Shredding beneath the lights: Pierce student rocks PNW

Amber GillilandSenior Reporter

As rain pours down in Seattle, Pierce College student A.J. Alonzo files into the small backstage area of Studio Seven with his bandmates. Cases full of guitars, drums and microphone stands are piled up against the wall of the dimly lit room.

Shaking off the rain, they begin assembling drums, tuning guitars and discussing chord progressions for the night.

About an hour to when we have to start setting up our gear on stage, I’m worrying every minute that the batteries in my in-ear system are going to die on me, that my strings aren’t going to stay in tune, that I’ll break a string, that I’ll miss my cues on stage, that I’ll just have a colossal meltdown in front of God and everybody,” Alonzo said.

The doors to the venue eventually open to let fans inside and a few minutes before showtime, Alonzo and the rest of the band head backstage to prepare themselves for their set.

“Five minutes to showtime and all I can hear is my heart beating like a slow metronome in my ears until I hear the cue to start our show,” Alonzo said.

Suddenly the lights drop and it’s time for Discontented to start their set. Alonzo and his bandmates are met with applause and screams as the sounds of guitars and drums fill the air in the venue.

Discontented is made up of four members, Alonzo (guitar and backing vocals), Connor Goodno (drums), Hunter Jansson (lead vocals and guitar) and Austin Bauer (bass).

Alonzo has been playing with Discontented since 2014. He was playing his last talent show at Bonney Lake High School when he began talking with Goodno about the possibility of joining the band.

“The guys were waiting for me right as I got off stage and offered me a spot in the band, and the rest was history,” Alonzo said.

Alonzo plays with his band, Discontented Dec. 6 at Studio 7 in Seattle.
Alonzo plays with his band, Discontented Dec. 6 at Studio 7 in Seattle.

Alonzo has had a passion for music since he was in diapers. Some of his earliest memories include being exposed to the work of many different rock bands, including Alice in Chains, AC/DC and Metallica.

“I used to play an old ‘Rock-a-Doodle’ VHS tape non-stop and would sing along with it as loud as I could,” Alonzo said.

In the 7th grade, Alonzo became serious about playing guitar.

“I remember what truly got me into wanting to play guitar,” Alonzo said. “My parents brought home a copy of AC/DC’s Stiff Upper Lip live DVD. The opening notes to the title track, and watching how Angus Young moved and played hooked me in.”

Alonzo says his favorite thing about being on stage is the freedom and rush he feels.

“I’m actually a naturally shy person,” Alonzo said. “Getting up on stage is the opportunity for me to shed that shell. It’s one of the most liberating feelings I’ve ever felt in my life.”

As the band finishes up their set, they’re again met with cheers and applause.

The music stops and the cleanup begins as all the guys work together to clear their gear off the stage.

With adrenaline still pumping, Alonzo puts his guitar back in its case, eager to play another show.

The next chance to see Alonzo and Discontented is on Jan. 22 at Studio Seven in Seattle when the band opens for Lynch Mob.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Shredding beneath the lights: Pierce student rocks PNW

by Amber Gilliland time to read: 2 min
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