after a song by the punk band Faber Drive.
After debuting in December, Michael Ferraro, 18, of Flushing, Jay Cadena, 19, of Corona, John Narlis, 18, of Bayside participated in a charity event at Queens College in February, and most recently performed at Queensfest 3 with their new lead singer Rob Menzer, 21, of Maspeth.
The popular event showcased five local bands in an ambient hall at the Knights of Columbus in Flushing Meadows Park.
Describing their sound as “pop/funk with a classic twist,” Summer Fades to Fall frequently pays tribute to its roots:
“We found our fate. Right here in the 718,” Menzer sings in the song “718.”
“I take pride in being front,” said Menzer. “It’s exhilarating. I have to keep it all together, make sure everyone’s having a good time.”
Also participating in Queensfest 3 was Clearview, an all Flushing-based band featuring Lauren Kidd on rhythm guitar and vocals.
“I feel like I’m one of the guys,” she said. “We have good chemistry. We want to go as far as we possibly can. We want to hit mainstream media.”
Kidd, who writes all the words for the band’s songs, said she tries to “put my heart and soul in my lyrics.” The band, known for its pop/punk/alternative sound, includes Chris Fio on bass guitar, Roddy Rhoads on lead guitar and Gregg Gallo on drums.
Last Friday night, their Queensfest 3 set included the debut of “Stray,” a song about “having someone you want in your life and trying to hold them in,” said Kidd.
Another local band, The Fever Cadence, plays a mix of traditional rock/pop to folksy tunes.
Guitarist and vocalist Wilson Lam, 22, of Fresh Meadows, and drummer Andrew Amoroso, 24, of Bellerose, founded the group in November 2009. They have since been joined by Robert Leidner, 22, of Fresh Meadows, on bass, and Andrew Gyselings, 23, of Woodhaven, on guitar and vocals.
“I try to find ways of giving messages through my lyrics,” said Lam, a guitar instructor at a local music school. “Each song has its own feel.”
“We’d love to organize a tour and play our music,” he said. “If we get noticed, it’s a plus. We’re a bunch of kids who enjoy playing music.”
For schedules of upcoming shows and other information on the bands, visit the following websites: reverbnation.com/ltrainnyc for L Train, facebook.com/pages/Cut-The-Brakes/182959935056115 for Summer Fades To Fall, myspace.com/weareclearview for Clearview and reverbnation.com/thefevercadence for The Fever Cadence.