Indie band ‘No Sweat’ forms amidst the pandemic


Contributed photo

No Sweat, a new indie band, had their first live performance at Spring Meadow Park Feb. 15.

Christer Maxine Schmidt, Reporter

Despite the lack of live music during the pandemic, a new band formed at California Lutheran University.

Combining a mix of indie rock, funk music, and elements of jazz, No Sweat takes influences from a variety of genres and artists. The band consists of Moorpark College sophomore Marco Abel Zavala on lead guitar, Cal Lutheran first year Magnus Carlon on bass guitar, Moorpark College sophomore Michael Galicia on guitar and vocals, and Cal Lutheran first year Max Crowe on drums.

The band had a socially distanced performance at Spring Meadow Park, near campus on Feb. 15. The band asked that audience members wear masks and socially distance.

“It was met with a lot of positive reception for our first show, especially for a band that nobody really knew,” Abel Zavala said in a Zoom interview.

Throughout the performance, the band said that about 20 people were in attendance. This was the band’s first performance.

The band started forming with Crowe, Abel Zavala and Galicia casually jamming on campus.

“I’ve known Marco since high school, but we never started jamming together till we had a mutual friend, and he kinda connected us to even more to jam together,” Galicia said in a Zoom interview.

Carlon had overheard their jam session on campus and walked up to the group.

“One day Magnus just comes across us and is like ‘Do you guys need a bass player?’” Galicia said. “Eventually we all got together in my backyard to have a session and next thing you know, we all just click.”

The band has continued to evolve over time, with the music becoming more diverse and reflecting the variety of tastes in the band.

“We each bring our own sounds to our songs and it makes it really unique and personalized to our band,” Crowe said in a Zoom interview.

Abel Zavala has written many of the main melodies for the band and the rest of the band has filled in the rest of the music to give it depth, creating a unique blend between indie and funk sounds.

“Marco [Abel Zavala] is the brain. He writes all the main parts and then he brings it to our practices and we all try to fill in our own little parts and add our own personality to it,” Crowe said.

Abel Zavala started playing in orchestra during grade school. He played both the violin and cello before learning guitar.

“I was the biggest kid there and I played the violin; I hated being restricted by how large I was,” Abel Zavala said. “I found an old guitar with two strings in a garage, and I was like ‘this is kinda fun, I’ll do Iron by Black Sabbath on the frets.”

Abel Zavala played in secret for three years, teaching himself guitar before eventually opening up about his playing.

Carlon is trained in jazz music, having played trumpet and alto saxophone in jazz band since middle school.

“I had the same band teacher for middle school and high school, so it was really useful having the jazz training under one guy for so long,” Carlon said in a Zoom interview.

Galicia is also trained in jazz, having played sax throughout middle and high school, and he also sings. Recently, he has been learning guitar while working with Abel Zavala.

“If I didn’t take saxophone seriously, my grasp of the guitar would not be as good as it should be,” Galicia said.

Crowe is new to live music, though he took four years of drum lessons prior to joining the band.

“I’ve only had a little bit of experience with live musical experience, like that was my first show ever,” Crowe said.

The band is currently in the process of recording new music, hoping to release it before April. They also plan on doing an April show at Rancho Simi Community Park.

You can listen to partial recordings of their tracks on their Instagram page @nosweatmusic.