Local Band Ghost Note Rocks Plaza Vaquero

Laura Lacy

Plaza Vaquero proved to be a destination venue for budding bands May 11.

Grunge band Ghost Note provided students with its public debut. Slowly but surely the grassy field facing Plaza Vaquero became scattered with students checking out the four rock n’ rollers.

The band consists of Glendale locals, some who still attend the college. The members are: lead vocals/guitar Colin Kupka, lead guitar/vocals Greg Kupka, Nick Klingenberg on bass and on drums Jose Perez. Ghost Note set up in a classic four-man rock ‘n’roll style (two guitars, one bass, full drum set and several different amps) under two white tents. Shortly after their scheduled show time of noon, a thunderous explosion of metal music erupted from the plaza.

“We’ve been in Glendale for a while,” said Greg after their first song. “And we’re here to rock for you.”

The four members are all either former or current students at the college. Brothers Colin and Greg Kupka are the sons of GCC music professor Craig Kupka. Klingenberg and Perez are both taking a jazz combo class at the college.

“Just the class that we take together [here] gives us a chance to play together in a different style,” said Klingenberg.
The two Kupkas and Klingenberg were all originally jazz trained musicians. Colin and Klingenberg are alumni of the USC Thornton School of Music. Greg is a graduate of the CalArts music department.

Perez has played rock music for years but recently found his affinity for jazz. Love for jazz music is what brought this band together, believe it or not.

Though the music was heavy with power chords and distortion, the band didn’t switch the mood for the audience with quick transitions from deafening, grunge rock to sweet, almost classical melodies. Let alone the fact that the timing was nearly impeccable, it was clear these four are trained musicians, whether in grunge rock or another genre.

Lead vocalist Colin, sounded like Chris Cornell (lead singer of Soundgarden) or Layne Staley (lead singer of Alice in Chains). While Greg and Klingenburg harmonized in certain songs like members of a choir.

“This gig today was really such a great opportunity,” said Klingenberg.
And this opportunity is greatly owed to the Kupka brothers’ father. Craig Kupka is the director of the “Big Bad Jazz Band” here at the college and is also the orchestra conductor at Hoover High School, where both his sons attended.

Last November Craig Kupka held a number of concerts for the Jazz band here at the college. This Ghost Note show was an opportunity for Kupka to get his sons closer to their dream with the resources he had available to him.

“This is the beginning of the journey,” said Greg.

The band rolled through its set of heavy metal grunge tunes through the hour, but then decided to move on to a more pop-like tune.

“It’s time for something a little more heart-warming,” Greg said. “This one is about flesh-eating zombies coming into your home and eating your family.”

“Something we should all be worried about,” chimed in his brother Colin.

The band finished with a slightly darker tune, but changed things up surprise instrumental solo.

“Colin here only just recently learned how to play guitar,” said Klingenberg. “He was actually trained to play sax.”

Colin brought grunge rock to a different level: a jazz level. He closed the set with a monster sax solo, fast paced and sophisticated in musical theory.

Ghost Note will be playing June 3 at the Hear NoHo Music Festival at 11136 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood.

For more information about Ghost Note visit www.myspace.com/ghostnoted.