‘Stallion’ goes ‘Rogue’

Christopher Diers

Robert John Acuna is living a double life.

You may have seen him attending night classes around campus and been completely unaware that he is also the lead guitar player in the ambitious local rock group, Rouge Stallion.

Anytime spent between classes and working full time is spent in his practice space in Rosemead alongside his fellow band mates John Gillete (vocals), Joey Mercado (bass), Mike Holland (drums), and Manual Robles (guitar).

Rouge Stallion began to take shape in early 2007 during recreational jam sessions with friends and family.

Since that time Robert and his band mates have weatherd line-up changes and the demand of day jobs and college courses in order to pursue their shared love of playing music together.

It’s this working class spirit that has driven Rouge Stallion from their humble beginnings to pursue their dream of playing on as many different stages in as many different places as possible.

“20 years from now I want to say that I played in Russia, I played in Europe,” Acuna says. “We have an inside joke; someday we’re going to take this band all the way to the moon!”

Acuna and his fellow band members draw their influences from a variety of different artists and bands.

“Overall, we’re pretty influenced by Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, a lot of guitar solo-oriented classic groups. We don’t limit ourselves to that though, we also listen to a variety of different genres including classical music and the blues. Overall, anything classic from the 70’s, almost anything on 95.5 KLOS.”

Though many of the band’s inspiration is drawn from classic hard rock groups, Acuna was also quick to point out that there are a few contemporary bands out there that have caught their attention as of late.

“I’ve even been listening to a little Avenged Sevenfold here and there. We keep our minds open.”

Since coming together, the band has worked tirelessly to promote its music using MySpace and passing out CDs, stickers, and flyers all while gigging relentlessly.

“Our first show was probably the most exciting, it was in Hollywood and it was also our first time in front of a big audience.”

Since then they have seen their efforts pay off, landing opening slots for heavy metal veterans Otep at the world famous Whiskey A-Go-Go and Chris Holmes from W.A.S.P.’s all-star group on the main stage of The Knitting Factory.

Not content to rest on their laurels, the band regularly books shows often playing four or five times a month at a variety of different events and are currently entertaining the idea of touring in Germany.

“We all work our day jobs, the main purpose of the band is to have fun and get out to as many people as possible,” Acuna explained. “With all our members working together anything we want to do is possible, nothing will be able to hold us back.”