On paper, it’s an unlikely union, but isn’t that the case with all of your favorite rock bands?
Los Angeles based Silent Rival—Sara Coda [vocals], Joz Ramirez [guitar], and Yutaka Sao [bass]—claim three different countries and exponentially more musical sensibilities. Born and raised in Orange County, Coda channels the soul of Gladys Knight through Steven Tyler-style swagger and bravado. Hailing from Mexico, Joz draws heavily on nineties British garage-rock punctuated by just the right amount of glam, while Yutaka crossed the Pacific from Japan in order to follow his musical dream.
Each one brings something distinct, dynamic, and definitive to the fold (Think Gwen Stefani fronting Imagine Dragons produced by Mark Ronson).
The singular magic these musicians conjure on their independent debut The Kindness of Strangers [Listen Loud Records] has quietly sent aftershocks far beyond West Hollywood, where they’re based. International radio tastemaker KROQ began spinning their introductory single “Die A Little,” while Alternative Press touted it among the “29 Songs You Need To Hear This Week.” Further acclaim has come from New Noise Magazine, Tattoo.com, and many more. In addition, they continue to criss-cross the country on national tours with the likes of Night Riots & Frank Iero and The Patience,, among others, including a highly coveted slot on KFMA Fall Ball in Tucson, AZ alongside Thrice, Dreamers, Welshly Arms & Juiceboxxx.
A shared infinite sense of drive rallies these four musicians together.
“Initially, we bonded over how important it was to make quality music and succeed at it,” exclaims Sara. “From the beginning, it was all about how driven we were, how passionate we were, and how much time we were willing to set aside for music.”
“There’s a really great chemistry,” agrees Joz. “I write the music and melodies, and Sara writes the lyrics. Yutaka adds his own element. As a leader, Sara has a lot of energy and this mystical side to her that you don’t see in other people. It’s very new school.”
Producer Matt Wallace [Maroon 5, Sugarcult, Andy Grammer, Faith No More] instantly caught on to that. In 2016, they recorded what would become The Kindness of Strangers with Wallace behind the board and Neil Avron [Twenty One Pilots, blink-182, Misterwives] mixing. “Hollywood” introduces the album with a rush of acoustic guitars and Sara’s skyscraper-size pipes crooning, “Hollywood is burning,” in between a surf-inspired twang that wouldn’t be out of place on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. Inspired by an underground gig in an old Detroit house amidst boarded-up, yet gorgeous old churches, “Find Them Beautiful” sways from neon disco-style synths into a danceable hook.
Meanwhile, the single “Die A Little” charges ahead at full speed on galloping guitars before an unshakable chant.
“It’s about the thrill of taking risks,” she elaborates. “We’re risk takers. That’s our philosophy. The risks that we’re taking with music are worthwhile.”
As Silent Rival ready their second release for Summer 2018, their chemistry will undoubtedly solidify their place amongst modern rock’s vanguard.
Joz concludes, “It’s really cool that this band could bring together people from different backgrounds to create something unique. The fact that we get to travel around together and play shows to fans together, there’s nothing more fulfilling than that.”
“We’re not trying to sell or push anything,” Sara leaves off. “We don’t want to tell you what to think, believe, or how to live your life. It’s just music. Hopefully, you enjoy it. We know that we do, and we will continue to do it regardless of what others deem success.”