Stratos Felix Pic 1Stratos Felix will perform a special Album Release Party set live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 6 p.m. First Thursday, June 4. Bri Ortiz will open. As always, this Record Exchange in-store performance is free and all ages. Stratos Felix’s new album Are We Live? will be available for purchase at the in-store, and we’ll have giveaways, too!

It’s also First Thursday at The Record Exchange, and that means buy-2-get-1-free savings all over the store, including used music and video (CDs, vinyl, DVDs, Blu-ray and vinyl) and coffee/espresso drinks!


Stratos Cliff Pic !Mix the solid Boise music scene with local high school kids and some supportive music teachers and what do you get? A rockin’ 3-piece band of awesome young musicians capable of knocking your socks off with their addictive original songs that are sure to wind through your head for days and keep your feet pumping and heart thumping.

Welcome to Stratos Felix, the brain child of three Capital High grads who cut their teeth while playing together as the rhythm section for their Capital High School Jazz Choir and have been jamming and writing together ever since. The band features Maxwell Reading playing the bass and singing, Justin Tam on guitar and Trevor McCleskey plays the drums and percussion. The band’s main influences, along with the local scene, include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine and Muse. Their goal as a band is to make music they believe in and enjoy playing.

Their first album Are We Live? features 10 completely varying originals, ranging from rock, pop, a little hip-hop and alt-rock.

The song “Stratos Felix,” from which the band gets its name, is a mysterious being sent from far across the universe from the future. He is not human, nor alien. He is composed of the unexplainable and complex energies created by the bonds that humans feel when affected by actions of peace, love and unity; therefore he cannot exist without these energies, and it is his mission to convey this message to humanity, for he is the symbol of hope and a better future. To spread his message he needs a medium of communication that can be understood by all of humanity; a medium that gets through barriers such as language, culture, race and religion. The only medium with that ability is music and he must learn how to use it to save the future.

The song “Stratos Felix” describes how Felix falls from his cloud and hits the ground as he starts at step 1. He’ll have to experience the struggles everyday people face, especially the journey of following your dreams with all the obstacles in the way, as well as those stumbling blocks in the path to self-understanding.

Maxwell Reading was born in 1997 in Boise. He began playing bass when he was 11 in his elementary school orchestra. Shortly after, he went to Boise Rock School and became a part of the Apprentice Band. He went on to Jazz Band and Jazz Choir at Capital High School, where he met his band mates, Justin and Trevor. Since he was quite young, music has always been a part of his life, and letting people hear his music was a dream he would imagine when he listened to bands like Kiss and Queen. Max: “I’m glad that that part of my life has come so early!”

Justin Tam was born and raised in Boise. The first instrument he learned to play was cello and he played in local school orchestras for seven years. He became intrigued about guitar after playing Guitar Hero, and after taking his first few guitar lessons to check it out, he knew the instrument was for him. After years of listening to nothing but Top 40 and hip-hop, he ventured further out with his musical tastes and preferences and his first favorite band became Rage Against the Machine. He played in multiple music ensembles during high school, including jazz choir, jazz band, orchestra and an electric orchestra. He is currently playing for two jazz groups at Boise State University. He feels very fortunate to have found something he’s passionate about at an early age. Justin: “I’m very thankful for all the love and support in my life.”

Trevor McCleskey was born in Modesto, California, and raised in Boise. Trevor has been playing drums since he was 2 years old and has played many other percussion instruments since then. Playing that long, he’s performed with many choirs, bands and musical lineups. He was awarded the Guitar Center Drum Off Win for Idaho in 2013. He plays everything from smooth jazz to heavy head banging metal. Being raised by a musician (his dad) definitely influenced him to be a musician, and like him, he chose the drums as his wonderful art. Trevor joined the U.S. Navy shortly after graduating and now proudly serves our country.

Opening act Bri Ortiz is a 20-year-old singer/songwriter from Boise and a good friend of Stratos Felix. She is featured as the lead vocalist on “In Stone” on Are We Live? and will be performing that tune with the band at the in-store.

Are We Live? was recorded at Audio Lab in Garden Cit and produced by local musician Rocci Johnson. The band wishes to thank her and the owners of Audio Lab, Steve Fulton and sound engineer Pat Storey for their mentorship and support.

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