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Rock with paper

January 24, 2008|By Josh Aden

It’s nearly impossible to achieve fame overnight. While the rise of indie band Paper Thin Walls isn’t necessarily meteoric, they are at least on the fast track.

The band formed a little more than a year ago and has already played major Los Angeles clubs like the Troubadour, Key Club and the Knitting Factory. They were pleased to see their fan base growing.

But it’s a good thing they didn’t consider themselves above playing parties. The quartet was shocked in December when they were informed they were to play at the party after Led Zeppelin’s reunion show in London.

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It’s rare for a band to be able to say they’ve played for Led Zeppelin and it’s unprecedented for a group in which everyone is 23 or younger.

Paper Thin Walls won Gibson’s Dream Gig Contest, which landed them $20,000 worth of equipment on top of the chance to see Led Zeppelin and play the party after the show.

The band is made up of guitarist Adam Castilla, bassist Adam Babashoff, drummer Maya Tuttle and singer Sergio Garcia. They took off for London’s new O2 Arena with only four day’s notice.

It was an exciting moment for the local unsigned band. Not only did Paper Thin Walls get to see rock gods Led Zeppelin, but they said the after-concert revelers got into their music too.

“I don’t think that crowd could be negative after seeing Zep, though,” Babashoff says.

It was quite a trip for a band that’s never been on tour before. They suddenly faced the difficulties of being on the road.

Castilla’s effects pedals weren’t compatible with European electrical outlets, the band had trouble with staying organized and there were even issues with security.

But the difficulties were a learning process and the band says the trip drew them together.

“I think we really learned how to not get mad at each other and really trust each other,” Garcia says. “It’s not just you, we’re all in this band.”

The band was originally the brainchild of the two Adams. The Huntington Beach residents started jamming with guitars.

“We’ve played music together our whole relationship,” Babashoff said before he jokingly added “platonic relationship.”

Castilla now lends his catchy brand of guitar to the indie-pop project while Babashoff produces the dynamic bass lines. Costa Mesa native Garcia laces his vibrato-laden baritone in between the aggressive guitar licks.

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