Roseville band keeps it 'Simple'
Before they were Simple Creation, they were just a group of guys trying to form a legit band.
They needed a name, something that reflected the feel-good reggae-rock music they play and their positive vibe.
“(We play) simple music, it’s not complicated,” said lead singer and drummer Travis Olmos. “But together it sounds really creative and different than anybody else.”
Simple Creation might become a familiar name among music fans as the Roseville band’s fame builds momentum following the Aug. 1 release of their first full-length album, “The Prescription.”
The 10-song album is predominantly reggae-rock, with other musical styles sporadically infused. On its release day, the album moved into the top 25 on the iTunes Reggae charts. Since then, the guys’ phones have been ringing off the hook with calls from booking agents eager to bring their energetic and entertaining live show to town.
Simple Creation recently performed in Anaheim, Modesto, Chico and Reno, and has played at Sacramento-area hotspots, such as Ace of Spades, The Boardwalk, Club Retro and The Powerhouse Pub.
Staying true to their name, the band keeps life simple, focusing on their music. The four members practice in a small “jam room” behind the garage of the house where Travis, 20, and brother Zach Olmos, 22, live in Roseville.
The stuffy room — which gets uncomfortably hot during summer afternoons — is decorated with posters of Bob Marley, Sublime and Che Guevara. They practice here up to four hours a day.
“We work ourselves hard, and crack a little bit,” Zach Olmos said smiling, outside the studio.
In eighth grade, he started listening to Marley, Natural Roots and other reggae groups. He taught himself acoustic guitar and bass in high school.
“I have no idea how both my brother and me got into music because no one in our family plays instruments,” he said.
Zach encouraged Travis Olmos to learn an instrument, and he chose the drums.
“One time Zach forgot the words to a Sublime song,” Travis Olmos said. “I knew the words, so I set up a mic and started singing.”
The brothers recruited fellow Oakmont High School alum Alex Giranis, now 19, to play bass. He’d played guitar since he was 14 years old and also has a knack for keyboard and drums.
Joey Steeb, 20, sent the band a message through MySpace asking if they needed another musician. They didn’t, but welcomed him anyway. Steeb learned piano as a child, then picked up guitar. In Simple Creation, he’s the keyboardist.
That was two years ago, when the band became “serious” they say, and now music dominates their lives — although each has a day job, as landscapers, a janitor and server at Dos Coyotes. Giranis is the only member in college. His band mates are banking on success in the music industry.
“We better make it or we’re going to have boring lives,” Travis Olmos said.
In January, Simple Creation released the five-song EP “Bright Days N Brighter Nights.” They saved up money earned from gigs to produce “The Prescription” at a cost of about $6,000. The band isn’t signed to a label, preferring the independent route.
“That’s kind of our main goal, to do it all ourselves,” Zach Olmos said. “That’s how it is with the music industry nowadays.”
He estimates Simple Creation has played more than 200 shows — dozens of which were free before the band carved out a following. For the next few months they plan to stay on stage and out of the studio.
“(Performing live) is awesome,” Steeb said. “It’s an adrenaline rush.”
Their biggest show so far was in May during the California Roots Festival in Monterey where they played on the same ticket as bona fide reggae artists Rebelution, Tribal Seeds and Iration.
Simple Creation hopes to capitalize on their breakthrough album by giving fans exciting live shows, they say.
“They have to like you,” Travis Olmos said. “You got to practice a lot.”
Steep paused a moment before offering his insight.
“You have to be entertaining, too,” he said. “You can’t be boring.”
Sena Christian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.
Simple Creation at Folsom Live
When: 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24
Where: The Powerhouse Pub, 614 Sutter St. in Folsom
Cost: $37.50 plus service fee. Covers cost to see whole lineup, including Los Lobos and Pat Benatar