Local teen band Jackie Rocks has played legendary venues like The Catalyst and Los Angeles’ Whisky A Go Go with their idols from the Santa Cruz music scene, including Cylinder, Stellar Corpses, and Dirty Penny. But if the impressive number of shows the trio has played since 2005 doesn’t convince you that they’re right on par with their mentors, their onstage energy will certainly do the trick. “We play loud, we play aggressive … we play loud,” Jackie Partida says with a laugh.
The band’s founder, vocalist, and lead guitarist, Partida met De’Andre Warren (bass/vocals) in preschool, and the two decided to start a band in the sixth grade. Greg Brock later joined in on drums. Since then, the band has honed its AFI and Suicidal Tendencies-style songwriting skills, with darker guitar drones powered up by Partida’s strong female vocals. Catchy hooks on songs like “Don’t Follow Me” and “Again” are evidence that the band is destined for the pop-rock radio charts, but it’s their drive and persistence that have proven invaluable to their success. “We’re like a do-it-yourself kind of band,” Partida explains. “We’ve always had the support of our parents, but we pretty much do all the booking, since we were like 12. You have to go out and get it.” That attitude scored them a slot at this year’s Young Performers Showcase, an opportunity for local youth, ages 12 to 24, to display their talent. The band hopes to book a couple more big shows in Santa Cruz and Los Angeles before Partida and Warren graduate and leave for Berklee College of Music and the University of Chicago, respectively. But they’re not escaping their high school ties just yet. “I might be in a suit,” Warren says of their upcoming show. “I just found out I’m on with my high school’s jazz singers right before.”
INFO: 7 p.m. Saturday, April 21. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $20/Adults, $10/Students, No Cover/Children under 6. 423-8209.