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Hype: Hype makes lasting impression, grinding it up through the wire

Imagine. You’re standing on stage in front of all your friends, guitar in hand, the lights go up and... You snap out of your daydream. For Corona, Calif. high school seniors Christian Elamparo, Steen Kevett, Michael Pena and Jon Rivas of Hype, this popular dream is a reality, and they aren’t in their underwear in front of their bathroom mirrors... usually.
Hype is the revamped return of The Hype, and it has made its comeback with a new sound, a new vibe, and most notably, a new vocalist and guitarist in Santiago High School’s Pena. After already playing two shows, at Its A Grind in Corona on Feb. 27 and The Wire in Upland on April 3, with equally energetic and devoted fans in attendance, Hype’s return is celebrated in both the Santiago and Corona communities alike. “It felt great playing live shows again,” said lead guitarist and vocalist Elamparo, “We didn’t expect it to take off [so quickly].”
To say that these guys represent the typical music-making teens-- either the wannabe-rebellious, blatant disregard for authority types, or the hold-me-while-I-weep Hallmark card emo variety-- would be an outright lie. They’re your friendly neighborhood garage band with a flare for unique sound, and total sweethearts.
The entire band agrees that Hype is too diverse to be labeled a particular genre, but Radiohead is by far the band’s largest influence. Drummer Rivas said the genre is “whatever Christian is feeling.” Undoubtedly the mastermind behind the band’s dynamic, Elamparo composes most of the music and Pena and Rivas take responsibility for the lyrics. “I transfer my emotions to music,” said Elamparo “The best part of [playing in] the band is expressing myself.” Rivas called Elamparo “The best guitar player in Corona.”
The free show at Its A Grind gathered countless Corona youth to stand in a parking lot and enjoy Hype’s premiere show. Senior Andrea Miller attended this show as well as the concert at The Wire, she said “They bring something new to Santiago. This is the band from our [graduating] year that goes far.” Another dedicated fan is senior Tim Nguyen, “I was blown away [at Its A Grind]. They were the best band there, the most professional and the most energetic,” he said, “You can expect to have a great time at a Hype show.”
The most die-hard fans made the drive to The Wire where Hype played with We are the Pilots, Johnny Limonite and Nixon’s Ghost. After the show, Elamparo said “It was relieving. The anticipation [of a show] kills.” As only his second performance with Hype, Pena said “I think we did pretty good. I always feel like there’s room for improvement.” Though many, including the band, would have preferred better sound quality from the venue, the performance still maintained the character and entertainment of a Hype show. Songs like “So Cinematic” and “Sunshine” were definitely crowd favorites.
The band is currently working on recording a demo at Primo Studios, with the help of bassist Kevett’s father, a critic and faithful supporter of their work. Whether its hope for the band’s future success or nostalgia of the days when they opened for now-famous bands like Metro Station they’re not sure, but all of Hype’s members have their own goals to achieve through the band-- including a no-less-than-perfect demo and more shows. They all intend to reman local after high school, with the hopes of continuing to expand Hype’s success. Pena will attend California Baptist University, while Kevett, Rivas and Elamparo, who plans on completing his general education before transferring to a university with a nursing program, will enroll in Riverside Community College.
For more information about upcoming shows, to hear their music or to simply chat it up with one of these talented musicians, visit www.myspace.com/itsjusthype.



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