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Vecar-The Sit Down

I aint even gonna lie to you folks cause you been too good to me over the years. About a year ago shorty after the last Karmahitlist show and just before the last Gramercy Riff show, I groaned to NL one night at Vinny's "...dude i'm done reporting on the Bako scene" I remember the look of disapointment on NL's face but I didn't care I was tired.

Tired of seeing all the good bands get pissed at each other and disappear. Temperd gone, Ridicule gone, Broken Record Gospel!!!!......gone!. Fuck it I'm done for a while. I needed to take a break. So I disappeared, got lost in a job, pretty much ignored the scene. Listened to the Filthies on my Ipod and chilled. Then I run into Cesareo one night cause that dude is everywhere and you cant help but run into him from time to time. "I asked him who do I need to see?" because back in the day it was C-Gar who turned me on to all the good local stuff. " Vecar, you need to check out Vecar Riley's Sunday Night Vecar, check him out" So I did........

....Here's what I thought about Vecar, you can find the whole story here on my Bakotopia page"... I grabbed a Pepsi and took a seat in front. Then this kid comes up to the mike talks a little about what he's about to do, and proceeds to throw down. No, bizarre sounding machine like rock n roll sound buzz and fuzz. But some cool ass drums and bass with some shreddin guitar. This kid looked young but he played like he grew up in the 80's just like me.

I heard heavy influences of New Order and the Stray Cats. He was comfortable on the stage sang with passion and strangled his guitar whenever he felt it was absolutely necessary. The crowd quickly got into the groove and cheered him on, the set seemed to get stronger and stronger after every song. Each song revealing more and more about this mystery kids influences. Every thing from Elvis to the Cure seemed to be in his style, and he brought it all out...."

So it's been a couple of months since seeing the kid phenom once and I've seen him a couple of time since. Some nights he's on others he's luke warm but without a doubt there is a pulse and I wanted to know more. So I tracked him down one day outside his second job sat him down and had a little talk. This is what was said.

JR Do you want to keep it as a one man thing, have you been in a band before?

Vecar. No I'm looking to put a band together I've worked a little with Cesareo, and with Ben Gomez. Hopefully something will come together.

JR How do you like playing alone though?

Vecar I like the fact that I have control over all the music

JR Would you give up singing or give up playing lead?

Vecar Well if someone showed me they could play better than me or sing better than me yes I would let them take it. As far as someone singing my songs though I dont know if i could do that though, because they're my songs and I put so much into them.

JR Where was your first show?

Vecar My first show was at Rileys, not the night you saw me though I think that was like my third or fourth show.

JR How hard is it to play live when your band is not live, its pre recorded?

iVecar I'm kinda glad i started by myself, i bet if i had a whole band i would have stuck with the whole stand in one place thing. Being by myself made me be more aware people are here for more than just the music and it made me put on more of a show.

JR But being alone it seems like your limited because the music is programed, does it limit improvisation, do you feel limited?

Vecar I can play those parts anyway I chose to, I can record those parts and make them as long as I want them to be. But I know that if I mess up it all comes to a stop. I know if I was in a live band the music wouldn't always come to a stop.

JR What do you want to accomplish by spring?

Vecar I'd love to have my little 5 song CD out with my little bar code on it so people could buy it. I'd also love to start playing out of town.

JR So whats top priority, finishing your CD or putting a band together?

Vecar Well Ben who I've worked with is also trying to finish his CD before he gets started with anything else so wel see how it goes But he's encouraged me a lot, he's doing a lot of crazy sounding latin stuff, bringing out all his influences.

JR What about your influences?

Vecar Man I love all types of music, I love some rap but I need to listen to more of it. I love heavy metal I try to incorparate as much as I can into my music. I think you can hear it in my older stuff. I don't just want to write a bunch of pop songs people are gonna enjoy i want to write somethng that means a lot to me and means a lot to other people i listen to a lot of country and a lot of bluegrass too a lot of Buddy Holly Deon and the Bellmonts.

JR Where'd you find that stuff?

Vecar There was this oldies station when I was a kid I used to listen to but then one day it was just gone so I went out and bought as much as I could like the 4 Seasons, The Turtles The Zombies 60's Mod music. Then there was the 70's!! David Bowie all that great music Frank Sinatra was still around the Beatles were still around Pink Floyd, Creedence all this great music and oh man how can some people be like oh I dont listen to heavy metal' and you never hear that great music that you just have never heard then how are you gonna know you don't like it? Maybe that might be your song that might be the song that will change your life forever and your not gonna listen to it because you refuse to listen to heavy metal?

JR I dig that And we danced Song.

Vecar I wrote that for my first show, I was going to through all my stuff trying to put together a little 5 song set. I just went through the preset drum and bass lines and put my guitar over it, Its just one of those dancing songs about a friend.

JR Is it true you watched La Bamba and it made you want to play guitar?

Vecar Oh yeah I love La Bamba I was like 5 or 6 years old and I knew I wanted to do something like that. The first CD i bought for myself I was like 8 years old it was The Ritchie Valenz story and I was like hey wait a minute this isn't the same as on the video

JR How'd you feel about that?

Vecar At first i was disappointed but then i was like well who is this then and I realized it was Los Lobos and that made me want to check them out. I have La Pistola Y El Corazan.

JR What do you think abot the Bakersfield scene?

Vecar Its like a mini LA and everyone is tyring to compete against each other. But it's like I know you didn't just pick up a guitar and say I wanted to play. I know its your music and it took you a long time to play what you just played I know it took you a long time. If I like it I'll tel you I like it if I don't I'll just keep it to myself I'll encourage you if anything because its like this. Music is something that needs to be part of everyone's life even if you dont play it you need to listen to it you need to experience it

"Local band opens for Vanilla Ice"

Vecar, who played in Bakersfield College's Free Speech Area twice during Spring Fling week and opened for Vanilla Ice on March 20 at the Nile Bar and Grill, was the best band in the Battle of the Bands competition at the Nile on March 6 that allowed them the aforementioned opportunity.
However, I disagree with how the voting for the competition was conducted, as the majority of the audience was not present for Vecar's performance and had no say on their victory.
Everyone at the Nile under 21, which included practically every performer from the other four groups, were forced to leave at 10 p.m. because the club, as a condition of its liquor license, was not allowed to have people under the legal drinking age inside.
I understand that the Nile has to follow laws against underage drinking, which were created for justified reasons, but for the club to declare a winner to the competition that not everyone present could vote for is unfair. I guess it could be argued, though, that even if everyone were there, Vecar would win anyway because they would still have the same number of positive votes, if not more.
While I was one of those who got tossed out for Vecar's performance, I was able to judge from their show at BC on March 11 that they have an original vibe lacking in all of the other groups who played.
Front man Paul Paramo has a British-sounding singing voice and sparse guitar style that effectively combines modern effects with vintage blues scales. The group overall is reminiscent of (but not carbon copies of) The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys in the way they use polyphonic harmonies and danceable rhythms. They are also adept at incorporating different genres into their songs, with some supplementing elements of rockabilly, funk, post-punk and '90s alternative rock to their modern sound.
The only thing that bugs me about Vecar is that at some of their shows, including the Battle of the Bands show at the Nile, they have one person who is solely designated to play the tambourine. It adds a nice percussive element, but it gets a little dry. If they really wanted to expand their sound, they need to give the tambourine player some other forms of auxiliary percussion.
According to Paramo, the diverse crowd that gathered to see Vanilla Ice made for "a weird scene we were playing to."
"There were two die-hard fans [of Vanilla Ice], which gave me a kick."
All of the opportunities Vecar has had during this month has come with much fatigue and the need for them to think of the future. "A lot of people were asking to do a lot of things. We need to slow down and figure out how we're going to do this financially."
One could tell that the other groups at the Battle of the Bands lacked experience and expansive musical palettes. The first three groups, which were Fluorescent Skunk (which they spelled with a cent sign), Above Authority and Rebel Faith, seemed to blend together in a malaise of violent screams that would have been better executed by a dentist's drill and insistent power chords.
The group that went before Vecar, Buried Without A Casket, actually had some skill behind their played-out style of metal. The drummer had a couple impressive fills and a nice solo after the whole ensemble was done. But like the majority of local bands, there was nothing that separated them from their apparent influences.
If I had actually seen Vecar play at the Battle of the Bands and if the other bands had been better, I would give it a higher rating.

- The renegade Rip





Vecar Is a 3 piece group from Bakersfield California. Vecar performs with Big Boom Beats, Catchy Guitar Riffs, And Intoxicating Bass Lines. Vecar has a dedicated fan base and never lets down the new comers. Vecar Has been on the Bakersfield Scene For 2 years and setting goals for the road. The Album "Love is a four letter word" Will be released on itunes at the end of April 2008.

Influences include The Smiths, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Beatles, Blur, RadioHead, Led Zeppelin, Buck Owens, Steel Pulse , Django Reinhardt, The Four Tops, and Kanye West. Slayer, The smiths.

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