They’re Back with New Album, Molly Malone’s Gig June 16
By Joseph Timmons
NEVERWONDER came into existence from their home base of Los Angeles with a unique sound that fuses rock, pop, and funky grooves. Their music is driven by strong musicianship and is rooted in life’s experiences.
The quartet has performed at high-profile venues such as the House of Blues (Los Angeles/Orange County), The Roxy, Key Club, The Viper Room, the Whiskey A Go Go, Galaxy Theater and The Coach House, and has been featured on the KLOS 95.5 radio “Local Licks” show highlighting fast-rising SoCal bands. Lately, NEVERWONDER has also been seen and heard at the Rock and Roll Marathon series all over the West Coast.
Indie Pulse Music recently had a chance to interview the group, here’s how it went.
IPM: How does the new NEVERWONDER band lineup differ from the previous ones?
Vincent: Great question! The past line ups have all been great and we thank all who have help get us to this point, but the current line up with Andres, Fabienne and Jay is our finest to date. Simply said it is everything we want in a line up… experience, caring, wanting to be great, having fun, writing songs and just the friendship between each member… So, it is a pleasure to work with these great people at rehearsal, studio session, photo shoots and of course live shows! It’s just a blast!
Andres: Our previous line ups have always been amazing, but this line up I feel we are working at our full potential it is a pleasure to work with Fab and Jay we work well together and I’m excited about what the future holds.
IPM: Let’s discuss the overall sound of the band’s new album. What’s new and exciting here?
Vincent: The name of the new EP is just NEVERWONDER… our new sound is awesome and a lot of fun; it has a current vibe with a rock and groove feel, some heavy beats, strong guitars, and some powerful hooky vocals. NEVERWONDER has always written together as a team and we continue that now with the new line up. When we are in the studio and everybody is kicking out ideas after ideas and keep making the songs even better, that is what is exciting about the songs today – not only on the EP, but for the new songs that will be coming out afterwards.
Andres: I think the songs have a new sound in the way they are mixed, over all what Jay and Fab give to the songs and the parts they recorded give it a new great feel and we are hitting on all cylinders.
Fabienne: I believe the sound is a bit more rock-oriented with a funky edge. Not as soul-centric as is was previously. Jay and I have some jazz background and we are all rock and roll and blues lovers, so it influenced the way this record was played. I personally enjoy electronic music and you can hear a very current vibe with some electronic influence in the way this new EP was produced. We were all very excited to try experimenting with new sound a bit.
Jay: NEVERWONDER is approaching the songs with a more current vibe. The overall energy can be compared to bands such as The Foo Fighters, Dorothy, etc. These new mixes will grab you from beginning and won’t let go until the end and will make you want to come back for more.
IPM: Your longtime rhythm section remains the same (Vincent Ramos, bass; Andres Ramos, drums), but you now sport a new vocalist and guitarist. Can you share some background info about each of these new band members?
Vincent: (vocalist) Fabienne Grisel is talented artist and a pro at her craft, but what is so much fun is her sense of humor; she is always telling jokes and has a quick wit on all kinds of topics. She is always talking in the studio and going over parts of the songs to make them better. Fabienne has a background in classical music and training that started when she was very young. She graduated from M.I. with a degree in vocal technique and performance at the age of twenty and has played in many bands and as a solo artist for the last fifteen years all over the Los Angeles area. She was surrounded by jazz and blues for most of her childhood due to her trumpet-playing father. Because she grew up in Europe, her musical taste is a bit different than someone who has been raised in the U.S. She has a very eclectic musical palate ranging from British Rock, Reggae, New Wave, French Pop to World music.
(Guitarist) Jay Wise is very talented player and artist, I love that he wants every song to be its best, so he is always looking at the songs in a unique way, so we can best figure out what works best for the song. Jay is also crazy funny; he is always saying some funny stuff in the studio, he just wants everything to be great and he works hard to make that happen every day!
IPM: What changes have you seen on the live Southern California music scene since NEVERWONDER started playing?
Vincent: There have been a lot of changes from the beginning of NEVERWONDER, Social Media is the biggest we like that we can reach out to our fan base very easily and directly. Not only locally but also worldwide to all the fans and interact with them whenever. As for the music, yes, that has changed as well. Take for example auto- tuning it was a huge thing for every songs written in my opinion for every artist, now I see it going back to natural playing and recording. I really think fans appreciate a great band and talented artists doing their best do play songs, so as much as things have changed things are also returning to great playing the studio and playing out live.
Jay: The popularity of Hip-Hop is now in the music scene forefront. NEVERWONDER is utilizing some of the rhythmic ideas of Hip Hop by pushing the bass and drums to surround you in the mix.
IPM: What are some of the cool shows that NEVERWONDER has booked for 2018?
Vincent: Right now, we are focused on the EP release event June 16th at Molly Malones in LA, but after that it is playing some cool venues in L.A., Orange County, Long Beach, and going out of town to places like Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Arizona. We just want to get the word out on the band, but always check out the website to see all our dates.
IPM: How does the band interact with its fanbase on Social Media?
Vincent: As I mention earlier this is the biggest change in music, where in the past it was limited exposure of the band to its base, or when the fanbase want to know somethings they would check the website, now us the band can reach right out to the fanbase and share all kinds of stuff to everybody and keep that experience going almost on a daily level. Currently, we have all the social media accounts, as Fabienne mentions it is a very exciting time in the NEVERWONDER World!
Fabienne: We started to post again after being away for a bit, but we have lots of fun stuff coming up. Live chats, little videos on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and even some Periscope shows coming up for you all. So, Stay tuned! We are going to let you in on the exciting world of NEVERWONDER!
Andres: We try to stay active with Social Media posting and looking to keep the fans involved and interested when we release the CD and launch the band we will be able to interact more we are super excited.
IPM: Fabienne and Jay, tell us how it feels to be part of NEVERWONDER?
Fabienne: For me after spending many years doing solo projects and being a singer-songwriter, it’s been fun and exciting to be in a band again and getting back to one of my first love, rock and roll. Especially with musicians that I respect professionally and personally. It’s a blast for me to go out here there and play with these guys night after night. I have always enjoyed collaborating with other musicians, but with NEVERWONDER, I am really having a fun time making music that I always wanted to make, groovy rock and roll! We have become good friends very quickly, which makes it so much easier, we play and write music together, but we also like to hang out with each other. It’s almost like I have inherited 3 new brothers, so it’s a win/win situation.
Jay: Before joining NEVERWONDER my goal was to find a band that was not only established in the music scene but was also iconic and professional from all aspects. When I was invited to audition I wasn’t prepared for the vibe that was unleashed. I understood that the competition of great guitar players was at hand….so I pushed myself to a higher level, thought, and competitiveness. I’m stoked the won the position. I’m now putting my best foot forward to retain the professionalism, but to also improve the band with my experience.
IPM: Other parting thoughts to share with our readers?
Vincent: First off let me say thank you for having us, it is a pleasure to do this and share our stuff with your reader and for helping all indie bands! Check out our website, and we will see you all at the shows… We are excited to show you what has been happening!
Fabienne: We have been working hard in secrecy the last few months and we cannot wait to show you what we have been up to. We are ready to go out there and see you all at the shows and share this EP with the world! It’s just the beginning us, 2018 is NEVERWONDER year!
Andres: Look forward to seeing you all out there and we are super excited to show everyone what NEVERWONDER has been up to in 2018.
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