Originally in The Oklahoma Daily on December 7th, 2007.

Rock music isn’t really known for being the most literate and intelligent of activities. After all, it’s “sex, drugs and rock & roll,” not “poetry, politics and rock & roll.” But that’s not the case for rock band Strata’s frontman Eric Victorino. In addition to the band, Victorino has also put out a book of poetry. But tonight he focuses on his musical side when Strata performs with Team Sleep (led by Deftones frontman Chino Moreno), Sonny Moore (formerly of post-hardcore outfit From First to Last) and Monster in the Machine at the Conservatory in Oklahoma City.

“This tour might be my favorite tour that we have ever done, just with the bands we are with and the kids that are showing up,” Victorino said. “A lot of kids are showing up for us, but more importantly, Team Sleep’s audience seems to be really appreciative of what we are doing as well.”

Strata recently released its second full-length record, “The End of the World,” after a three-year gap. Victorino said the band had a lot to work out during that time.

“It was an interesting process of us trying to find ourselves again,” Victorino said. “We hadn’t put out a record in a while, and we spent all our time touring without really worrying about what the next step would be until we got home.”

It took the band about a year to work things out and determine its next musical step. Luckily, its record label, Wind-up Records, was on board to follow the band’s decision.

According to Victorino, Strata placed more emphasis on lyrics on “The End of the World” than they ever had before. This is particularly true on the overtly political song “The New National Anthem.”

“It was exciting the day that song was formed,” Victorino said. “We wanted to take a step to having some sort of a stand and be more coherent... At the end of the three and a half minutes, if you don’t know what our songs are about, then we are doing something wrong.”

It was during the creation of “The End of the World” that Victorino started his poetry book, “Coma Therapy.”

“During the time we were making the record, I was kind of freaking out and needing to do something on my own,” Victorino said. “I wanted something that didn’t have anything to do with music or record deals or touring or anything. But it still needed to be art, and I am a crappy painter, so I started writing.”

Despite the fact that Victorino originally wrote “Coma Therapy” to get away from music, parallels can be made from the book to “The End of the World.”

“I think it kind of became a companion piece to the record.” Victorino said. “I think if you know the songs really well, you can read the book and know what stories they came from.”