By Karen Billing
Rancho Santa Fe musician Javon Shapouri is making some noise with his band Roar Like Me. The Canyon Crest Academy senior and his band recently won the chance to open for an international touring act from Germany named We Butter the Bread With Butter on March 6 at SOMA in San Diego.
“We are good at engaging the audience and entertaining during live shows,” said Javon, who plays guitar for the group that includes lead singer Zachary Salazar, Scott De leso on drums and David Johnson on bass.
Recently Roar Like Me played the Carlsbad Marathon, memorably motivating and “waking up” the athletes as they ran the course. The band took their motivational duties seriously and rocked so hard they left the race as battered as a marathoner.
While they have played several shows since forming in early 2013, the group’s first bigger show was held on Jan. 9 at SOMA. The band members sold out their allocation of tickets and then sold out all the extras they were given. On the night of the show, the audience was packed for their performance.
That night persuaded SOMA to book the band for the show March 6 with We Butter the Bread With Butter, who promise to bring with them a large crowd.
“SOMA was the best venue we’ve played, and we had the most people and the best crowd. We actually had a lot of Marines because we played the Freedom to Rock show at Camp Pendleton and a lot of the Marines became fans and came down, that was pretty cool,” Javon said.
Javon was inspired to start guitar lessons as a middle-schooler after “long road trips listening to Metallica” and hours logged mock-rocking on “Guitar Hero.”
He started taking lessons and classes at The Fine Tune Academy in Carlsbad, a contemporary music school in North County run by Fintan Roche.
The academy offers lessons, multimedia courses taught by a faculty of successful working musicians, numerous performance opportunities and musicians networking.
“The school sets you up, especially the recording arts class if you want to do anything on the production side of music,” Javon said. “Fine Tune is good for any level, from the basics up to the connections in forming the bands.”
It was through Fine Tune that Javon was able to meet up with his fellow bandmates that he might not have met otherwise. Javon is the youngest band member, the only one still in high school, and while they’re all very different individuals, they all share a love of all things metal.
“We all bring something different,” Javon said, noting that he offers not only his talents on the guitar, but his music-writing skills as well.
Along with Johnson, he’s helped write many of the group’s original songs.
Javon said it’s exciting to be onstage and a real rush. Like the band’s name might suggest, they play pretty serious metal, and Salazar does get the chance to scream.
Fine Tune’s Roche said Javon is very dedicated to his musical craft but also has other goals as well: he would like to earn his medical degree.
Javon said he is a “big science guy” and is he is able to pursue paths in both of his passions with the science curriculum at CCA, as well as taking on the school’s unique rock band class.
Javon says he has two ways he can go between music and medicine, but for now he is just enjoying the approving roar of his audience.
For tickets to the March 6 show, visit somasandiego.com. Check out Roar Like Me’s music on their Facebook page and for more about Fine Tune Music Academy, visit thefinetuneacademy.com.