Citing The Strokes, Funkadelic, Television, David Bowie, Os Mutantes and Jimmy Cliff as inspiration, Life on Mars describes their genre as “space rock” – marked by catchy hooks, psychedelic guitar, slap-funk bass and raucous drumming.
A group of UC Davis undergraduates, Life on Mars formed two years ago while exercise biology major Arran Rogerson (guitar), economics major Fed Martinez (drums) and mechanical engineering major David Buscho (bass) were competing on the same sports team. After talking, they realized they were all musicians and began meeting for music sessions in Martinez’s garage.
The group met periodically, making music despite their full academic, social and athletic lives. They give credit to their large and loyal group of friends for keeping them going, and hope that one day, instead of only practicing three hours per week, they will become a fulltime project.
“As of now, it’s just a gig. We have trouble finding venues in Davis; it’s mostly just bars we perform at,” Rogerson said.
Rogerson added that if Life on Mars ever does become a fulltime project, he foresees their style evolving.
Right now the guys describe themselves as three members who are very good at what they do, but struggle to find their sound, tempo and things they agree on. While experimenting with different sounds and effects, they keep their music approachable with a mix of pop sounds and speed metal.
“Throw in a mediocre, low voice with lyrics about time-travel, elephants and David [Buscho] and you’ve got Life on Mars,” Rogerson said. “But if that doesn’t mean anything to people then I’d say we’re generally a rock/alt band.”
Life on Mars recommends their music to anyone that likes to have fun and does not mind a small blast to the eardrums.
“We are a loud rock band,” Rogerson said. “We are not folk-rock or metal. We like to put on a fun performance and play good music. If the Aggies are people who are capable of having fun, then they will have fun at our shows.”
ELENI STEPHANIDES can be reached at email@example.com.