As I sat still staring at my blank computer screen I mused on the best way to describe the three men who make up the San Pedro based band 20 Eyes. The harder I thought the more obvious it became that I would not be able to fully capture their unabashed charisma and incredible energy. With an engaging live show and versatile mixture of songs, 20 Eyes doesn’t fit into any one genre, and they certainly are not trying to conform to anything. Their music has elements of pop punk, early 1980s rock and even hints of electronic. Try to picture music that is the best parts of Good Charlotte with nods to The Beastie Boys and the Psychedelic Furs. Take that and throw in some San Pedro flair and you get 20 Eyes. Wolf Bradley (lead vocals and guitar), Andrew Macatrao (drums) and Chris Gomez (vocals and bass) are part of a new generation of rock music.
The unexpected layering of sounds in their songs makes sense due to the trio’s varying musical backgrounds. Wolf was raised in the world of ballet, and didn’t get into music until sixth grade when he branched out from some of his dad’s favorites. Andrew started learning how to play the drums when he was twelve, and around the same time he rocked out at his first concert. Then, to throw another genre into the mix, Chris was raised almost purely on hip-hop. It wasn’t until Andrew began to make him mixed tapes in middle school that he discovered the vast nature of the musical world we live in. Now they are fans of all forms of music (especially rap) and it can be heard in the unique mixture of sounds contained in their material.
The three of them are more like brothers than friends now, and have been playing together for years. Andrew and Chris met in middle school and have stayed close friends since then. The two met Wolf at his parents’ ballet studio in San Pedro, but they didn’t click immediately. In fact Wolf and Andrew almost hated each other at first. Luckily for us their rivalry didn’t last long. Once they discovered their mutual passion for music they threw their preconceived notions of each other to the side and started a band. As Wolf said they went “from loathing to loving.” Chris didn’t join them for a few years because he was helping raise his little brother. Even when he wasn’t playing in the band he was always around; finally Andrew and Wolf asked him to be a permanent member and the trio was complete. It’s been four years since then (almost seven for Andrew and Wolf.) These years of experience and friendship comes through strongly in their performance. They are incredibly in tune with each others’ moods and energy on stage and it translates well to the audience. The first time I saw them there wasn’t a still body in the room, everyone (including 20 Eyes) was dancing as hard as they could.
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They are easily likable with loud laughs, insane hair and enveloping energy. They believe that “if you don’t care about what you’re doing then no one else is,” and they truly love making music. The three of them have different ways that they show their devotion for the craft. As the songwriter, Wolf tries to make sure that his songs are personal to his life but easily relatable, and gets excited when a song turns out better than expected. It’s a group effort and they’re all still learning about their sound, which is one of Andrews’ favorite parts of being in the band. On stage all three of them are in constant motion. They are dancers, rockers and goof balls. Their music is melodious, meaningful and dynamic. You can’t stop moving at their shows, which are brilliantly entertaining. They are 20 Eyes.
20 Eyes has just released a new single, “Friends Like You,” which reflects their newer sound. They will be playing at Jerry’s Pizza in Bakersfield on the 25th (one of Chris’s favorite venues) and at Club Moscow in Hollywood on September 17th. So make sure to give them a listen and catch a show.