Metal rock band aims for stardom

Alan Der Ohannessian

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Clockwise: Aaron Sheldon, bass; Tyler Jamison, drums; Jason Fragoso, drums; Anthony Rodriguez, lead guitar; Alex Frajoso, co-lead guitar; Luke Rossin, lead vocals; and Garret Crosby, keystar and background vocals. Photo courtesy of Cobra Cocktail.

Cobra Cocktail, a Northridge-based metal-rock band comprised of CSUN students, is gearing up to participate in a music tournament at the Guitar Center in North Hollywood, sponsored by Guns N’ Roses legend, Slash.

In order to qualify for the competition, all participating bands had to create a profie on yournextrecord.com and upload three songs along with a band photo. Through the profile, viewers can browse the bands’ profiles, listen to their music and see photos.

The band that generates the largest buzz — meaning the band with the most fan votes and ranking — will be personally reviewed by Slash and Guns N’ Roses producer, Mike Clink.

“The winner gets to take $10,000 worth of musical instruments, Slash gets to record a solo on the band’s song and launch the band,” said Aaron Sheldon, 21, journalism major and bass player of the band.

Cobra Cocktail entered their song, “The Plague” written about their favorite band Avenged Sevenfold. Their drummer, Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan, died last year at the age of 28, and in his honor, the song was re-named “The Plague Reverend Bartholomew Plague”, and it is a huge hit on their Web site.

Cobra Cocktail said their unique style of music gives them an advantage over other bands.

“Our music is classic driven, trying to evoke more emotion and painting a picture with music,” said Garrett Crosby, 20, media composition major and background vocal singer.

“It’s like reading a story, therefore it’s meant to be listened (to) from start to finish,” he said.

The 80’s had  a big effect on their music philosophy.

“Our music has an alternative modern feel mainstream drive,” Crosby said.

Overall, they feel good about their chances.

“Based on the buzz factor, we’ve been in the top three in the last couple of days,” said Luke Rossin, 20, business management major and lead vocalist.

The final round of voting is on May 1, and two weeks later, Slash will listen to the bands that have reached the final round.

Cobra Cocktail dates all the way back to their high school years. They all attended Los Angeles Baptist in North Hollywood, although they never collaborated musically.

Crosby played in jazz bands, while Rossin played in garage bands along with Anthony Rodriguez, 21, art major and lead guitarist.

Crosby can play 16 instruments, including the clarinet, bass clarinet, alto clarinet, saxophone, keyboard, drums, guitar and bass. In addition, Crosby is an assistant film composer to Danny Elfman and has done work in recent movies such as “Alice and Wonderland.”

After graduating from high school, Crosby, Luke and Anthony started talking about launching a band with two drummers — Tyler Jamison, 22, a neuroscience major, Jason Fragoso, 21 a double major in biochemistry and music industry studies. Fragoso brought his brother Alex, 19, undecided,  as one of the lead guitarists in the lead. Sheldon joined the band later.

They meet every Wednesday at Rossin’s house in Tarzana to practice and go over lyrics.

Currently they are working on a song called “Hold On.”

“It’s about a relationship between a man and a woman,” Rossin said.”It’s a cry from a man asking his lover to to ‘Hold On’ to dear life after a torrential storm hits their ship.”

Their advice to newcomers into the music industry is to be realistic.

“Compare yourself to what’s out there in the world and humble yourself,” Crosby said.

Visit Cobra Cocktail’s Myspace page at www.myspace.com/cobracocktail and check out their band profile at yournextrecord.com.