interview with NEVERWONDER

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What´s the name of your band? NEVERWONDER

How was the band formed?

Vincent and Dre  Neverwonder joined in 2005. Alima joined in 2011

Alima: Neverwonder was s,tarted by the Ramos brothers 

Can you tell about your band? 

Alima: we are an eclectic band, with different influences of soul, rock, pop, and blues.  We have a pretty mixed blend of genres because of all of our backgrounds.  The most important thing is that we collaborate and put our heads together to make great music which we all have a believe in.

Vincent: Well, we love to write new songs and play them to our fans and to the world.

Where are all band members from?/Who does what in the band?

Alima: San Francisco Bay way to New York City to Santa Monica, Calif. I am the lead singer.

Vincent: I play Bass and they let me sing a little... and I'm from Los Angeles, California (USA).

Andres:  I play drums, Percussion  and do Back up Vocals... I'm from Los Angeles, California.

What was the ambitions of the band when you started? 

Alima: To create the next wave of music with Neverwonder.  Hit the stages and spread the word and music to as many people as we can.

Vincent: It is in my blood to write new songs and get them out.

Andres: to write great songs.

Could you explain your music to someone that haven't heard you?

Alima: We are a band that wants to create great music that people can connect to music that can be upbeat, slow but overall positive messages.

Vincent: I would say we are a fun band with a good message.

Andres: Rock/Pop Soul Fusion good energy positive band.

Where was your first gig?

Alima: With Neverwonder, lit was the Las Vegas Rock N Roll Marathon 2011

Vincent:Well in NEVERWONDER it was in the OC (Orange County, Calif) and with Alima it was in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Where was the latest gig?

Alima: Las Vegas, at the Rock N Roll Marathon in late 2014.

Andres: Las Vegas

Vincent: Vegas Baby! and the next will be in Arizona.

Who writes your songs?/ who writes the music who writes lyrics?

Alima: We all write the music...lyrics and melodies are also collaborative.

Andres and Vincent:We collaborate on the music and Alima writes the lyrics and we add a few little things here and there.

Who has the best sense of humor in the band?

Alima: Dr. Dre (Andres)

Andres: We all a great sense of humor, actually.

Vincent: Dre

What's good/bad with the band?/What genre do you feel you are? 

Alima: Good -  we are a high energy and passionate group of musicians.  Bad - we can be workaholics, but is that bad? Genre - mainstream/soul/pop/rock

Andres and Vincent: Alima nailed it!

Why did you pick that particular style?/What are your songs about?

Alima: It's our influences.  Songs are about life, love, and struggles both good and bad.

Vincent: Well it's what we love, it picks us,  it's what the songs say and that is fine for us.

Do you write your own material or mainly covers?

Alima: We write our own material.

Vincent: Yes, we write our own songs.

Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they?

Alima: Yes, Really Let It Out.

Vincent: Yes we have a few, go to Itunes or or website, But our latest is Really Let It Out and we love it!!!

Do you have any clips on YouTube?

Alima: Yes, check it out - Neverwonderband

Vincent: Yes -10-4.... You Tube and our website just search Neverwonder and you will find it, I promise!

What got you started in music?

Alima: Singing at the top of the stairs as a kid to entertain family and friends, it was my light and I wanted to keep shining it for as long as I can.

Andres: Friends,  Rock Music 

Vincent: The love of it.... Just love the bass.... It called my name :)

At what age did you start playing?

Alima : Probably, at the age of 10 on the keys, but singing since 6-7 years old

Andres: 7

Vincent: 9

How old were you guys when you first stood on stage?

Andres: 15

Vincent: 16

Best/worst gig you've played?

Andres:  The worst is when we played a bar in North Hollywood where our guitar player played in the hallway when we were in the other room. Not sure the name of the club.

Vincent: I was at that gig, Wow, I was serving drinks from behind the bar and playing the bass for the songs at the same time. Good times all in the name of music... :)

What places will you be playing in the near future? Vincent: We have a lot of dates we'reworking right now, bu the next one is in Arizona, January 17 and 18.

Which band is the best you've seen?

Andres: Not sure because there are so many!

Vincent: There are great bands all over, here in Los Angeles and the world, but we learn from all of them and are inspired by them.

Is it always the same songs live?

Alima: No, we try to change it up when we are inspired by something new.

Andres: No, we mix them up

Vincent: We mix it up and have fun with the songs.

What has been the best/most promising gig so far? Vincent: They all are important to us, no matter where or when.

How big are the crowds do you usually play for? Vincent: When we started we played in front of small crowds, but it has really gone up - like our last gig, we play for about 40,000 runners/fans in Las Vegas.

What are the plans for the rest of the year and into 2015?

Alima: Working on new material and recording in the new year to get new wave of Neverwonder out there. 

Vincent: Write new songs, get ready for our shows for 2015 and really fire up the NW engine for 2015!

Where do you usually play?

Alima: Most of California's major cities: Los Nangeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, etc. And regional states: Las Vegas, Nevada, (and) Arizona.

Vincent: In Californian but we also head out all over the West Coast for shows.

How do you get psyched up for a gig?

Alima: I do vocal exercises and a few jumping jacks or kicks before a gig, depending if I am wearing a dress, (laughs).

Vincent: I like to make sure everything is right and then I focus on stretching out a bit and play my bass to warm up the hands.

What are your goals with your music?

Alima: To continue to create music we are passionate about and do what we love, getting paid to do it and reaching stages all over the world.

Andres: To try and write good songs make a living playing music.

Vincent: Have fun for us and the fans!

When did you decide to go all in for the music?

Alima: After winning a work talent show in college, it was my turning point which I decided to pursue a dream career in singing and creating music.

Andres: At the age of eight.

Vincent: When i was nine years old. I just wanted to do it!

Is it easier to get your inspiration from older bands or from bands more modern? 

Alima: From older bands/artists

Andres: From both.

Vincent: I like both, but the older feel is a touch better for me.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Alima: songs of love with great melodies and soul.

Vincent: Anything- Music, people, sounds, books and TV.

What's the first step when making a new song? 

Alima: Finding the inspiration of the song, whether it is the story, melody,  guitar/bass line, drum beat.

Vincent: As we work as a team on songs, could be a drum beat and  or a vocal hook and it starts from there for us

How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums?

Alima:  Downloading music has been a double-edged sword.  It can be a way to get new artists out there for free but also kill profits for new artists along with all recording artists.

Vincent: Well, that is a great question, I think artists should be paid for their art. It's really hard to make music from rehearsals, to recording and then putting it out there for people to listen to. So, I think the band or artist should control the music they are making. But if a artist or band would like to give there music away for promotional purposes, I understand that also. It makes a difference for sure, the world could hear it but the artist has the control.  

What would be your dreams for the band? 

Alima: Dreams for our band are making a good living doing what we love and sharing our music around the world.  We would like to finally perform on the stages and venues we have admired many of our favorite artists over the years. To be in a position we can make a difference and help other people.

Vincent: To make a living doing music and having a lot more fun doing music as we are doing now. So we can help folks and our families.

Besides your own music, what genres and bands do you listen to?

Alima: Soul, jazz, reggae and hip-hop.

Andres: Jazz, Rap, Hip Hop.

Vincent: Hip Hop, R&B, Jazz,  and Old-Skool disco for the bass lines.

What do you hold most dear?

Alima: Sadly, my IPhone because I can records songs, take pics and video, find my way, do just about everything (sighs).

Vincent: Family, friends, my band mates and my own health, great one Alima - me too.

What would be your greatest fears for the future?

Alima: not getting a chance to get music out there.

Vincent: Not playing music. 

When you are on stage, what do you fear most then?

Alima: My fear is getting on stage and having a brain fart and forgetting the words!

Vincent: Falling on my butt and breaking my bass in my hands or my hand,  so that I could not finish the show!

Have you been in any other bands?

Alima: I have previously work on my solo project and collaborations with other artists.

Andres: Exploiting Eve, We The People, Elite.      

Vincent:  Same as Andres.

What work do you do outside of the band and the music?

Alima: Marketing and fashion.

Andres: Lead man for a maintenance contractor.

Vincent: I'm on tour with the circus making balloon animals, no really, I work for General Foreman with crews, cranes and inspectors. Crazy!

What would you do if there was no music?

Alima: I would crawl up in a ball and just stare at the ocean.

Andres: Not sure - that's an interesting thought.

Vincent: Wow, not sure because if there no music how would I know we had no music? But I feel it would suck big time!

How important are your fans?

Alima: A huge importance because without them we are a misfit crew just creating songs for ourselves.  

Andres: Very Important

Vincent: Big time!!

What's the funniest/most memorable thing a fan has done for you?

Alima: A memorable moment is when a guy stopped in front of our stage during a rock n roll marathon to shake and spank his bum.

Andres: A fan bought me sticks from Graceland. I thought that was cool.

Vincent: Well a lot cool stuff, but the best is when people buy stuff from us!

How often do you rehearse?

Alima: Depending on our projects, 2-3/week

Andres: 2 to 3 times a week

Where do you rehearse?

Alima: Our rehearsal studio in Vernon, CA, at Francisco studios.

Andres Los Angeles

Name two of your own songs you like at the moment?

Alima: "Drowning" and "Let It Out".

Andres: "Let it Out"/"Spinning".

Vincent: All of them!

What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? 

Alima: It is the passion to do amazing music.  There is nothing like creating and sharing songs with people.  This is the only way to keep going, when a person comes up to you after the show and tells you how that makes them feel, it always gives that extra fuel to keep the flame going. Strong work ethic and passion keeps the drive going to be a successful band and business.  You can only get better and one moment you can be performing in a dive bar and the next moment touring the world, or any scenario you have always dreamt of. 

Vincent: It's the want to do music and be great at it.... I have to do this, I love to it! and it is fun for me!

Do you have any webpages?

Vincent & Alima : www.neverwonder.com.
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NEVERWONDER.

Any pearls of wisdom for all other bands out there?

Alima: Always keep improving your craft and continue to create music you are passionate about.  It only takes one moment to change everything.

Andres: Always communicate!

Vincent: As the others said, yes that is what you need to do, but also know that a band is tough and it is work, that must be done and it is a business. But have fun!!!

Describe your show, visually and musically

Alima: We are a pretty dynamic show, with quiet moments for the ballads and the high energy for the upbeat, soulful songs.  We work the stage and do a little dancing, and vibing, with the audience. 

Vincent: Fun, good times, great music and always trying to give the fans more and more.

How do you view the music industry of today?

Alima: It is driven by social media and a bit saturated with the bubble gum/gimmicks but those artists do what they do because they have an audience.  I wish there was more of the authentic musicianship and song writing that existed in previous decades.

Vincent: Well, it is tough right now, but easier at the same time as fans can reach bands all over the world. But it is changing and we are here to go with it and make changes with it. It changes very fast.

What advice would you like to give other bands? 

Alima: No matter what the business may be, try to keep true to the music you believe in and love.  The rest should fall into place but the ball most always keep rolling. it is an honor to do what we do, the biggest form of self expression and to touch and connect with other souls.  It can make a difference to someone.

Andres: Stay the course, as in stick to something and let it develop.

Vincent: Work hard and know it does not happen overnight, stick with it. Love your music! People will see it!

What are the biggest obstacles for a band?

 Alima: Financial stability, it is always a struggle when you are an original band and have to invest in what you can but it takes money to make money and hard work ethic.  Money is not always as abundant in the beginning unless you have a pretty big piggy bank.

Andres: It seems finance can be hard at times.

Vincent: Money, big-time!

What is best/worst with playing the clubs?

 Alima: Best thing is that you can get in front of people, share and vibe with folks in a performance setting.  worst thing  is that you can not always get the people through the door, it seems harder to get people out to shows.

Vincent: All clubs are great, because they are playing live music.

Tell us about upcoming gigs and why we should be at them?

Alima: We bring more fresh material and with the new year it is all about bringing new wave of Neverwonder music.  We put a lot of time and effort into the music so we would love to share what keeps us going with people.  

Vincent: Alima nailed it! And it's the place to be! :)

How would you describe your sound in one sentence

Alima: We are a blend of upbeat, soul, pop, rock, filled with soulful melodies and grooving beat.

Andres: Energetic!

Vincent: Neverwonder is great fun band, with awesome songs with a lot of energy.

What is your favorite crappy instrument? Alima: plum shaker (laughs) 

What was one of the most quarrelsome times for you in the band?

Alima: I can't say there really has been.  If I can think of anything, it can be during song writing.   When we start with new ideas, we are all challenged with what can make a song better so it is combining those efforts into a collaborative piece which we all agree on.  That can take some time but at the end of the day we can say we are all happy about what we create.

Vincent: None at this time, I love my band mates!

Whats your Pre-show ritual?

Alima: We have a group huddle time and say "do great and have fun".

Andres: Stretch out

Do you have anything else to add?

Alima:  Thanks for the opportunity to get to know us.  We want to spread as much of our music, without limitations and continuous waves of support is amazing.

Vincent: Believe in yourself and your music... lastly take a listen to Neverwonder and thank you for sharing our music and story.

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