Vogue In The Movement
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Vogue In The Movement

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Vogue In The Movement:
Bakersfield's next big thing
By Louis Medina, Californian staff writer

They’re a little bit like Good Charlotte, Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy, Franz Ferdinand — the good bits, that is. Without the fame just yet.

But with some in-and-out-of-state tours in the works, as well as the relaunch of their self-titled EP, scheduled to be out by their Aug. 14 concert at the Bakersfield Dome, they’re headed in the right direction.

With their eclectic sound, hard work ethic, boyish good looks that appeal to a core fan base mostly of girls 12 to 21, and a playfully arresting and purposeful name, local pop rock band Vogue In The Movement may just be the next big thing to come out of Bakersfield musically.

“I wanted to start a band that was all about business, like in it to win it, not just doing local shows. ... And everyone was into, like, fashion, looking good,” said drummer Seth McConnell, 23, who is sun-bleached blond and curly.

“Girls think he’s pretty,” said lead singer-lyricist Chris Puckett, 19.

“Girls and boys,” McConnell kidded.

McConnell founded the five-man group with different members in 2006, but things really took shape about a year and half ago, when Puckett, who was singing with another band, came on board.

“I stole him,” said Connor Crawford, 20, Vogue’s former lead vocalist who now plays guitar and also sings. Both Crawford and Puckett have a more goth look than the others.

“Chris has a really, really good voice,” McConnell said. “He’s the voice of Vogue and makes our band what it is.”

Good vibes and mutual appreciation are almost palpable among Vogue’s members.

McConnell said guitarist Ryan Sanders, 19, the tallest and stringiest-haired Vogue member — “His hair’s really good. I think that’s where he gets his strength,” McConnell said — “is a bad-ass hard worker who does a lot for the band in every way. He’s a my-way-or-the-highway type of guy but it’s in the band’s best interest.”
And Sanders, who writes the music for the band, is not shy about explaining why he works so hard.

“I think it’s really tough to get noticed ever since the creation of MySpace,” he said. “You have to have original music, good sound, a good look and a cohesive idea surrounding the band.”

“And you have to respond to every e-mail that you get,” added Crawford, whom McConnell described as “the ultimate multitasker,” always looking for ways to help the band.

All agreed that it helps to have connections, both in the music industry and out.

FAMILY SUPPORT

That’s where bassist and technically-inclined band handyman Bryce Nichols, 21, comes in. The stringy-blond’s father, who owns a ranch-style home with horses and stables in the Rosedale area, lets Vogue practice in a room at the front of his house.

“He foots the PG&E bill,” Crawford said, alluding gratefully to the band’s energy-sucking instruments and sound system.

Sanders’ mom, Lynae Cummings, 37, is a hairstylist. “I do their hair. I’ve always done their hair,” she said. “I have a lot of fun with it. I love it.”

Her mother, Linda Stewart, whom everyone calls “Granny,” bakes cookies for the band and brings over cases of bottled water and sodas before every show.

“She’s obsessed,” Cummings said. “She makes DVDs for everyone’s family for every show.”

Puckett’s dad, Don, 52, said he and his wife, Crystal, are helping out their son as well.

“The agreement that his mom and I have is that we told him to take a shot and, we don’t want you to be in college and even working. We want you to dedicate yourself to this. As long as he’s working doing this, he’ll be supported.” But with a stern, yet caring parental caveat: “If it doesn’t work out, his butt’s going to college and he knows that.”

Mr. Puckett, who works as a general manager for Chevron Corp., said, “I’ve worked so long getting up to an alarm clock that I think it would be really horrible to deny a young person the opportunity to chase a dream.”

And the elder Puckett is in it for the long haul as far as supporting Vogue In The Movement is concerned: He and his wife often join Sander’s mother and grandmother at Vogue concerts, he said. “I’ve had a few weird looks when I’m sort of rocking out to their music.”

He also lets the band use his motor home for touring. “We have great fun traveling with them when we can,” he said. “My retirement dream is to be a roadie and move their speakers around.”

His advice to other parents of young musicians trying to make it big is, “I think you have to be really encouraging of their dream. But if it doesn’t work out, you’ve got to be realistic with them and guide them down another path.”

THE FUTURE

For now, the guys are enjoying generous family support and playing in intimate venues close to their fans, whom they make it a point to talk to after every gig, Nichols said.

Crawford said, “I prefer at this stage of the game to be playing right up in the audience rather than these places with lighting trusses and $100,000 sound systems.”

But with Vogue’s passion and drive, that may change.

As Sanders put it, “We’ve talked with a lot of labels and the feedback is good.

“My dream in five years is to have a million records and to be playing in sold-out venues every night of our tour.”

MEET THE BOYS

BRYCE
Nichols has a reputation for being the most hard-to-place of all the band members. “What can you say about him?” Crawford said. “He exists.”

“I’m just there,” Nichols chimed in, chuckling.

Everyone said he’s basically a genuinely nice guy who does a lot for the band. “The grunt,” Nichols said. “That’s what I figure.”

But there’s an unpredictable side to Nichols, who, according to McConnell, tends to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.

“I have a tendency to get irritated by them sometimes,” Nichols said of his band mates. “Not in like a bad way, though, and then I cool off really quickly.”

CHRIS
"His mother has been a writer her whole life and writes poetry,” Puckett’s father, Don, said.

“She has encouraged him to write and really praised him in his writing. There is little doubt where he got his writing ability from.”

Don Puckett praised his son’s work ethic. “He carries around a little pad with him and he’ll sit down for 45 minutes and write new lyrics,” he said.

“We knew from the time he was very, very little that he was a singer. He was humming to the radio before he knew the lyrics.”
And what did Dad do to encourage him? Why, buy a karaoke set, of course.

RYAN
Sanders’ mom, Lynae Cummings, calls her son “the sanitizer.”

“He’s a germ freak,” she said. “You would find the instant hand sanitizer in every corner that he could put it — before you enter and exit his room, by the computer, on the nightstand and in the bathroom.”

Cummings used to play guitar, she said. “I bought him his first guitar and was hoping that he’d like it. And he did. He took off.”

She also said her son, who is talented in graphics as well, does logo, T-shirt and Web design. “He does the Web site not just for Vogue but for other bands,” she said.

CONNOR
Crawford has tattoos of his idols on his right arm.

The first tattoo he ever got, when he was 18, was of the Oprah Winfrey logo on the inside of his wrist. The tattoo artist didn’t want to do it and took some convincing.

“I really have a thing for Oprah,” Crawford said. He would watch her show every afternoon when he got home from school. “I plan to someday use the band to get on the show,” he said.

Crawford also has tattoos of his favorite Christian metalcore rock bands, Norma Jean and Underoath. “It seems like the Christian bands know what’s up when it comes to metal,” he said.

Crawford is known for ordering the highest-calorie meals when the group goes out to eat. He hopes his “disregard for healthy eating” doesn’t catch up to him.

SETH
The founder of the band keeps the books and handles the merchandise. Everyone agrees he is very organized.

“I am cleanliness,” he says.

McConnell also drives Puckett’s dad’s motor home, which the band uses for travel. He’s nicknamed it “The Road Hogg.”

Clearly the prankster in the group, McConnell may take jokes a little bit too far sometimes, according to Nichols.

Because he is the oldest of the group, McConnell sometimes refers to himself as “Papa.”
- Bakersfield Californian


Discography

Vogue In The Movement (EP, 2008)
Don't Think (Single, 2009)
Fire On The Dance Floor (Single, 2009)

Photos

Bio

Formed in Bakersfield in 2007, Vogue In The Movement's debut EP, Vogue In The Movement, demonstrated influences including Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco, and featuring four songs, produced by Ian Kirkpatrick (Them Terribles, Plain White Ts, The Jakes, Sink To See): Head Over Heels, Get It, Attire On Fire, and Guilty Pleasure. Vogue In The Movement's single, "Don't Think," along with their follow-up single, "Fire On The Dance Floor," are both currently in regular rotation on Bakersfield's alternative rock station. They are currently finalists in the MTV “I Want My Music” contest and the 98.7 FM (Los Angeles) Rockstar contest.

Vogue In The Movement has been on three large tours: The Digital Donation Tour (with Them Terribles, Gillmor and Run Doris Run at venues throughout California), the Get Money Tour (with Brokencyde, School Boy Humor, and Let’s Get It at venues across the Southwestern United States) and “The Last Call Tour” with Call The Cops (dates throughout the West Coast). Additionally, they played Bamboozle Left in 2008. Vogue In The Movement headlined the “Fire On The Dance Floor Tour” (dates throughout California), a Fall tour with Bidwell (dates throughout California), and is scheduled for a Fall tour with A Bird A Sparrow (dates throughout the Southwest USA, sponsored by Absolute Punk).