The indie-pop group explain how they got the opportunity to perform at NAMM, their endorsement deals and their upcoming plans for 2016, which includes a new EP.
Read More: Unsigned Artist: VIDA
Music Connection: Was this your first time performing here [NAMM]?
Joshua Cisneros: Yeah it was our first time performing here. We’re just so, so honored to even be able to play at this awesome event. NAMM…it’s just an amazing place. It’s where musicians go—a mecca of musicianship.
Fransico Gonzalez: It’s like a Toys-R-Us for us. You find your favorite toys, the new and improved ones.
David Barerra: And you ask for toys.
Gonzalez: Sometimes we’re too poor to buy the new ones, so we just wait.
Barerra: Basically we’re like kids in a candy store. That’s what it is.
Gonzalez: Plus, you run into your inspirations and influences, which is always great. I ran into Sergio [Vallín] from Maná and he’s one of the best Latin groups in the world, so I ran into him and said, “Hey! Can I take a picture with you?” and he said, “Yeah, man, I’m down!” But in Spanish of course (laughs).
MC: How did you guys come across the opportunity to play here at NAMM?
Cisneros: Oh, man. It’s not as glorious as you might think. We heard about that they were taking auditions, so we sent in a couple of our songs that we played here today—even some unreleased music that we just wanted to throw out there. And in October, they hit us up and were like, “You know what? You got it!” So that was pretty much it: we sent in our stuff and we got lucky enough to play!
MC: So tell us a bit about the band here. You started performing at an early age, right? Around seven?
Cisneros: Yeah so around the age of seven I really started singing. My dad was a minister so he was really, really big on church. You really have to do something—you can’t just not do anything. While my dad went around singing places, he made me go over there, sing places, learn to play guitar, so that’s what I did. As I got older, I recorded my first album at 15 with a band I had at the time, and we didn’t know anything about recording an album at the time. We just did what we loved, and I think that continues even now. We’re all doing this cause we love it. Not so we can make a million dollars, not so we can be Justin Bieber, although, that’s cool! We do it cause we love it, man.
MC: You guys got any endorsement deals? How are you guys doing with that?
Gonzalez: Obviously we all play different instruments, so me and Jerry are endorsed by Walrus Audio—they hook us up with some good deals on our FX pedals, which we use all the time and they’re always on. I know Dave’s endorsement is an awesome pedal board company called Checkle.
Barerra: Checkle Custom Shop from Mexico, so he makes awesome pedal boards and he’s hooking it up.
Gonzalez: Solid board. I still need to get me one or something else, you know? And Gus?
Gustin Flaig: For the moment, I’m independent.
MC: What projects are you working on now?
Gonzalez: Recently, the milestone is we did the new website. We’re completely rebranding everything from the ground up, making sure everything matches the music—because the music’s very excellent, so we want the visuals to match it.
Flaig: VIDA, very excellent!
Cisneros: For me, that’s one of the things we’re doing.
Flaig: Got a lot going on.
Cisneros: So much going on this year. And it’s good! It’s good to actually be busy; not just be like, “Alright, guys! When do you wanna practice in this garage again?” or something like that. It’s actually cool to be busy…we have that, we have our new single “Awaking” coming out soon, we’re just finishing the final things on the mix, we have our EP coming out—it should be coming out next month actually. … We’re just excited, man. We’re just gonna keep playing, keep playing and just get wherever we can.
MC: Tell us a bit about your sound. How would you describe yourself to people who haven’t heard you?
Jerry Saldana: Pretty much our influences kinda range from a bunch of different genres. We all come from different musical backgrounds, so we try and take what we are inspired by individually and emulate it as the sound of VIDA.
For instance, bands like One Republic, Coldplay—those are two very big influences in our music. The 1975 is also a great one, and I think generally those are the types of bands that we take away from and make it our own sound, but then like I said, individually, we all have our own bands that we love.
Like Gus, he brings that hard, kinda punk rock but still solid drums, and it makes everything sound so much better. And then we have Dave on bass, and Ricky on guitar…
Cisneros: Introducing the band, huh? (laughs)
Saldana: Oh yeah, my bad…we’re VIDA! But yeah, those are pretty much the big influences for us. It’s pretty cool.
Gonzalez: What would you (MC) describe us? Since you just watched us. We’re curious.
MC: I would describe you guys as…You guys have a very appealing sound. You can definitely dance to it. Something you can listen to at the club as well as on the road, travelling…
Gonzalez: Never heard that one before!
Cisneros: I like him!
MC: Last question, guys. What’s the game plan at NAMM? What are you guys gonna do now that you’re done performing?
Gonzalez: Do work, man. That’s what we always do! And make connections, obviously, create relationships and have a great time.
Flaig: Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Cisneros: I’m going to Disneyland! I’m going to Disneyland right now!
For more information, visit officialvida.com.