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Earnest Irony

Salida’s newest rock band, Ironically Charged, proves it’s never too early to rock ‘n roll

By Jennifer Dempsey – photos by Mike Rosso

Ironically Charged

Lily Pinto, 10, lead and rhythm guitar

Musical inspirations: Michael Jackson, Chris Nasca, Bones and Sunga Jung.

Musical goals: to play lead guitar more efficiently and share my music with the world.

Alexandra Maes, 12, lead singer/songwriter, piano

Musical inspiration: Christina Aguilar, Gwyneth Paltrow, Beatles, Madonna, Bones.

Musical goals: to get more successful with the instruments that I play, to constantly learn more; keep writing songs that people love.

Ironically Charged. Photo by Mike Rosso.

Mesa Pinto, 10, drums

Musical inspirations: Bones, Justin Beiber, Sheila E.

Musical goals: to share music with world.


Faith Spino, 12, bass guitar

Musical inspirations: Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, John Lennon, Bones, Paul McCartney.

Musical goals: to develop the band, get better everyday, to share music.

At a slumber party one night in the summer of 2010, four Salida girls – two aged nine and two aged 11 – decided to start a rock band. Lily Pinto, Mesa Pinto, Alexandra Maes and Faith Spino, then students at The Crest Academy, put their dream into action and the girl band Ironically Charged was born.

One year later, Ironically Charged has eight songs to their credit and an impressive gig list that includes the SteamPlant, Riverside Park and Benson’s. They also have internationally renowned musician Bones as band manager.

“In the beginning we didn’t even know how to play a chord,” said Lily. “The only one who knew how to play an instrument was Alex. The music teacher at The Crest Academy, Miss C (Catherine Bishop Campbell) helped us develop four songs and we started practicing and practicing and practicing. She helped us get a great start and we all decided together that we needed a coach that was in a rock band. This is when we hired Bones. He gave us a new concept and new sound, but we give a lot to credit to Miss C for helping us develop our band.”

The band’s original songs address the issues of life as a pre-teen, as in “Complications” which is about “being understood” (Faith), “the drama in middle school” (Alex), “looking good” (Mesa) and “boys” (Lily).

The band plans on making an album but “Bones wants us to have 11 songs so we have three songs to go,” Mesa said.

“We’re really changing our songs a lot and one thing about recording is you can’t change your songs,” said Lily. “Once they are out, they’re out.”

“Unless you do a remix,” added Faith.


Colorado Central: Did you ever think you’d actually be in a rock band?

Mesa: “Not in my entire life.”

Alex: “We never knew we would get this far.”

Lily: “Now that I think about it, it’s quite a fantastic story.”

Mesa: “A lot of people who are around 50 or so say ‘I wish I would have done that when I was younger.’ I say it’s not too late to start. You don’t know what you are capable of …”

Lily: “It’s amazing. The minute we became a band the music became my passion. It’s all I think about. It’s all I want to accomplish besides education.”


Colorado Central: How did the band get its name?

Lily: “One side of the band wanted ‘Ironically Managed,’ but the other side didn’t like it. The other side wanted ‘Electrically Charged.’ So a friend of ours had an idea to combine them and it stuck.”


Colorado Central: How are the songs written?

Alex: “It’s different with every one. Whenever I’m feeling something I go to the piano and start writing. I base most of my songs off of feelings. Sometimes I start with a chord base. I don’t really have a favorite song. I like them all. “I Got More” is about going into the spotlight. A song that is really emotional for me is “Finally.” It’s about, well …(all the girls giggle) … a guy. “FYI” is all about anger and “Power Over You” says I can take charge, I can do this. “Stupid Chair” is about being betrayed.”


Colorado Central: What is best part of being in the band?

Faith: “The best part is getting to play our music and being with my best friends. We go through our ups and downs but we always get closer.”


Mesa: “The drama that we work through makes our music and friendship better.”

Alex: “Hanging with my friends and doing something that we all love and share.”


Colorado Central: Hardest part of being in a band?

All: “Communication!”

Alex: “The hardest part is trying to agree on something. It’s really hard because we all have different opinions. We have had to learn how to say things nicely.”

Faith: “We’re still working on it.”

Lily: “The hardest part is the fear that one of us will go solo or leave the band.”


Colorado Central: What was favorite gig?

All: “Benson’s Tavern!”

Faith: “Definitely. It was outdoors, the wind was blowing at a right angle. We had so much fun.

Lily: “It was the first time Bones got hear us at a gig.”


Colorado Central: What’s it like being on stage?

Alex: “It’s an adrenaline rush. You feel like you can do anything.”

Lily: “It’s the most fun because we keep feeding off the energy from the audience.”

Faith: “Yeah, if you’re having a bad time the crowd will too.”


Colorado Central: Do you get nervous before a gig?

All: “Oh yeah!”

Mesa:” But you can turn that nervous energy into excitement and energy.”

Alex: “It’s kind of good because it gets you focused.”

Faith: “It gets you pumped.”


Jennifer Dempsey is a freelance writer, director of Salida Circus and a big fan of Ironically Charged.

One Comment

  1. Maryann Donnelly Squassabia Maryann Donnelly Squassabia April 9, 2012

    I’ve been seeking to re-connect with my friend (also my first voice tecaher) Catherine Bishop Campbell. This article is the best lead I’ve come across. Can you get me in touch with her?

    Maryann Donnelly Squassabia

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