CPP hosts Battle of the Bands for student musicians

By Diana Cortez, November 21, 2023

Broncos hit the note of delivering emotional performances in this year’s battle of the bands Thursday, Nov. 9. 

Winner Raccoon Cartoons delivered a smooth indie sound while playing for fellow Broncos and won an exclusive contract with CPP where they signed without delay to participate in future events on campus.Competitors delivered nothing short of great performances as well, leaving audience members bobbing their heads. ZOMBIELOAF, I Am A Snake and Case Study performed different genres while showing Broncos their passion for music. 

Winners Raccoon Cartoons at The Battle of the Bands.

Raccoon Cartoons opened the show with their song “The Sun Cares,” a bright, dreamy and relaxing vibe. 

Members of the band consist of sociology student Andrea Alcaraz and history student Nicholas Vela on vocals, mechanical engineering Donovan Sylla on bass, music industry studies student Juan Nunez on guitar and civil engineering Daniel Lasmarias on drums. Each member has been involved in music at a young age with reminiscent memories of playing guitar hero and rock band. Their love of music and performance grew and traveled with them to Cal Poly. 

“Playing at Cal Poly feels like playing at home,” said Vela.

Raccoon Cartoons performing on stage.

Starting with their song “Heated,” the next band ZOMBIELOAF conveyed a heavy punk rock sound. Singer Damian Torres shredding on his guitar while singing about burning macaroni and cheese left Broncos moshing in the crowd.

“You haven’t gotten the full ZOMBIELOAF experience until you seen us live,” said Torres.  “We just love to play with the audience and have the audience feel good and share the same energy with us.” 

Zombieloaf performing in front of Broncos, showcasing their latest music.

Torres and his bandmates from 8th grade created the group name by playing Call of Duty: World at War – Zombies. Their continued connection to the band naturally transferred to Cal Poly, recording their recent single in the music department’s studio.

The rock did not stop rolling as the group I Am A Snake took over the stage. The group of friends wanted to start a band at Cal Poly Pomona, collaborating to produce songs like “I am a Rhino” and “Jackson’s Song 

“It’s a lot of inspiration from a lot of different things,” said . “There’s not a certain art or medium that you get inspiration from.… It’s like an amalgamation of things that are going to seep into your sound at some point.”

As music industry studies students, bassist Giovanni Raimondo, drummer Jack Blake and guitarist Jackson Munger wanted to show Broncos their unique sound taking influences from various places. 

“Why just stick with one sound?” said Munger.

Translating their emotions live, they translate it for the audience to feel the emotion of their love for their instruments and for music. That is what I Am A Snake hopes for. 

I Am Snake performing.

“As long as we are having fun and people are enjoying it that’s what matters,” said Blake.

Bringing in the emo scene, Case Study closes the night as the final band. Benjamin Villa the singer and songwriter of the band, sang topics such as heart break and depression that he experienced in his life alongside his fellow bandmates Yuvi, Kaitlin, and Brent to address similar struggles that everyone can relate with their music. 

“It was very rewarding because we had never played for the school before,” said Villa. 

Being the last band, the group held its own and engaged with the audience by throwing sweatbands at the audience. Villa and his group grooved out with Broncos.

Case Study on stage.

While waiting for results, crazy hair booths, caricature artists and small business vendors were available to attendees. The night ended with the final results and crowned Raccoon Cartoons as the winner of the 2023 Battle of the Bands. 

Feature images courtesy of Alexander Novoa 

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