As spring weather teases us with tastes of summer, the thought of freedom is almost tangible. Cold drinks, warm nights, outdoor concerts and barbecues all characterize a typical California summer. But as Los Angeles’ seasonal prime approaches, the excitement is not just building for students waiting to enjoy their months off from school. For sophomore Gavin Gottlich and seniors Elijah Martinez and Evan Myaskovsky, this spring and summer will hold much more. Their excitement and talent will play out as they begin their journey with a number of large gigs and a promising hope for a tour across the Southwest in late summer.
Ocean Empire, comprised of Gottlich, Martinez and Myaskovsky, first played together at the school Cabaret. With Gottlich as the lead singer and guitarist, Martinez on drums and Myaskovsky playing bass, they clicked instantaneously. Gottlich and Myaskovksy had worked together in their previous band The Krooks, but decided to start fresh when Martinez joined. With around 10 original songs on their repertoire already, Ocean Empire is rapidly preparing to get their name out to the music scene.
“Writing a song is really on an individual basis and how fast it meshes together,” said Martinez. “For some, it took a couple hours after jamming, and suddenly we had a song. But other times it takes many rehearsals to get it going and knowing what we want it to sound like.”
The three of them have enjoyed music their whole lives, and all share a love for old school rock. Each is involved with the music program at CHS and puts in a lot of time to study and comprehend the basic and complex fundamentals of music. They balance their passion with academics, practicing two to three times a week to stay sharp.
The band recently debuted with other CHS bands at The Amplyfi on March 29 and will be appearing at Relay for Life, Malibu Chili Cook-Off, Topanga Days and other gigs throughout the spring and summer. They are in the midst of coordinating a summer tour throughout the Southwest and hope to tour in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas throughout August.
At the moment, all three boys are committed to the welfare of the band. Though Martinez and Myaskovsky will be graduating next year, they intend to remain in the band and support Gottlich in all of his endeavors. Gottlich himself is preparing to take a two-year gap before college once he graduates high school to continue pursuing music.
As close friends with matching passions and desires, the members of Ocean Empire take every opportunity to learn and grow as a band. Performing live and working together has helped them build their confidence and has taught each of them how to work together.
“Working in a band teaches you how you need to be able to take both leadership positions and also positions where you are following someone else,”said Martinez. “There are times when we just have to all open our ears and really listen to what everyone else is saying and how we are going to use that to work together. Otherwise, it is just really hectic.”