Band on the Run

With high praise from a rock icon and an album underway, a local teenage band seems poised for a breakthrough.

Clockwise from left: bass player, Charlotte Dean; keyboard player, Aidan Stern; guitarist, Ryan Arshonsky; drummer, Max Wright; singer, Annika Rose

Countless rock bands have seen their careers take off after playing at Sunset Strip’s The Whiskey. So Breaking 27, a group of young, Valley-based musicians, was thrilled to open for another band there this past fall.

The icing on the cake, though, was that Robby Krieger of The Doors—who was in the audience—introduced them to the stage. According to drummer Max’s mom, Audrey Wright, Robby had seen Breaking 27 perform a song at a club over the summer, and he showed up that night to see the group do a full set.

“Afterwards, his quote was ‘Yeah, well, they are ready. I don’t know what for, but they are ready!’” Audrey shares, adding that Robby has asked the band to open for him at a fundraiser in April.

“That was awesome!” quips Max. “And The Whisky was such a cool place to play.”

The band’s name pays homage to rock stars including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse, all of whom passed away at age 27 due to drug overdoses. By making good decisions, the band aspires to—as they see it—break the curse.

Like most rock groups, Breaking 27 has gone through several incarnations. Max and bass player Charlotte Dean have been the constants throughout its five years. The two met at local “rock” school. That’s where they also caught the eye of Mark “Muddy” Dutton (bass player for The Chris Robinson Brotherhood), who has become something of a mentor.

The band points to The Beatles, Foo Fighters and Green Day as inspirations. “Annika is obsessed with Paramore! And we are kinda like Paramore. We’re a rock band … but we have a little pop edge to our music,” explains Max.

Another thrill was playing at the Dolby Theatre in front of the celebrity judges and an audience of 4,000 for America’s Got Talent. The group made it to the semifinals last season—just one step away from heading to New York. Performing cover and original songs, Breaking 27 is currently working on their first record.

The band outside The Whiskey with Robby Krieger of The Doors