Originally the experimental side project of songwriter C. Shane Sweet, Sandbox was a self administered challenge to determine if he could play all the instruments on a record. The results have been three albums, 10 national tours, and a second UK tour in 2014. The creative nucleus has grown with long time drummer/songwriting partner Daniel Rodriguez contributing on the latest album as well as pianist Chris Thornberry. Now the primary focus of Sweet & Rodriguez, each album obliterates rules of niche and genre, drawing on an eclectic array of instruments en route to creating a style and sound uniquely all their own that at times can go from singer/songwriter, to dance pop, to rock, even jumping era’s to the 60’s or 90’s, all within the same song while drawing on influences such as Arcade Fire, LCD Soundsystem, Father John Misty, The Beatles, Garth Brooks, Bad Religion, etc.
Daniel started out with little musical background. In fact, he hadn't played any instrument in his life until turning 17 years old, where he picked up his first pair of drum sticks. Inspired by drummers in the local punk scene of the outer LA area, Daniel was destined to take his punk drumming and turn it into something more. Learning from the ground up in his room with only a practice pad Daniel went from a terrible punk drummer with little music experience, to playing alternative rock, Indie, and other varying genres after finding and playing with Shane Sweet. Most of Daniels inspiration comes from watching other drummers play live. Brooks Wackerman, drummer of Bad Religion, is among one of his favorite performers. Recording 2 albums with Shane Sweet in 2 separate bands (Celestial Matinee and Glass Fence) taught him what it means to think outside the box which shows on songs such as Care Package and Windmill where he doesn't play traditional rock drumming, but instead a unique style developed from a mold of different drummers and styles. Daniel is looking to make a name for himself as both a studio drummer and a live drummer. He is comfortable both in playing written music and improvisation. Excited to play with Shane Sweet and the band Sandbox, there will be a lot more to be heard from him in 2012.
While most 5 year olds were singing along to silly songs, Chris was entranced by the tribal drumming in the Michael Jackson's "Will you be there". When most Junior High student were listening to, well, whatever made them "cool", Chris was thinking of what John Lennon meant in his lyrics for "Strawberry Fields Forever." Chris has always had a deep passion for music that goes beyond the surface. He connects with... the very soul of music. Writing his first song at the age of ... 7, the creative fire began to use music to express what no other form of communication could. While attending (and eventually graduating from) San Diego State University with a B.A in Music, he played hundreds of live shows, most of them coming from a residency in the heart of the historic Gaslamp District of San Diego, honing his skills as a vocalist, pianist, and guitarist. On the other side of the sound board, as an engineer, he has had the opportunity to work with such greats as Jefferson Starship, Hiromi Uehara, Dave Mason among others at one of San Diego's premier live venue "Anthology." Since starting his love for composition at 7, he continues to write and record, not only singing, but playing guitar, bass guitar, piano/keys, drums/percussion, mandolin, ukuleke, and harmonica, as well as producing and engineering, and mixing the session himself. He also does a pretty decent English accent