It’s been a bumpy road so far for Santa Cruz band Stomping Grounds. “All our recording equipment is in our garage, and in the middle of the night a pipe burst in our water heater and sprayed all our music equipment,” says Antonio Anzaldua, the band’s vocalist/guitarist. But despite this setback, the rock and soul group remains undaunted in its quest to record a full-length album.
A true band—each of its songs is written collaboratively—this quintet prides itself on meeting challenges head-on and finds new ways to engage its members and the audience. Stomping Grounds’ upcoming show at The Crepe Place, for instance, will experiment with a new dynamic. “We’re planning on playing some new songs,” Anzaldua says. “And we’ve been working on having people switch off between songs as lead vocalist, which we’ve never done before.” If bluesy rock tracks like “Any Way I Can” or “Wait a Minute” aren’t enough to get audience members dancing, then the groovy rocker “Hate to See You Go” should do the trick. When it comes to writing songs, the possibilities are endless for Stomping Grounds. “All of us have different writing styles, so we’re all trying to say something with our music,” explains guitarist Lorenzo Anzaldua, Antonio’s brother. “Even if one person [writes] all the lyrics, they’ll always run them by everyone else first.” That collaborative approach is a reflection of the band members’ desire to make music they are truly proud of. “Music, to me, isn’t just, as most people say, a passion or an emotional outlet,” says drummer Judd DiSalvo. “For me, music has become almost a religious part of my life [because] I … put all my energy into music in the hopes that by giving, I can then receive the most basic human emotional compensation from the audience, or from my fellow band members.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.