West of Mainstream

Posted October 17, 2013 in Music
MEMBERS: Leo Hernandez (vocals), Jose Villalvoza (bass), Luis Lopez (guitar), Nick Sandoval (drums) and Dominick Sanchez (DJ).


KINDERED SPIRITS: Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Atmosphere, CCR, Richie Valenz, Bill Withers, The Eagles, Stone Sour, Avenged Sevenfold and Sublime.

WEBSITES: reverbnation.com/westofmainstream and facebook.com/westofmainstream.

FREQUENTS: Downtown Riverside’s bar scene.

(WEB)botwTake one look at these guys and you might expect straight-up hip-hop music by their serious demeanor. However, you’ll surpass your preconceived judgments after enjoying some of their original sound—reppin’ a hip-hop style with some heavy ska influence. Their bassist’s “fat funky slapping style” may be to blame, or maybe their laundry list of musical influences has taken a toll on this one-of-a-kind group. In the end, each band member brings a unique style and influence to their overall sound, resulting in something entirely different from straight hip-hop. Just check out their songs “One in a Million” and “Smoke a Swish,” and you’ll hear it for yourself, but be careful—they warn us that just because we’ve heard one or two songs of their songs, doesn’t mean we’ve heard them all.

How do you describe your music?

Our music is all over the place—we never know what to tell people, they might listen to a couple songs we have recorded and think they have us figured out, but we constantly change it up. Our live shows are going to take people on a melodic, chaotic, funky, over-the-top, in-your-face journey, they will never know what’s coming from one song to the next. Don’t judge a band on the two songs they have recorded.

Tell us about your song writing process.

Starts with an idea, usually a riff from Jo or Luis . . . Jo also plays guitar and has written a majority of the guitar parts mainly because Luis has only been in the band since late August, but once there’s an idea everybody plays a part. We collaborate and play with it, changing up the structure until we have something we all like, we’re all equals, every band member has [their] own piece of soul in our music.

What can fans expect from a live West of Mainstream performance?

Balls to the wall, no holds barred, we don’t give a flying f*#! type of performance—we’re not kids, we’re all veterans of the IE music scene. When we play live you will be entertained. We will give it everything we have . . . because for those 30-60 minutes, we all feel free to be who we were meant to be. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

You can download our music FREE at reverbnation.com/westofmainstream. We give away free stickers at every show, if you want to have a drink with us, feel free to say hello . . . if you like our music . . . then we truly love you and thank you for your time . . . “One Love.”

West of Mainstream at Mission Tobacco Lounge, 3630 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 682-4427; www.missiontobaccolounge.com. Fri, Oct. 18. 8PM. 


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