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Launchpad Away delivers high octane music

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Launchpad Away delivers high octane music

Manteca's Launchpad Away performs during Friday's show at the Main Street Café.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED July 24, 2010 3:05 a.m.
Launchpad Away wasn’t playing Madison Square Garden, the Hollywood Bowl, or The Greek Theater.

But the second that bassist Peter Tilley and vocalist Larry Yadao taped down their track list to the floor of the Main Street Café Friday night, they might as well have been.

The five-piece Manteca band – which specializes in alternative pop punk – packed the coffee shop with friends and family and erupted with their high-energy music that they hope will eventually take them all the way to the top.

And when you break down the band individually, the five members couldn’t have more different musical taste – something they think helps bring fresh perspective to their approach to both writing songs and coming up with the music.

“When we get together to rehearse, we each bring something to the table that’s different and we make it work,” said vocalist Yadao – whose younger brother Anthony plays guitar in the band. “In the end, I think that it makes us a better band.”

While singer and principal songwriter Larry Yadao and his brother Anthony grew up listening to Tower of Power and other funk music, Tilley cites Green Day as his greatest inspiration. Russ tends to enjoy heavy metal – making for the unique blend that the band believes helps their creativity.

Rounding out the group is East Union student Kevin Russ, and new addition Caleb Cypress.

While most bands tend to all fall within the same age spectrum, Launchpad Away includes a drummer who is still in high school, and a lead singer who is currently 27 – something else that the members believe brings a fresh perspective to their music.

Even though it makes it difficult to get together to practice with each member having individual responsibilities, the range also allows for a larger audience given the age difference between the members.

“It really doesn’t matter if we’re playing for three people or we’re playing for 70 people,” Tilley said. “We just love getting up and playing music that people like to hear, and together we’ve been able to do that.”

And each has a different reason for how they came into music.

The Yadao brothers had left a band just two weeks prior to joining up with Launchpad Away, while bassist and founding member Tilley said that he never really was much of a student, but once he picked up a bass five years ago, it just felt right.

“I never really did like school and I didn’t so well at it,” Tilley said laughingly. “But once somebody handed me a bass, I knew what it was that I wanted to do.”

With one full-length CD already out – Dolphin Olympics…And Other Tales of Glory – the band is now working on new material and getting ready to order a new batch of the first that sold out.

They rehearse twice a week in Tilley’s bedroom, and try to play as many as three shows a month here in the Central Valley at places like the Main Street Café as well as the Bean and Leaf Café.

“We’re just thankful that Manteca has been so supportive of us,” said Anthony Yadao. “It’s great to have a base here at home that enjoys our music.”

The band’s full-length CD is available for digital download on iTunes, and samples can be heard at www.myspace.com/launchpadaway. The group also maintains a Facebook account.

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