Best Band for weddings and corporate parties - The Grooves
You won't find a better variety show band for weddings or corporate parties than The Grooves which has been touted as the most entertaining variety dance band in Austin. Like most Austin bands, they cut their teeth on the Austin music scene and have made a name for themselves by packing dance floors on Sixth Street, weddings, or at huge events for Fortune 500 companies. To see this rave band in action, click here to see their Live Video.
Read more about the Grooves and other Austin Bands.
Vallejo has been one of the best if not legendary Austin bands and is made up of some of the most telanted musicians in town. With rock tight grooves, powerful vocals, strong, well written songs, and high energy showmanship onstage, this band is not to missed.
20 questions with Alex Vallejo of the Legendary Austin band Vallejo
1. As tough as it is to be successful in the music business, what made you decide to pursue a career in an all original project?
All three of us (Vallejo brothers) played trumpet in middle school and high school, so we were already writing our own songs as soon as we picked up more of the rock instruments. We got a small indie deal in Birmingham Alabama shortly after, so it immediately forced us to write our own material at an early age and we haven't stopped since.
2. What style of music would you classify your original style as?
The labels always classified us as "Latin funk rock" but personally think we're more rock first with a little funk and Latin percussion on top. I've always seen it as the funkier Aerosmith meets Santana.
3. What are some of your musical influences that shape your original sound?
Growing up in the 80's, our first musical loves were the popular metal bands like Motley Crue, Ratt and Van Halen. Then we found Frank Zappa and he opened our eyes to jazz/fusion artists like Chick Corea and some pretty way out there sh*t. When Prince came out, he blew all of our minds and introduced us to the world of more pop oriented music.
4. Most artists are influenced when they are children from the styles of music that their parents listened to. Do you feel that your parent's style of music influenced what kind of music you listen to and appreciate?
Our Latin influence and the percussion in our band came from the records our mom and dad played growing up in our house like Tito Puente, Herb Albert and of course Santana. Vallejo's sound is a direct result of the rock music we listened to in high school mixed with the Latin music playing on our parents' turntable.
5. How many albums do you have out at this time?
We currently have twelve with the new CD "Unified". Thirteen if you count the new one also has a Spanish version.
6. Where are some of your favorite venues to perform your original music? Are the audiences there very appreciative of original music at these venues?
The good old days at Steamboat on 6th and Antone's early days in Austin were truly the most magical moments. It was like being at church and Austin music was the gospel.
7. Do you feel that the record industry as a whole has gone downhill in the support of new and upcoming artists?
Not really because most of the artists on the radio that my kids listen to, I've never heard of. Ha! The bigger problem trying to break as a new artists these days, is that anyone with a laptop can make music and put it on I-Tunes in one day without leaving their house. And a lot of it is actually really great, so the labels definitely have their work cut out for them.
8. When you write original music, what is the process? Do you start with piano or start with a vocal melody in your head first? Tell us what your process is.
In our band, it usually starts with a groove, vocal hook or that cool guitar riff that everyone jumps onboard with. We've always written a lot of songs for each record so then we pick a dozen of the strongest tracks and go into a real studio to make it sound as good as possible. A lot of times we'll even use many of the demo parts because it never sounds as cool as the original idea.
9. Most artists write a song about an emotional experience they have had in their lives. Do you draw on these emotional experiences for inspiration for any of your new songs that you write?
In the beginning we really didn't and just wrote stupid songs about strippers but some really great producers showed us how to pull from personal experiences and those became some of Vallejo's most popular songs. Nowadays if it doesn't have some kind of meaning for us personally, it just isn't a song. Even if it's about a stripper.
10. Do you have any advice for other artists who are on the road performing?
Just have fun playing music with your friends, be professional and play the best show that you possibly can. That's our job after all and I have to say it's been a pretty damn cool job so far.
11. Are you working on any new albums to release in the near future? If so what style of music will it be?
Next up on the Vallejo deck is our duets album called Amigos, Amigos. Every song on the album was co-written with a different Texas artist so each song will obviously have a very different style. This project was recorded over a ten year period whenever artists would record at one of our studios. So we've accumulated over 30 tracks with everyone from Grupo Fantasma, Dale Watson, Flaco Jimenez, Ray Benson to Del Castillo. The only common thread is that the Vallejo brothers are the rhythm section.
12. Do you feel that your style of music has evolved since you first started writing and from what styles to what styles has it involved?
We started out in the early 90's so our music has definitely evolved through a few decades now. In the beginning it seemed like we were trying to chase whatever music fad was happening at the time and now we just try to write good songs that sound like Vallejo. The band has always had a formula with the congas and swaggering grooves but feel like our songwriting has matured more than anything.
13. What instruments do you prefer to have in your band? Do you have any instruments that you would like to experiment with that you have never experimented with before in your band?
For Vallejo, the percussion and how we integrated that into our music has always set us apart from the average four piece rock band. Without congas we'd probably sound more like Motley Crue.
14. What instruments do you play? Are you hoping to learn to play any new instruments?
I play drums, trumpet and a little keys here and there but not looking to pick up any new instruments besides becoming a better vocalist.
15. Have you ever shot any original music videos? Do you have any live videos of your original shows?
Oh yeah we've recorded a lot of videos and half of them that I wish would go way. Just type in 'Vallejo Live' in YouTube and get lost for hours in millions of notes and funny haircuts.
16. Do you have any other projects that you're working on besides just this project? Describe them and what style of music they are.
I'm currently fronting an electronic/funk band called Dead Love Club that has actually been around for over ten years now. In the past five years, we actually started playing live shows and feel like it's just now taking shape into something that has a lot of potential. My cousin Chris (who also played in the Dirty Wormz) plays guitar and Emmy Robbin (from the infamous Grooves) sings with me as my sexy partner in crime, Ferocious E. We're having a blast with that band every time we get onstage so I really hope to do a lot more shows and music with DLC this year.
17. If you could perform with any other artist out there, who would it be and why?
I'd love to jam with Joe Perry cause to me he's the coolest motherf*cker out there. Prince would have been cool to just hang with and talk music. I still miss him a lot and he was and always will be a huge influence on all of our bands, especially my brother AJ.
18. What are the three best and three worst experiences you had when you were on tour with your original project?
Too many on both sides to say without writing a book but touring and hanging with Sammy Hagar was a highlight. He's just the nicest guy around and we played at his club in Cabo many times. The worst experiences were the mistakes we made working with the wrong manager or record label that wasted a lot of our time and money. We learned alot of things the hard way but they're all life lessons that only taught us to not to ever do that sh*t again.
19. What was it like on the road? Did you sleep on your bus most of the time? How many days did you tour in a row on average?
If you're going on the road in a bus to get some sleep, you're screwed unless you're on Yanni's bus. Of course it was a blast but it eventually wears on you physically and emotionally after a few years. In the mid-90's we would play 300+ days a year and sometimes two shows a day if our song was gaining momentum on the radio. Our band went through many divorces and substance abuse problems like everyone else but it's crazy to me how Vallejo is still around after everything we've been through.
20. Where can we purchase your music? Do you have any online that we can hear?
Yes all of that is available on our website. www.vallejomusic.com
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