MEMBERS AND INSTRUMENTS:
Efrain Velasco (guitar, vocals); Rick Sanchez (guitar, vocals); Tony Dyleuth (bass); Joel Colmenares (drums).
CITY OF ORIGIN:
The Good Life, Cursive, The Doors, The Black Keys, blues a la Muddy Waters, plus plenty of country!
Rick Sanchez describes his band’s sound as the “calm before the storm.” And he’s not all that far off, either. His four-piece Pomona-based outfit is called Gentle Matador, and if you spin some of his act’ s tracks, you’ll be able to perceive the dichotomy of the serene and the aggressive, built into its moniker.
That’s ’cause Gentle Matador hammers away with an intense, dynamic musical passion dripping from all ends of the musical score. But they do so with white gloves on. It’s a calculated, tempered drive, built upon a fondness of a variety of influences.
The group kicked off as a duo featuring Sanchez and vocalist/guitar Efrain Velasco a couple years ago. The pair came from separate local acts, hoping to tie together their similarities, which included healthy doses of blues and country music.
“We’d always talk about how if we were to play in a band, what would happen,” says Sanchez. “We liked the same kinds of music, country and blues, so we were hanging out and started writing together.”
The eventual, resultant style brought a decidedly new tangent from their previous bands—Sanchez notes that he hails from a melodic rock setup, not unlike that of former locals The Kinison, while Velasco was in a progressive indie group somewhere along the lines of Sparta.
For now, you’ll be able to catch Gentle Matador at their local, high energy shows—well, at least until they finish recording their next batch of six songs. “We’re doing it ourselves, and as soon as it’s done, we’re planning to start going to Arizona, or as far as Texas and coming back,” says Sanchez.
And Gentle Matador has recently morphed into a four-piece roster, adding bassist Tony Dyleuth and drummer Joel Colmenares into its mix at the start of the year. The new guys weren’t strangers, as Sanchez says they’re actually friends from their high school days. And such change’s lent itself to a situation “where everyone contributes,” says Sanchez. In fact, the progress is promising. “It’s actually going really good.”
Gentle Matador at The Barn, UC Riverside, 900 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 827-2776; www.kucr.org. Wed, Oct. 20, 7:30PM. $5-$12.