A clip of newly formed heavy metal band Sociocide performing at Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center on November 12.
by Alexis Solomon
In the spacious main room of Queen Bee’s Art and Cultural Center in North Park, chandeliers hang scattered along the ceiling, providing a dim, subdued light. Soft, black couches line the walls with various pieces of Mexican artwork framed above them; the price tags underneath indicating they are for sale. Red bar tables fill the center of the room and patrons linger throughout, some settling around the tables or on the couches. The first band plays to a quiet crowd, who wander in and out of the small venue, clapping respectfully at the end of each song. When this set finishes however, the excitement in the room grows. Friends and family of the newly formed band Sociocide, which consists of three Bonita Vista students, make their way to the front of the room, anxiously awaiting the band’s debut performance.
“We want to bring back meaningful music, not just [make] the same repeated stuff, and we make music that hopefully has meaning. We try to put that into everything,” junior and lead vocalist Brian Baier said.
Though the heavy-metal band has only been together for two months, each member brings years of experience. Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Brian Baier has been involved with four bands prior to Sociocide, whose name is combination of the prefix “socio-”, meaning society, and suffix “-cide”, meaning death. According to Baier, this is “saying that music today, or everything in general, is just kind of decaying, so Sociocide, hence the death of society.” Baier plans to pursue music professionally, and lists Metallica and Iron Maiden as his biggest influences.
“I’ve been listening to music since I was [very young], humming metal tunes, and I’ve had a guitar all my life. But I never got serious until I was 13. I went to go see Iron Maiden and they blew my mind and I just started playing,” Baier said.
For junior and bassist Matiz Maldonado, playing music seems to come to him naturally. Coming from a family of musicians, he has learned to play fourteen instruments, and is currently a member of three bands, including Sociocide. He has formerly been in as many as six other bands. He takes his inspiration from bands such as Tool, Pearl Jam, Megadeth, and, a collective Sociocide favorite, Metallica. Like Baier, Maldonado also plans to pursue music professionally.
“My dad told me, ‘don’t live a normal life’, and I really take that [to heart], because he wants me to be a rockstar, [and I feel like] yeah, I’m in for that,” Maldonado said.
While sophomore and drummer Roberto Ballardo has been playing the guitar since seventh grade, he only recently began playing the drums, learning from Baier, who introduced him to the genre, as well, after joining the band. Unlike the other members, Sociocide is Ballardo’s first band, and he has already seen the struggle in juggling band practice and baseball practice.
“I played guitar for a year and a half or so, and I was into the Foo Fighters, all that stuff and then when I met [Baier], that’s when I got into the metal phase, Metallica [and], Megadeth. Then I started [playing the drums in August], and I’ve been playing ever since,” Ballardo said.
Sociocide is currently preparing for their return to Queen Bee’s on Dec. 11 for their second show.
“One of the biggest things I stress [is that] we don’t have to be the best musicians in the world, we just want to go out there and have fun, pillage, but have fun. That’s the biggest thing,” Baier said.