By Emily Sorensen
It’s another step up the ladder of musical success for local teen band Relentless Nation, as they prepare to open for Dead Rabbitts 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 at SOMA.
Relentless Nation is made up of four local students, Maranatha High School junior Aaron Day on drums, Mt. Carmel High School sophomore Daniel Martinez on bass and keyboards, Del Norte High School sophomore Ari Shiller on guitar and lead vocals, and sophomore Ethan Opdahl of Oceanside on guitar, bass and back-up vocals.
“We’re a combination of different styles,” said Opdahl of the group’s sound. “It’s a broad spectrum of rock.” Opdahl described the group as progressive rock, comparable in style and sound to Tool, Dream Theater and RUSH.
The band was formed a year ago, when Opdahl and Shiller, both in other bands, met at a Battle of the Bands competition and hit it off. “We exchanged information to jam,” said Opdahl. The duo ended up forming a band with a few other friends. After the other players left, Relentless Nation’s current lineup began to take shape.
Opdahl and Shiller found Day at a bass school, though Day told them he would prefer to play the drums in the band. Martinez was brought in to play the bass, and the band was born.
No strangers to music, all four members play multiple instruments. Martinez grew up in Santa Clarita, and learned to play music in the “Join the Band” program, performing at the famous Whisky a Go Go with the program.
Shiller has been playing guitar for nearly nine years, and drums since the age of 12. Day has been playing the drums for eight years, and the bass for two. “My parents got me into good music,” said Day, who said they also let him learn to play the drums once he was old enough. Opdahl began taking guitar lessons at the age of 7, after becoming frustrated with the “random noises” he was able to make on his sister’s guitar. Opdahl also plays bass, as well as saxophone in his school band, and says he is learning to play the drums.
The band, who play all original music that they have written together, have been performing steadily since forming, working their way up to bigger and bigger gigs, including the San Diego House of Blues, the San Diego County Fair and Brick by Brick, which they describe as their biggest show to date.
Their upcoming show at SOMA, opening for Dead Rabbitts along with Get Scared, Rob The Cartel and As Thick As Thieves, is greatly anticipated. “We’re extremely excited,” said Shiller. “A lot of great bands have played there. We’re really thankful for the opportunity.”
Relentless Nation attributes the chance to play at SOMA to their growing fan base, which they said had been growing in the last six months. “After we picked up more of a following, we applied for a gig [at SOMA] and got it,” said Opdahl.
In addition to playing live, Relentless Nation has been working on writing songs and recording in Opdahl’s garage. “We’re really into do-it-yourself stuff,” said Opdahl, who has been using recording equipment in his garage to record, mix and master the band’s demos. “I’ve learned a lot.”
Once they feel they have a good demo or EP, the band said they’ll look into a record label. “Right now, we’re doing this all by ourselves, getting our own gigs,” said Shiller.
Tickets for the SOMA concert are $10. SOMA is located at 3350 Sports Arena Blvd.
For more information on Relentless Nation and to purchase tickets, visit www.facebook.com/relentlessnation.