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Mom is looking out for them

October 16, 2003|Chris Barton

Always listen to your mother.

When Ryan Gelber, 23, guitarist for the Sherman Oaks emo band Relax to Paris received word from his mom that the American Music Awards was holding a contest for the best unsigned band in the U.S., he sent a three-song CD at the last minute.

Now, Relax to Paris finds itself on its way to New York's CMJ Music Marathon to compete for a shot at playing the American Music Awards, broadcast Nov. 16. But success hasn't gone to anyone's head.

"We've had some people come out of the woodwork from back in the day, some managers that are interested in us now, but we're being cautious," Gelber says. "We've tried to develop our own fan base and not really rely on any media exposure."

That philosophy seems to have worked so far. Relax to Paris has already performed for sold-out crowds at the Roxy, the House of Blues and the Troubadour, but its members can be forgiven for having some jitters before their East Coast debut next Thursday. "We'll have some friends in the audience to ease the nerves," Gelber says.

"And the bar," adds drummer Chris Peck.

-- Chris Barton

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