In 2017, Manuel The Band was founded in Long Beach, California. The band quickly moved into the music scene and took influence from artists such as John Mayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Young The Giant. Manuel The Band's unique sound comes from unlikely pairs of instrument such as the steel pedal and saxophones in their classic rock ballads which brings a blend of americana, alternative rock and funk - jazz with an influence of pop. Manuel the band reached an accomplishment recently of winning Battle of the Bands in San Diego. To add to the list, they also scored first place in Huntington Beach's Battle of the Bands and came in second place in Coachella Valley's Battle of the Bands.
Manuel The Band is now looking forward to their first musical festival "Music Tastes Good in Long Beach on September 29th. To finish things off, the band is finishing up their EP and will be releasing their second single for 2018.
In their single "Casual Love", a cool guitar riff meets the listeners ear along with some smooth vocals. It has some real Cali vibes with all the guitar and steel pedal and makes you think of cruising down Pacific Coast Highway. Some Americana can be heard with its progressing drum beat kind of reminiscent of The Eagles but yet we find a saxophone in the mix of things, kind of the last thing you would be expecting in the song, but a fantastic addition. Overall, a very pleasant surprise to the listener that it really brings a funky element to the song. Manuel The Band has really created something new and refreshing with "Casual Love" and stands out with all the creativity put into it. Towards the end of the song there's a really nice upbeat instrumental that makes you think of a beach party. It pretty much captures friendship, love and life of people in California. No matter where you are from, this song will end up on your playlist and have you dreaming of Cali 24/7.
Check out our exclusive interview with Manuel The Band below!
Hey guys! Can you introduce yourselves to our readers?
Hi! We are Manuel the Band from Long Beach, CA. The line up consists of Manuel Grajeda - Guitar/ Vox, Brandon Charlesworth - Drums, George Madrid - Pedal Steel, Kevin Nowacki- Bass, Richard Fernandez- Trumpet/Trombone, and Matt Kalin- Sax. We are an eclectic group of individuals with wide scoping musical influences that result in a unique Rock/ Pop/ Jam Band type style.
How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
Brandon and I have been playing music together for the past seven years in multiple bands. After our last band, I had asked Brandon if he’d be down to play drums at shows every now and then. At first, I really thought it’d be an acoustic group with the occasional ‘band’ show. However, it’s just not as much fun and we’ve been really fortunate to meet some awesome musicians. Initially, the band was a four-piece, where we picked up Georgie and Richard for our first show together in April, 2017. We ended up meeting Matt at one of our local residency spots and he was just down to play. Although the lineup has changed, it’s finally settled through people that we’ve come to know through the years of playing.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together as a band?
In the beginning the band consisted of different instruments than there are now. So the overall sound was much different. Now that the line up is concrete we are able to play off of each other's strengths. When I first started bringing songs to the table at rehearsal, they were much more constructed and solidified in terms of their arrangement. However, after playing together for quite some time there’s this ability to leave things more open and see where they go. It’s really interesting to see the creativity that everyone brings into finalizing a song.
Can you tell us a bit about your new song "Casual Love" and the writing process behind it?
It’s funny to think about it now, but I was really reluctant to bring this one to the band because I was worried that Brandon would be bored. I remember bringing the song up one night at rehearsal and everyone just kind of fell into their groove. It was really cool, actually. It became a song that really showed everyone’s ability. I know everyone is really proud of their parts and of the song as a whole.
Where did the inspiration behind this song come from?
All my songs are somewhat autobiographical. Casual Love is about a type of relationship that many people have probably experienced. The song itself just came out one night, it really helped to capture all of the joy and sadness of the relationship at the time. Structurally not much has changed.
Do you prefer the digital or more traditional way of getting your music to your fans?
I think, as a band, we all agree that our best form of getting our music out is through our live shows. We really enjoy interacting with the audience and feed of their energy. One of our goals is to get the music out to as many people as possible. Right now digital seems to be the best way of doing that. But nothing compares to the live show.
Any upcoming shows in the near future? For a new fan who hasn’t seen you live yet, how would you describe your live performance?
Yes! We’re playing our first music festival! It happens to be in our hometown of Long Beach and it’s called Music Tastes Good. We hit the stage Saturday, September 29th. The live show is really a great party. There’s a lot of different elements to the band that give us a different sound. As Brandon says, “there’s always someone to watch and something to specifically listen to.” We like to entertain and have a good time- I think the audience would agree.
What’s next for Manuel The Band?
We’re really excited to announce that we’ll be releasing our next single Strong Independent Woman on September 25th. Be sure to follow the band on Instagram (@Manueltheband) and Facebook for further updates!
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