By Nicole Hennessy
Most bandmates claim to be as close as brothers. But John Paul, Patrick (PJ) and Max Peralta actually are.
“And that is important,” said John Paul.
Earlier this month, on Feb. 9, their band Lumpia (named for a Filipino food similar to an egg roll and pronounced loompia ) made it all the way to the Tri-C High School Rock Off’s final round – The
Final Exam. Up against 18 bands chosen over a series of six rounds through which 45 bands were eliminated, the most important part of the competition was that the guys got to play together.
The first band up that night, the Westlake brothers played as hard as they could, performing renditions of some of their favorite songs, such as “New Born” by Muse. The goal was to play Lumpia’s version of “New Born” rather than Muse’s – and they think they succeeded – but one of their weak points, John Paul said, was originality. Whatever that means.
“Originality is a vague category,” he continued. But “if it means wear face paint and stomp around in platforms, then I guess we need to do that.”
Lumpia did not make it to one of the top three spots at the Final Exam, but accomplished the goal of playing in a venue as prestigious as the House of Blues. Two other Westshore-area bands were beat out, as well – Funky McMunky and Pluto Reinstatement Committee.
The winning band, Noize From the Basement, with members from Field and Tallmadge, took first place a year after they were unable to compete due to the fact that their drummer, Logan McNeal, was diagnosed with cancer the day before the 2012 Rock Off.
The band will split $1,000 in cash, and their high school band fund will receive a $200 donation. Noize From the Basement will also open for a Live Nation/House of Blues show and perform a 45-minute set in front of a studio audience for the Tri-C TV show “Crooked River Groove.” Lastly, the band will appear on Tri-C’s “Words & Music.”
Coming in second was Evolution from Mayfield. For that it will receive $250 and $100 to be donated to their high school band fund.
Lastly, the third place band, Triple B-Funk of Aurora, will receive $100.
Because PJ is graduating next year, Lumpia will not have another shot at winning the Rock Off. But the boys will definitely continue playing together.
In fact, John Paul refuses to play in a band that does not include his brothers, explaining that the dynamic Lumpia has is different from everyone else’s.
“I don’t think I am willing to give up that relationship and dynamic just for another shot,” he said. “Not in a million years.”