January 31, 2023

The Guest Room, four musically creative individuals, bonded over their passion and love for playing and creating music. They come together to play, create and perform for fun and simply because they love it. On Feb. 15, they are releasing their full debut album.

The band’s guitarist, Trever Plume, and bassist, Ben Galam, have been friends since second grade and played music together as kids. Trevor Manning, keyboardist and junior engineering major at California Baptist University, and Gino Meria, drummer, connected at their high school in Murrieta, where they all call home.

The four came together to play and create music, and after they graduated high school they reached out to Alyssa Armendariz, who was looking for a group to join and became their lead singer and lyricist.

“It was this sort of trickling of finding each other and then just came to be, and we didn’t fuss about it. It was nice and cool to see,” Plume said.

However, the members all have different musical backgrounds what they listen to and enjoy. This creates a diverse creative environment when they make and perform music together.

“It’s amazing because we have different musical backgrounds with what kinds of music we are all into, but those backgrounds really help and being able to be in the studio and put down the tracks was awesome for us,” Galam said.

As a collective, members of the group have taken different responsibilities. While Plume’s main contribution is guitar, he also handles most of the management and books gigs. Manning does graphic design work and the band’s advertisements, while the rest of the members focus more on the writing and songcraft within the band.

The band came together and started playing and creating music together about two years ago with humble beginnings. They started releasing songs and played at music festivals and house shows.

“We had our first house show about a year ago and there were about 12 people there,” Manning said. “But the size of the crowd didn’t matter to us. We just loved to play and perform ,and even though it was small, it was a really fun show for us.”

Since then, the band has played more house shows locally in Riverside, connecting with Riverside-based production company, Sola Productions, also a product of students at CBU. They have also played at the San Diego Street Fair, a few Battle of the Bands competitions and other venues to help fund the production of their music.

“Half the reason we play is to perform because we all love performing,” Manning said. “We enjoy sharing our music and playing for a crowd. Another big reason is we love writing music and being inspired by other artists.”

The band has released four singles and in November released their first music video for their most popular single, “Try.” The video was filmed and edited by Jake Driscoll, senior film major. All this led to the release of their debut album, “Wiwaxia.” The band held an album release party Feb. 8, where they celebrated finishing the album and put on a show for family, friends and those who showed support along their journey.

Members of the Guest Room said they also values reaching out to local artists in their community to work together, collaborate and support one another as artists.

“We try to include all of our friends in the things we do and the people that stick around are people we have known for a while. Our photographer, Jake Driscoll, is a friend of Trevor Manning. Annika Magbanua, who does our album art, I knew from work, so it’s all community-based and that’s really important,” Plume said.

The Guest Room’s shared passion for creating and performing their music is evident in their performances.

“Wiwaxia” will be available on all platforms Feb. 15. Follow @theguestroom instagram for updates on more shows and releases. Their next show is Feb. 21 at Somerset Vineyard and Winery from 6—9 p.m.

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