We are From Below. We reside in New York City. We play rock ‘n roll music.
Cero Cartera – Vocals, Guitar
Tom Hoy – Lead Guitar
Chika Obiora – Bass
Ian Costello – Drums
“One day, I just realized I needed to scream.” Says From Below’s frontman
An ironic revelation, coming from both a singer and band that have their roots in classical
In August of 2010, guitarist Tom Hoy posted a craigslist Ad looking for artistic
collaborators for new rock ‘n roll band. Attached were two guitar sketches he had been
working on. There was a plethora of responses, but only one of them actually followed
Cero Cartera was a veteran of the New York scene from the now defunct eclectic
post-punk band Death Western. “Funny thing about it, I heard the old samples, and his
music wasn’t even exactly what I had in mind for this project, but it had immediacy,
specificity, and told a story. Those are rare and valuable things to find in a fellow artist.”
says Tom Hoy.
They met at a bar in Hell’s Kitchen and were fast friends. As it turned out, both of them
had been introduced to music through the classical world. Tom had started playing cello
when he was six through late adolescence, and Cero was a highly trained classical and
flamenco guitarist, with a music degree from Rutgers University.
The beauty and rigidity of classical training had given both of them a language,
but not a voice. Tom had turned to acting in college and off-off broadway after
dissatistfaction with the classical world, and Cero had turned to rock ‘n roll after his
classical studies in college, but had not found any truly like-minded collaborators for
his vision. “We both loved distortion, aggression, and the imperfection and rough edges
from stylistic visionaries like Tool and Rage Against the Machine.” Says Cero.
There was also a commonality between them in their love for the artistically irrational.
The approach that says notes are simply sound we find cognitively digestible, and that
some stories must be told with sound itself. Tom reminisced “ Both of us loved the
quirkiness of jazz, the beauty of classical music, and the freedom and glorious weirdness
of soundscapes and experimental music.”
They got together and started jamming, and soon realized their songwriting
chemistry. What came out in the next year was a kaleidoscope of catchy riffs, distorted
hooks, beautiful melodies, and trips to other realities.
It was hard to start exploring, but even more important to add momentum to their
efforts. Their criterion for their first songs was simple. “
We chose the tunes that would be fun to play live.” said Cero. They worked up a demo
and coined themselves as From Below. Now, with the addition of drummer Ian Costello
and bassist Chika Obiora, From Below stand to storm the New York music scene with
their visceral, churning, and extremely catchy sound.
“When it comes right down to it, we make the music that we’d like to listen to.”