All Natro drops first CD


POSTED: Friday, May 22, 2009

After years of ducking the question from fans, the seven members of All Natro finally have an answer when someone asks, “;Where can I pick up a copy of your album?”;





        With openers Ooklah the Moc, Konfrontation, Pohaku, Thrive and Kahakea

» Where: Pipeline Cafe


» When: 8 p.m. today


» Cost: $20 to $23 (18 and over)


» Call: 589-1999




Originally formed in 2001, the Mililani-based band relied on word-of-mouth promotion and profiles on social networking Web sites like MySpace.com to inform fans about upcoming gigs. A series of lineup changes also affected the group as they developed their sound at house parties and smaller venues around Oahu.

“;It took about three years to produce this first CD,”; guitarist Toby Fujihara said last week following band practice at his Mililani home. “;We had a dead zone for about a year, trying to find people for the band.”;

That was in 2004, after All Natro lost four out of its original seven members. Fujihara, fellow guitarist Isaac Amado and lead singer B.J. Crisostomo were eventually joined by Amado's brother, Gabby Amado on drums, bass player Chad Soueira, keyboardist Rockwell Rapada and percussionist Kawika Samson. In 2005 the band entered “;Brown Bags to Stardom”; and placed third behind a dance team and a rock band.

“;We were still positive about it,”; Crisostomo said. “;At the beginning we was just Jawaiian music ... but we started finding out why we play music and what sound we wanted to go with.”;

AS TIME WENT by, the band built up a following with gigs at On Stage Drinks and Grinds, the O Lounge, the Shack Mililani and the Mai Tai Bar. According to Samson, the constant change in venues helped All Natro stay sharp.

“;That's the main connection we had with everybody—the live show—especially not having an album,”; he said. “;When it all comes down to it, the most important thing is our live show.”;

Now that “;Onward”; is complete, the focus for All Natro moves from promoting live performances to getting the widest distribution possible for the album. Other than a partnership with local recording label Tiki Entertainment to produce the album, the band is responsible for the project's ultimate success.

“;The distribution center is right there,”; said Samson with a laugh, pointing to a spare bedroom in Fujihara's home. “;We went to the stores ourselves and pushed to get into Borders and Jelly's.”;

All Natro did the bulk of the work for tonight's CD release party, dealing with the venue and working to sign up opening acts. They also recently partnered with Big Island-based promoter Ekena Cox to help with the process.

With a new album, new manager and hopefully a new influx of fans, the band's next goal is to return to the stage that first got them noticed in 2005.

“;We want to play the (Waikiki) Shell,”; said Samson. “;Hopefully, with the CD coming out and if we keep pushing it, we can get in there to play.”;