By Joseph Timmons, IndiePulse Music Journalist.
Recently, during the festivities of The NAMM Show in Anaheim California, I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with some of the best the music scene has to offer in both the Industry side and the Artist side, however, the most special and intriguing was a chance to speak with 3 of the members of California’s own NEVERWONDER, a band that parks pure energy at every performance.
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 band has performed at stage venues such as, House of Blues (LA/OC), Roxy, Key Club, Viper Room, Whisky A Go Go, Galaxy Theater, and The Coach House, and has been featured on the KLOS 95.5 radio station. NEVERWONDER has recently been acknowledged as a dynamic act in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series all over the West Coast.
The pulse and backbone of NEVERWONDER are Andres and Vincent Ramos. These talented brothers are the heartbeat of the band. The Ramos Bros have also recorded and performed extensively throughout the Los Angeles area. Andres and Vincent, being fans of strong grooves, heavy rock beats, and alternative music, accompanied by their combination of creativity and entrepreneurship, established the band NEVERWONDER.
The new front woman of NEVERWONDER is the classically trained vocalist, Fabienne Grisel. Hailing from Geneva, Switzerland, Fabienne’s vocal style effortlessly ranges from beautiful soprano tones to an edgy growl. Fabienne has been a solo pop/blues/jazz recording artist for many years, and now has joined forces with NEVERWONDER to deliver a fresh blend of rock, pop and funky grooves. As a singer, songwriter, her presence draws you in. The passion and emotions she can convey through her songs, lyrics and performances leaves the audience wanting for more. This new partnership with these talented musicians has allowed her vocal abilities to soar to new heights.
NEVERWONDER’s new guitarist is Jay Wise. Jay is an accomplished California native who has many years of playing nationally and internationally. Jay has been involved in the rock and roll circle for many years, working with successful bands such as Kansas. Jays’ rich musical influences can be traced back to Steve Vai, Joe Pass and AC/DC, to name a few. As fate would have it, it was only a matter of time until these SoCal natives Jay, Andres, and Vincent, ended up crossing paths that lead them to forming this new version of NEVERWONDER.
In this interview, I spoke with Andres and Vincent Ramos and their vocalist Fabienne Grisel.
IPM: Thank you for taking time to speak with me today, how are you finding the conventions festivities so far?
Vincent: So Far So Good (Laughs)
IPM: So, it’s ben an awesome year for NEVERWONDER, tell us how things are working with the new additions to the group?
Vincent: Working with Jay and Fabienne has been phenomenal, nothing has been nothing more than perfect, working with truly professional musicians has ben a pleasure, working with those that want to be members of the team and not portray the “Rock Star” on stage or in private has been a blessing.
Fabienne: I’ll send you the check tomorrow (laughs)
IPM: Andres and Vincent, you have ben the core members of the band, who was first in the new line up and how id that change or improve the dynamics, and to that point what happened hen the fourth one joined?
Vincent: the first one was Jay, bringing a new and spectacular dynamic, which then made it possible or Fabienne to really dig in and make the team complete.
Fabienne: well, I’ve done a lot of bands prior, in my youth and through to this moment, but until now, I had been focusing on a more solo career, but meeting NEVERWONDER, it really just clicked, like we just always worked together.
IPM: So, there was a natural chemistry?
Fabienne: Correct, and that’s very important, what makes a band work is how you get along, working so closely together.
Vincent: We really found in her (Fabienne) a person that really gets what we want to be and do as a band.
Fabienne: these guys are just perfect in what they do.
IPM: Comparing to what you do Live as adjacent to what you do in the studio, what would fans hear when they come to see you, how is the NEVERWONDER experience?
Andres: Wow, that’s a great question… to be honest, us, playing live, well that’s our stronger suit, as a band, we are at our very best live, they see my energy… the drummer… ‘Dre’, and then they see the hole band react and come into a full groove.
Fabienne: on that not, the studio, we actually try to keep that just as organic as we do live, to do exactly the same as we do on stage, but also try new views, showing all sides of what we can do and offer in music. To push the boundaries and be totally creative, the music on album offers one experience, yet Liv allows the audience to become interactive and fully immersed into what we do.
IPM: you just released an EP, but there are rumors that you are almost ready to release a full album of new material, can we talk about that?
Vincent: well, we could get into a whole story, but to make it short, we have been together about a year, yes, we just did an EP, but while doing that we have ben preparing a whole new album to really hit the ground firm and running strong. If an Indie band wants to make it, it takes a lot of hard work, always playing and working towards the dream, and doing it right, no slacking.
Andres: I really feel the ne music will make our fans excited as well as bring new fans to our show.
IPM: So, never got to ask this of you before… but where does the name NEVERWONDER come from?
Vincent: The name comes from a moment that happened a while back, my brother ‘Dre” … our crazy drummer, comes into the studio with a list of about 500 names that we may want to consider, it was when bands were franticly creating websites and marketing. from just creating a band name to what may look good on the web site, the “dot.coms” and the like. It was our moniker, to create something alive. So, we thought about things, life, relationships, about how you wonder about things, always thinking about what is and what could be… we wanted to never wonder about it, to go with the first ting that makes us special and make it a foundation, to know, truly know that we were in the right in what we did in the studio, on album, live. To never wonder… so NEVERWONDER stuck, and its been perfect for us, never failed us. Learn from the past, focus on the future, NEVERWONDER.
Fabienne: oh, …. ahhhh, you’ve told that story before but it sounds so much better now.
Andres: (jokingly) wow man, so beautiful… going to cry now… (laughs)
IPM: looking at the tracks you are doing now and preparing to release are e as your fans looking at something like your existing NEVERWONDER style and sound, or a whole new style to experience.
Vincent: Wow, you are the first to ask about the new music, it will definitely be inspired as a new form of the band, our direction is going much further.
Fabienne: so, I think the new spin on our music, our unified new style will truly shine, I’m not trying to sound like past singers, and the band supports that by making it so wonderfully easy or me to work with them.
Andres: Jay and Fabienne are allowing us, Vincent and myself really create music tailored for greatness, we don’t have to settle for anything, we set the mark, they not only meet it, but exceed it, it gives us a challenge to be as creative as possible while keeping to our musical strengths and values.
IPM: Fabienne, your experience come from you classical training, being a true vocalist and not just a singer.
Fabienne: Yes, I’ve done rock, blues, jazz, I sing melodically, my comfort zone, so to this I have added a more Rhythmic style, its great to have challenges that make you want to be diverse in one’s style, to try new tuff and do it well. Putting myself to the test. Taking my love for Rock and Roll and putting it to work.
Andres: we have to look at from the point of where we are, where we are going… we have written a ton of songs, I think that in the end, its about the vocals and the music being one, we want to showcase the vocals, but it has to be part of the music, we want great songs that the vocalist sounds great on.
IPM: Back to the question, the new album, will it be the best NEVERWONDER album ever, or the best NEVERWONDER album. to date, looking at the tracks, will this lead to the next projected work as even more exciting? Will this album be your “Magnum Opus” or a sense of things to come?
Fabienne: Wow, great question! For me, I can only say, you are only as good as you are now, for me, I hope that it would be the best we can offer now, and say 5 years from now, it will be even better. That is, the goal from me.
Andre: It’s just a “snapshot”, we will give it all right now, and use that as a base for what’s to come, sometimes, the snapshot is that perfect moment in time.
Vincent: The idea is to me in the moment at that point of time, and then, in the next moment be better. We are only scratching the surface right now, this new “band” is still just beginning and it is Bad Ass right now, I can only think of how great it will be in the months and years to come. Andres says “Magic happens out of nowhere” and we plan to kick ass in the NEVERWONDER way!
NEVERWONDER will be keeping us informed o the progress of their new album forthcoming, their inspired and exiting brand of rock has and continues to generate an amazing buzz I the Independent Music scene both locally and globally, setting them in the front of bands to follow and we will bring you to the studio and the stage for upcoming new information.
Follow NEVERWONDER Online:
Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids
IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.