We here at Nanobot Rock Reviews are formed on the foundation that a single idea can make a big difference. We avidly support local and independent music from around the world. One such idea, well worth supporting, comes from a man in Los Angeles. Derek Jordan, from the band Decoded, has launched a full-fledged endeavor that the world, most importantly Los Angeles, California, needs to know about. Every Thursday in May at LA’s own AMPLYFi there will be a Rock for a Difference. Decoded will perform with other local artists to raise money and awareness for a local organization. Great local music and help out the community at the same time? Absolutely worth it! If you are in Los Angeles, this is a must attend.
Recently we had the opportunity to sit down with Derek and discuss Rock for a Difference Los Angeles.
Check it out!
Nanobot Rock Reviews: What inspired Rock for a Difference Los Angeles?
Derek Jordan: My group, Decoded, played a show at AMPLYFi at the beginning of April. It had only been our second show as a band, yet it went really well. We had a great turn out! So much so that AMPLYFi and I set up a residency for every Thursday in May. I wanted it to be more than your typical residency. I wanted it to be special. I’m very passionate about bringing people together and improving the lives of everyone around me. When you have a chance like this to really bring some people together over the span of a whole month, I thought it would be a good idea to bring in some Los Angeles organizations that are making a real positive impact in the community. I reached out to a select few and they were really interested. Then I began calling it Rock for a Difference Los Angeles!
Nanobot: That’s awesome! Is there anything specific that makes AMPLYFi a great venue for Rock for a Difference?
Derek: Well they are an all age’s venue, which is more than cool, and I really like the guys that run the place. They are great to work with. The vibe is super cool there as well! And it’s kind of Hollywood’s best kept secret because it’s hidden in an alley!
Nanobot: That is really cool, and almost fitting for a movement/idea like this!
Derek: Sure is!
Nanobot: Is this a one shot event or do you have larger goals for it?
Derek: It is definitely something that I can grow. Let’s see how it turns out. Who knows maybe I do one every year or so!
Nanobot: What would you say to bands in other cities that would want to follow suit? Do you foresee the possibility of a Rock for a Difference Denver or Chicago?
Derek: I think that bands should definitely be using their voice and opportunities to promote a good cause. Especially now more than ever, people are getting together to work on creating real change. Why not use music to bring people together more?! Right now, I’m all about Los Angeles because it’s the city I live in so it’s the city I can do the most good in. Eventually, I’m going to want to take Decoded on the road and it would be awesome to bring along some organizations that we can tie together with.
Nanobot: Very well said! You have a really great mentality for making this work. It would appear you’re a very open and honest person who conveys sincerity in everyday life. The organizations you’re working with, how did you choose them? What makes these five the ones to support now?
Derek: Thank you! I’ve learned the importance of concentrating your focus on the tasks at hand. It’s good to plan big, but you’ve got to complete what’s in front of you first.
I had been in contact with Ace of Hearts for a couple months now. I went to one of their dog adoptions at a Petco in Hollywood and met their founder, Kari. I love dogs. I have two of my own. One of them, I found on the street a few years ago. That’s a story in its own! Coalition for Clean Air works on improving the air in Los Angeles. I love the environment, so linking up with them was a no brainer! HeARTS, Giving Hope and Create Now! both work with children through creative arts like music programs. I was a 10 year old kid when I came across an old guitar in an attic and haven’t looked back since. I want all kids to have that opportunity to find something they love as much as I love music. Rent.Food.Broke. provides resources for unemployed and underemployed, and those who try to be frugal with their money. They serve a great cause in this economic climate. I just had to link up with them!
Nanobot: So they range in their cause, that’s fantastic. So it was fairly easy to get them on board?
Derek: Yea, they responded right away! I got them all on board within a few days. It took more time to get the bands on board!
Nanobot: Really? What difficulties did you have getting them on board?
Derek: Quite a few groups are in the studio right now or have gigs around the same time, which is expected. I never got a response out of a lot that I contacted. So who knows.
Nanobot: Understandably, but you’ve got some great talent lined up. And there is a bit for everyone. Bess, Kid Finish, Thatwasthen. Now that they’re on board, how are they feeling about it?
Derek: They are all very excited and happy to be a part of it! Every show, we’re going to do a raffle where all of the bands offer a prize. We’ll draw the raffle at the end of the night and all of the raffle proceeds will be donated to the organization of the night! It will be tons of fun.
Nanobot: Cool! You’ve really put a lot of thought, not to mention energy, into Rock For A Difference. Has it felt overwhelming to put all of this together?
Derek: It has felt more effortless actually because, although it is a lot of work, I’m having fun and loving it. The pieces have come in to place nicely and everyday I’m working hard at it!
Nanobot: It’s a great cause born out of an obvious passion and it’s incredibly important that this happen. Sadly, we don’t see enough of it in the world. But here’s to starting something new and big! Thanks for taking the time to sit down and talk about Rock for a Difference Los Angeles.
Derek: Thank you for the opportunity to talk about it! I’d also like to thank everyone for supporting Rock for a Difference Los Angeles. We have a listing of all the bands and organizations at http://decodedband.com/. We are getting lots of support from people like you who are outside of Los Angeles, which is awesome! The shows are going to be great! Decoded will be premiering a handful of new songs and we’re going to officially release our debut EP, “The/Split” in the third week of May!