Stuffed into a small upstairs bedroom, the four members of The Bronte Run -- singer/guitarist Dylan O'Rielly, lead guitarist Alex Adams, bassist Richard Cash and drummer Alex O'Brien -- are playing their new single "Killing Time" from an unreleased EP.
The tiny room has morphed into a mini music studio, packed with amplifiers, speakers and a full-size drum kit. With Adams smashed into a corner and Cash up against the wall, there's little walking room between the mess of tangled cords and O'Rielly's mic stand, which leans against O'Brien's high-hat.
After running though "Out on a Limb," O'Rielly calls a timeout.
The Bronte Run has earned a breather.
The alternative/rock/indie ("black metal," jokes O'Brien) band has been in the music scene for the past year. They're inspired by bands such as the Arctic Monkeys, Death Cab for Cutie and Bright Eyes, and take their cues from jazz bands to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
With guitar riffs reminiscent of The Kooks and vocals similar to The Killers, the band has its own "chill" style away from the crowded hard-core/emo/screamo ranks.
"I can say what we sound like, but I don't personally have inspiration," O'Brien laughs. "I'm like a girl, I can just fake it!"
"Well," O'Rielly adds with a sigh, "there goes our chances of getting any chicks from this exposure."
The band began with Adams and O'Brien two years ago when they started jamming outside of band class and drum line. They call themselves The Bronte Run after a street in O'Rielly's hometown of Whittier, Calif. O'Brien and a few of his friends picked up long boarding in junior high, and every day after school, they would take their boards and walk up Bronte Drive.
Even though they never actually rolled down the street, they began calling it the "Bronte Run."
Although they feel most comfortable playing in friends' backyards, they've gigged at venues like the Freaking Frog and participated in a recent "Battle of the Bands" at Rox, where they took second place.
They were offered a summer music tour with underground label Motel Bed but things fell through.
They've also been meeting with a manager from Universal Records ("He's probably just the janitor," jokes Adams), who tells them it'll be easier to tour once O'Brien and O'Rielly graduate this summer.
"Although Rich is younger than the rest of us, he's suggested home schooling or independent studies to finish his last year," Adams says. "School always comes first. But we'll have an easier time recording and touring if that plan works out."
Like every band, the boys have "show traditions." Their's: costumes.
"We've been bros, hard-core emo kids and gangsters," says O'Rielly. "We're eventually going to pick off every stereotype and high school cliche. It's all out of fun."
Though the band members embrace the fun, they do have their conflicts.
"O'Brien is always late, he's the slowest person ever," says Adams, playfully noting each band member's shortcomings. "Rich doesn't speak up and mumbles all the time. Dylan and I always argue over guitar chords or video games, and I supposedly never help out enough when setting up at shows, so we all have our moments. But we all work through it."
Back in the rehearsal room, the boys finish one of their songs, "A Portrait of a Man."
O'Brien rips out his earplugs and tosses them to the ground.
"Can you, like, not play that loud?" Adams asks.
"Uhhh," smiles O'Brien. "Not really."