Riding the path to success: Operatic 

Who: Operatic

Where: X-Games Global Concert Series

Where: Base of Whistler gondola

When: Friday, May 16 at 4 p.m.

You’d think having a pro skateboarder in your band would help get gigs, but Jesse Fritsch hopes it’s not the only reason for the success of his seven-month-old band, Operatic.

The pro skateboarder has been playing guitar since he was 11, formed his first band at 14 and toured nationally at 17 with another band, Ethel Meserve. But as the band members moved on from high school, other careers started to take over. Fritsch moved from Pennsylvania to San Diego for the skate scene.

"While I loved making music, skateboarding has a limited time. You have to do it at a young age so that was the choice I made," he said.

Fellow band member Josh Vargo moved to Florida to go to recording school but the two kept in contact to share their love of music.

"We both had little recording studios at our houses and we would send each other music to work with. Josh would do the drums and the guitar and then I would lay on another guitar and a bass. We started to give these little 30-second songs to skate companies for videos and commercials and that’s when things started taking off," he said.

Skate companies like Emerica, Etnies, and Transworld were getting calls from people asking about the songs, giving Vargo and Fritsch renewed enthusiasm to form a band again.

For Fristch, the motivation grew even larger when he went on the last Warped Tour.

"I was on stage with a lot of the bands and realized how much I missed playing. So when I got back I called Josh and we formed Operatic," he said.

Enter bass player Freddie Trevizo and child prodigy drummer Ted Humphrey and the lineup was complete.

The indie rockers are now recording their first album while Fristch juggles his successful skate career.

"We’ve been waking up at 6 a.m. and recording in the studio till about 11 a.m. Then I come back, eat lunch and go skating for the afternoon, and then we practice again at night," said Fristch.

With good reviews from their live gigs so far and a slow and steady fan base on the rise, Operatic hope to take their album to record labels very soon.

"We’re only new but we’ve been lucky to get bookings already and every show we’ve done, people have been really into it. We’re snowballing and you gotta be happy with that," Fritsh said before taking off for an afternoon skate session.

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