Theater & Arts

Artists you should know: The Escorts

The Escorts are fun, catchy and young, three important traits for an up-and-coming rock band.

The Fresno-based foursome -- Moses Garcia (vocals/guitar/keys), Benji Torralva (guitar), Roxanne Medina (bass) and Ronnie Taylor (drums) -- has been at it less than a year and has been making its name in the local scene.

You can see the group at 9 p.m. Saturday at Milano, 1243 Fulton Mall, playing a fundraiser for the Spanspek Music and Art Festival.

We talked to Taylor to learn more about the band:

Give us the quick back story of how The Escorts got started. It's a little ironic because Moses, Roxanne, and myself were in a different band. We played a show together with Benji's old band in September of '08. The two bands ended up splitting up not too long after. Moses and I tried starting up a new band around January of '09 and Benji gave us a call. We jammed out with him a couple weeks, and in late March, Roxanne joined in as our bassist.

How did you guys settle on the name The Escorts? What was the runner-up? While brainstorming names with the band, "The Escorts" kind of fit the best. Don't really remember the runner-up, but I remember I was bummed when nobody liked my idea of being called "Wash Your Butt."

Tell us about your sound. Who are some of your influences? What's your style? We all have very different influences. From Arctic Monkeys to The Whitest Boy Alive. Incubus, Vampire Weekend, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Strokes, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix, etc. We have so many ideas coming from all directions, so our style varies. We've maintained a pop/rock feel in most of our songs, but sometimes we're a bit edgier and more alternative sounding.

You guys have played a bunch of shows in the pretty short time since starting to perform around town. What's the secret? Networking, commitment and Roxanne. Making friends in other bands and venues is very helpful because you help them out and they help you out. The more people you meet, the more connections you later have, and the more opportunities come your way. Being a committed and serious band is important, because you don't build up a bad or flaky reputation for yourself. Last but not least, everyone loves Roxanne!

Describe your live show in exactly 13 words. It's like having a really fun time, without actually paying for an escort.

What should people watch for from you guys in the future? Big shows? New releases? Anything else? We are also going to be playing in this year's Re:Fuse Fest on Oct 2-3. We just made our first demo CD, "Basics," and it's all homemade -- but turned out to be really good. We've been writing and recording new songs, so keep an eye and ear out for that.

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Know a local musician that more people should be familiar with? Send the who and why to Mike Osegueda, mosegueda@