Tuesday, March 13, 2007


ROOM 1202 is a concept that dates back to 1995 when Omar Quinones and friend, John Beare were in a band called PRIMARY. Primary was a three-piece band that also included drummer Nick Whittaker. Together since 1989, they performed stark, moody music, mainly written by John, which blended driving bass lines with layers of lush keyboards. The band made two demo recordings and achieved moderate local success.

Primary broke up in December 1995, and the three members went their separate ways. John made a pilgrimage to Wyoming, while Omar began conceiving his own musical ideas. Over the next two years, Omar composed several songs, some of which found their way onto a tape. John returned to California and listened to some of Omar's ideas. After several months and much discussion as to what Omar would do with these songs, it was decided in December 1997 that he and John would resume their musical partnership under the name ROOM 1202, which was the name Omar had given to his project.

The first songs were Omar's electronic synthesized keyboards, to which John added bass guitar on some, and guitar on others. In January 1998, John composed his first song for the project, which was to be included on a four-track demo that Omar had already been working on. By February, the project was completed and compact discs were produced. On Feb. 6, 1998, ROOM 1202 made its live debut opening for a local band called Juno Scenario at Boyce's Billiards in Hesperia, CA. In just two months, the ROOM 1202 had enough material to perform for 45 minutes.

From there, the repertoire of the band grew along with its reputation. Playing local pool halls, garage parties and other nearby clubs, the band started to gain a respectable following. The initial run of 500 demo CDs sold out quickly, and by the end of 1998, ROOM 1202 had performed over 70 live shows.

Along the way, they decided to experiment with a live drummer. Aaron Messmer, the drummer for Juno Scenario, played drums during ROOM 1202s live shows between September and December. However, his departure to the military resulted in another personnel shift for the band.

Enter Tony Trujillo. Tony has been more or less a roadie for the band, always available to lend a hand when needed. His keyboard experience and drive to be in a successful project landed him a spot in the band as live keyboardist.