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San Jose’s Stock Foto Takes Indie Back to the ’80s

In Music
Stock Foto play the Blank Club Friday.

Stock Foto play the Blank Club Friday.

Sometimes it’s difficult for a band to find their target audience. Rich Ajlouny and Anthony Gullicksen of San Jose’s Stock Foto found it in the place they least expected: Santana Row.

“There were these 16 and 17-year-old girls from a prom or something, and they loved it. We were surprised by that, because we played two sets and they came back later, dancing on the lawn. So, we knew then what the demographic could be,” Ajlouny says.

Stock Foto’s music is an amalgamation of stripped-down rock sensibility, with roots in post-punk.

“We want something fun, something people can dance to,” Ajlouny says. “Something that’s nostalgic, retro and yet forward thinking. Something that will remind people of the best post-punk new wave era of the ’80s, and something that will not only rejuvenate them, but inspire the young kids who wish they were alive then.”

The local group has been playing the downtown area’s venues lately, but with the enlightenment from the Santana Row show, has been shifting their focus.

“It seems like the younger crowd does like it and that’s the crowd that really gets addicted to a band,” Gullicksen says.
This, however, doesn’t mean they’re going to change their style of music.

“We’re doing a rock and roll thing,” Ajlouny says. “I want it to be pure rock and roll. It’s guitar, bass and drums. I think the lyrics are funny. The melodies are catchy. The tempo is fast.”

“The volume is loud,” Gullicksen jokes.

“There’s something retro and familiar about us–meat and potatoes rock and roll, ala Replacements,” Ajlouny says.
Stock Foto has recorded a couple demos, but they still have yet to make an album.

“We’re thinking about upgrading to some better equipment to record, maybe go into a studio. I’ve been using this old Roland 1680 digital recorder from ’98, and it’s starting to crap out on me,” Ajlouny says.

But their live set is what keeps them going. They feed off the audience and get inspired by the people who come see them.
“We want people to walk away thinking, ‘Wow, you don’t hear that every day anymore.’ I base the success of a show by how many people were dancing. Luckily, at every single show, people are dancing,” Gullicksen says.

“I want people to feel exhilaration and be impressed by the melodies,” Ajlouny says. “A lot of people go to shows and don’t expect it to be good. They’re just politely standing by. I want people to come up to us and express exactly how they were feeling.”

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