Credit: Josh Romine
In Theory have a commitment to music that surpasses most garage bands—for starters, they were kicked out of their religious high school for playing together.
Four friends from Los Angeles, In Theory has amassed a sizable live and on-line following throughout Southern California, has toured on dates with the likes of Papa Roach, Story of the Year and Anberlin, and is about to release their first studio album, THIS IS IT, through Shelter From the Storm Records, distributed via ADA.
The quartet—Theo Gersht (guitar and lead vocals), Avromie Summers (lead guitar), Sam White (bass) and Aaron Revivo (drums)—have been playing together for over eight years, refining a unique sound they call modern melodic rock. Fast, loud rhythms layered with bar chords and lyrics that betray a wisdom beyond their years, the band’s sound is at once rebellious and infectious. Although they are often compared to Green Day or The Offspring, and labeled an Alternative or Pop/Punk band, In Theory reject such labels. “Alternative to what?” Sam asks. “We play what we like,” Avromie says.
In Theory began when Theo, a classically trained pianist and composer, discovered the guitar. He and Aaron formed the band which, after some line-up changes, became In Theory. After Theo and Sam were expelled from their religious high school for playing music after hours, the band’s bond was stronger than ever.
Over the last three years they’ve recorded demos in their garage, built a following on MySpace (over 160,000 plays to date) and played live wherever they could. In Theory has gone from gigs after school at the local community center to playing the biggest L.A. clubs and venues. They’ve shared bills with such artists as Papa Roach, Hawthorne Heights, Relient K, Story of the Year, Plain White T’s, Anberlin, Alien Ant Farm, (Hed) P.E. and Hellogoodbye.
Due to parental pressure, the band was in danger of breaking up last year when by happy accident, they found themselves at a private post-Grammy Awards party thrown for another band—who didn’t show up. In Theory stepped in to play, and caught the attention of veteran producer/musicians Vincent Bitetti and Barry Fasman, who almost immediately signed them to their new label, Shelter From the Storm Records.
With the support and collaboration of Bitetti and Fasman producing, In Theory’s music has evolved to a much richer and more complex sound. They’ve caught the attention of The Kirby Organization (TKO), who will be handling their bookings, and RKS Guitars, who recently signed them to a full sponsorship.
Working with producers Barry Fasman and Vincent Bitetti was a real learning experience for the band. “We’d recorded songs before, but we’d never been produced before. Those guys really challenged us and made us work very hard, but they also listened to us, so it was a real collaboration between people with very different experiences and with very different musical ideas.” The end result exceeded both the band’s and the producers’ expectations. “Barry and Vince taught us that patience and focus will get you where you want to go,” Theo says.
The first single from THIS IS IT, “A New Medication,” reflects the band’s frustration and empathy over losing a friend to alcoholism. “Many of the songs on the album are about relationships,” observes Theo, “but they’re not necessarily boy-girl relationships. ‘A New Medication’ is a good example of that. We worked very closely with this guy, but alcohol was a huge problem.” Theo is quick to point out, however, that the single isn’t a “message song,” and that it can be interpreted many ways. “We left the lyrics non-specific on purpose, so that more people could relate to it.” Other songs take their inspirations from friends, lovers and parents.
One cut, “Love Me Or Leave Me,” was inspired by a storyline from the Fox TV drama “The OC.” “Every Wednesday night, the entire band would get together with our friends and watch the first season,” Theo says. “When Seth (Adam Brody) stands on a table and tells Amanda (Rachel Bilson) that he won’t keep their love a secret any longer, that was this great big scene, and I wanted to set it to music.”
The relationship theme carries over in the album’s title, THIS IS IT. “It has multiple meanings,” Theo explains. “In addition to meaning this is I.T. (In Theory), it’s also an answer to all our friends who think we’ve fallen off the face of the earth over the last eighteen months. This album is why we couldn’t make it to the birthday party or the graduation ceremony or why we were in Texas last Thanksgiving instead of at your house.”
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