For Bryan Stratman, one half of local electro-rock duo Hyena, the big moment when he knew his band was catching on wasn't when he heard the band on local radio; nor was it when he heard local DJs spinning the band's song, "Kill Kids" in the clubs.
Nope, it came with a simple trip to pick up some new equipment.
"I was in Guitar Center, and we were playing over the store speakers," says Stratman. "I was like, 'What the hell is going on here?'"
Stratman and musical partner Michael Cooper, Hyena's drummer, spent years toiling in the local alternative rock scene. Cooper played drums for local rockers Transfer and also worked with Stratman in Crash Encore, another San Diego rock band.
Eventually the two decided to work together as a duo.
"I heard [Stratman] working on some stuff that just sounded totally different and I said to him, 'Dude, let's do some indie-electro,'" Cooper says. "We've been doing indie rock for years, and now I want to make people dance."
Comprised of samples, synthy hooks and sexy lyrics mixed with a dash of live instrumentation, the Hyena sound is something altogether new on the local music scene. Stratman and Cooper haven't been together a year, but they've already garnered enough devoted fans to pack the house at a variety of venues including FLUXX, Belly Up Tavern, House of Blues and The Casbah. More recently, the boys have been playing shows in LA, where Cooper says they've had a "huge response."
"Some labels and music licensing companies came out," he says. "We had some meetings after that, and they went really well. We're feeling everything out right now, but it's looking really good for us."