“Classic Rock” takes on a whole new meaning when Break of Reality hits the stage. The quartet’s boundary breaking music blends classical technique and rock’n’roll into something that brings together the best of both genres.
When asked how he categorizes Break of Reality, percussionist Ivan Trevino’s response is usually: “I don’t. Our sound came naturally from studying classical music by day in school and going to rock clubs by night. We’ve all heard classical musicians try to arrange rock music, but they often lack the soul. It can sometimes sound like classical musicians sight reading rock charts. We’re classically trained musicians, but also understand and love the raw qualities of rock; this dichotomy is very clear in our sound.”
“Break of Reality started at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY,” Trevino explains. “Patrick Laird, one of our founding members, was in the orchestra and asked friends to play some rock charts he’d arranged. The first gig was without a percussionist. He immediately knew he wanted the energy of a drummer to drive the sound he was hearing. I was one of the few ‘rockers’ at Eastman, so he asked me to play. At first, we were a heavy metal cello band. We had amps, we were loud and played rock covers or original rock tunes. Slowly, our classical side crept into what we were doing for a more all-encompassing sound. We’re still rockin’, but with more nuance.”
Since their formation in 2004, the band has released three self-produced records. The Sound Between EP (2006) and Spectrum of the Sky (2009) featured original songs, while Covers (2012) highlighted the band’s arrangements of tunes by J. S. Bach, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails and System of a Down. On TEN, the band presents another album of original compositions written by founding members Patrick Laird and Trevino. It was recorded in the band’s new studio and mixed by Laird to bring out the unique sound of the ensemble’s playing. Cellists Laura Metcalf and Adrian Daurov, current members of the band, contributed to the recording, as did cellists Brook Speltz and Meta Weiss. Marnie Laird, Patrick’s wife, played piano on several tracks.
The band will be supporting the release of TEN with a country-wide tour. “We’ll be playing the songs on TEN for the first time live,” Trevino says. “Our stage show is a true blend of a classical concert and rock show. We have tons of energy, but there are quite ‘classical’ moments too. Our audience runs from 13 to 70. You’ll see young rock fans, older classical music fans and middle aged hipsters standing together.”
As the divisions between rock and classical, folk and pop and other genres continue to blur and dissolve, Break Of Reality is in a unique position to take advantage of the cross pollination that will be the future of music.