Mass Appeal

mus requSanta Cruz band signs to major label as release of debut nears

Steven Juliano is no stranger to major label record deals. From 2005-2010, his band I Am Ghost was on the Epitaph Records roster, and his new band, Requiem, which was voted this year’s “Best Local Band” by GT readers, recently signed with Cleopatra Records. Requiem had several labels looking at them, but the band went with Cleopatra because, as Juliano explains, the Cleopatra staff is excited about the band, they have some ideas for it, and they’ve been in close contact with the band members. Juliano, who’s the singer and primary lyricist, says that was a big factor in choosing a label.

“I’ve seen [situations] where you get lost in the mix, or you get on a label and you don’t get as much attention as you’d like,” he says. “We wanted to make sure that we’re not going to be lost in the many bands on a label.”

Requiem’s debut album, The Unexplainable Truth, is set to be released on October 28. One key benefit to having a major label behind the band is the distribution and marketing that they can provide. Despite the widespread availability of music downloads, having physical product in record stores, chain stores, and even international markets can give the band exposure to a wider audience.

Blending heavy, metal- and punk-influenced instrumentation with melodic hooks and catchy choruses, Requiem embraces elements of different genres without limiting itself to just one. The band—comprised of Juliano, Jacklyn Paulette of the Jackie Rocks Band and Stellar Corpses on vocals and guitar, Ryan Heggum on guitar and “screams,” Finn Stobbe on bass and Rick Siegfried on drums—regularly plays shows with punk bands, metal bands, goth bands and power pop bands.

Ironically, Requiem has a bigger fanbase outside of Santa Cruz than here at home, and they play Los Angeles far more often than they play locally. A publicist once told Juliano that there’s not much of a market in the area for Warped Tour-style bands. Juliano hopes Requiem can change that.

“Hopefully with a new album we can create something here in Santa Cruz,” he says. “Get more people to listen.”

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