Words: Vina Cristobal | Cover photos and video provided by: Third-Space
Additional photos: Reese Kato
“This band wouldn’t exist without Chase Perry,” wrote Matt Ito, frontman/lead guitarist for local rock band Third-Space. He referred to drummer Chase Perry, a high school classmate who bonded over a love for The Foo Fighters. Alongside Matt and Chase is bassist Rylen Nakama, Matt’s childhood friend.
The band’s sound resembles a mix to classic and contemporary rock, which were its heaviest influences. Jimi Hendrix, The Foo Fighters and The Who are just some of the musicians that inspired the trio.
Third-Space was established in April 2015, after a brief experience that Ito shared
“I majored in English, so the name is kinda my nerd moment,” said Matt, a 2015 graduate of Biola University. “’Third Space’ (no hyphen) is a term coined by literary/cultural theorist Homi K. Bhabha. In short, it outlines the plight of the immigrant. For example, let’s say someone born and raised in India moves to America for education and to start a career. This person is now caught in the difference between India and America (language, religion, customs, etc). The Third Space is a place of tension, as the individual is forced to create a hybrid “third” identity that attempts to bridge the gap between these two opposing cultures. Still, the tragedy is that this person can ultimately never be completely at home in either culture anymore—ousted by his/her Indian peers for becoming “too Westernized” and in many cases not completely accepted by his/her American peers because of linguistic, religious, cultural differences, etc.
“Applied to the band, we want our music to exist in the tension both melodically and lyrically—hence the hyphen. It’s the in between, unresolved spaces that often keep us up at night, and it’s our vision to offer something tangible to people caught in those places. While our tunes most easily fall under the umbrella of rock n’ roll, we are constantly trying to push the boundaries and distance it from the 3 chord, 4/4 backbeat of rock music. We jokingly ask ourselves, “How can we f*** this up?” or “How can we make this a little different?” all the time. Yeah we’re a rock band, but we try to find a harmonious way to incorporate elements from a lot of different cats.”
Rylen and Matt, who have known each other since pre-school, were already performing together on occasion. Then, Chase and Matt, who were high school classmates and had barely communicated since graduation, formed a friendship over their favorite band, The Foo Fighters (“So, Dave Grohl, if you ever read this, just know you had a part in starting our band,” Matt stated jokingly).
During their spring break in 2015, the three met up in Seattle, where Rylen (a Fishery Science major at the University of Washington) was finishing up his last semester of college. Coincidentally, Chase was in the area and met up with Matt and Rylen for a quick jam session. They wrote their first single, “Dangerous,” that same day.
When the Third-Space members recouped in Hawaii, they held their first performance at Onstage Drinks and Grinds in Kapahulu. Through their friend and fellow musician, Jesse Valor, the band proceeded to play at Station Bar, Hawaiian Brian’s and a number of other venues. In October, “Dangerous” made its debut on Star 101.9’s Unsigned Hawaii segments. Third-Space continued its number of performances until Chase returned to the mainland to study Business at Central Washington University. The band has taken a bit of a hiatus until he comes home for the summer.
But despite the distance, the band’s energy is ever-present, as they’ve just released two new singles on Soundcloud, “Orphans” and “Heavy Handed.” The third and most recent song, “Heavy Handed,” was released on February 16, with a dark underlying message about relationships.
“[“Heavy Handed”] actually started as a joke,” Matt said. “We were messing around with the tune before rehearsal and Rylen used the term ‘heavy handed’ to describe the riff. And I was like, ‘Boom! We got our chorus!’ We wrote 80% of that song in ten minutes. The heart of the song is its energy—the guitar sounds nasty and in-your-face, the drums are loud and washy, and we threw in that Zeppelin-esque turnaround in the chorus. If you look deeper into the lyrics, there are definite undertones of a relationship gone south. Resentment, hurt, heartbreak…but the power is in the riff.”
The band is looking forward to releasing a new track, entitled “Caves,” in April. As for other future plans, Third-Space is feeling optimistic about the opportunities ahead.
“We’re always down to play live, and it’d be nice to start looking toward some bigger stages,” Matt said. “We’re also trying to line up gigs for the summer when Chase gets back. We also want to get a quality EP recorded by the end of 2016 and a West Coast tour is on the radar. We’re lucky to share such great chemistry with each other. There’s no doubt that the bond we share as friends translates into the music, and I think that’s how it should be.”
To learn more about the band members, follow them on Facebook and Instagram. To contact them about bookings and other info, e-mail email@example.com or check out their press kit on Sonicbids. Third-Space also has free music downloads and plays available on its Soundcloud page.
“Support your local music scene!” Matt said. “There are tons of artists here dedicating their time, energy, and hard earned cash to play music—good music. The scene is what you make it. Buy your friends’ records, go to their shows, share their social media posts. We’re reminded to ‘buy local’ and support local businesses all the time. Why not show the same love to local musicians? Thanks for the support! We love you.”