Sunday, February 22, 2004
Local band Warp 11 tributes Star Trek in the form of pop punk
State Hornet Online: Music, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the rock band Warp 11. Their mission is to explore strange new riffs, to seek out new fans and new groupies, and to boldly go where no rock band has gone before.
Recently seen on "Good Day Sacramento," this band is an up-and-coming attraction in the Sacramento area with a growing fan base. Though their lyrics are based on Paramount Pictures' "Star Trek" franchise (to which they are in no way related), their music attracts and delights Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike. They have two albums out currently: "Suck my Spock" and their latest, "Red Alert."
The State Hornet first wrote about them in a review of "The Nobody Show" at the True Love Café. On the night the review was researched, Warp 11 was the musical guest, sparking the crowd with fun songs about Klingons and intimate moments with Sulu. The Hornet wasn't the only paper taking notice, however, as they have received many write-ups in various local papers and even a review in the popular magazine "Wired."
The band was first commissioned four years ago when "Captain" (Lead vocals, bassist) Karl Miller and his longtime friend "Chief Medical Officer" (Additional vocals, percussion) Jeff Hewitt began creating various sci-fi bands that never really caught on with the fans. What they had always wanted to do was a "Star Trek" band, but they danced around the issue, too afraid that their dream would not meet their expectations.
At the same, Hewitt was in another, non-sci-fi band with Brian Moore, who is a guitarist and vocalist. When Hewitt brought Moore (who would become the "Chief Engineer") into the picture with Miller and himself, the trio began to form what would eventually be Warp 11.
There was one position, however, that needed to be filled before the group would be complete. The position of "Yeoman", who would do vocals, provide sex appeal, and most importantly, serve as a muse, was a large gap that had been left unfilled. The gap didn't last long, though, as Kiki Stockhammer was quickly recruited, and had she not been, the band would have been completely lost.
"She's the muse," said Miller.
Though she is the muse, Stockhammer isn't the only one with inspiration. All three band members contribute to the lyrics, many of which come from jam sessions. Those lyrics that have not been immortalized in song sit in a folder of random fragments that wait to be added to a song in work or to be thrown away. Have no fear, though; the band does not find songwriting too difficult.
"We can come up with three or four songs a day," Hewitt said. "We could put out a third album right now."
"But we won't," Moore chimed in. "We're going to ride the wave of the second album."
However a listener interprets their lyrics, the band wants to get one thing across: They are to be taken seriously.
"We are talented musicians who just happen to have songs about 'Star Trek' and wear semblances of uniforms while singing them. We want to be respected for our art," Miller said.
So where are they boldly going, where no rock band has gone before? Well, Warp 11 has recieved a lot of publicity as of late, and is looking at getting a record contract in the future. Before, this wasn't a likely possibility due to copyright infringement laws.
Recently, though, the landmark court decision concerning Mattel and Aqua's "I'm A Barbie Girl" (which determined that the use of icons is free speech and is in no way copyright infringement) has made it possible for Warp 11 to be a mainstream act. They're already on their way to international stardom, as they have been invited to a festival in Scotland that attracts many from around the globe.
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