Band Q&A – Velvateen

We spoke to Velvateen, hailing out of California. Their members are;

  •  Jacob Jimenez – Vocals/Guitar
  •  Sam Santos – Drums

1. Who are your top 3 influences?

Jacob: I have so many influences so to narrow it down would be hard but the man who first got me into guitar was Eric Clapton. Number two would have to be Queens of The Stoneage. Josh Homme’s song writing and guitar playing in that band is incredible.  Lastly I’d have to say in terms of writing, Jim Morrison is my go to. I love how he paints such vivid pictures with his words.
Sam: Travis Barker (Blink 182), Niel Peart from Rush and Buddy Rich.

2. How did you get your band name?

Jacob: Well when I started the band, the name was originally “The Blinds”. After a split from my original drummer, I decided to change the name because there were already so many bands with “the” in their name. Velvateen for me comes from two words. “Velvet” and “Teen”. Velvet is a thread so together it’s like saying it’s the music that keeps the youth together. I put the “a” in there because in Spanish “a” is used to show femininity. I took that from “Queens of The Stoneage” and how they decided to use “Queen” in their name.

3. How did you both meet?

Jacob: Well I found Sam from a mutual friend whom I met at a recording studio in LA. I was looking for a drummer and hit him up and he directed me to Sam. We just went from there.

4. What is your song writing process?

Jacob: Well I usually slave over a riff for awhile and then eventually add words. After I change the structure and lyrics and what not for about a month, I bring it to Sam and then we hatch out his drums and work on the presentation.

5. What do you hope to achieve a year from now?

Jacob: In a year I hope to be playing bigger venues and have a more loyal following. I want to have played out of state a bit and see people requesting us more often. I also want to be playing the local LA festivals like “Echo Park Rising”. It would be great to attend local shows and see people wearing our merch. That’s always been a sight to see when it does happen.
Sam: I would like to have more studio gear & songs recorded and released on all platforms. 

6. What was your first gig experience like?

Jacob: Well for me, the bands first gig experience was at a BBQ joint out in Moreno Valley with my original drummer Sky. My dad, brother and friend Nicandro came and some of Sky’s friends from that area came. I was so nervous but excited too. I fell in love with the applause and performing.
Sam: My first show with Velvateen was at this backyard show in the deep end of a pool with built in stage, which was a pretty cool set up. We played for the sound and production team, the band after us and Jacob’s father and that was about it. 

7. Biggest challenge so far?

Jacob: The biggest challenge I’d say is getting noticed and being put on good shows. I spend so much time going out promoting by passing out demos and stuff like that. Just getting noticed and being given a chance to show what we’re made of is a huge challenge.
Sam: Getting noticed and getting our following to grow. It’s hard to get people wanting to go to shows without having to remind them all the time.

8. What’s your favourite thing about performing?

Jacob: I’d say that the best thing is seeing the reactions from the crowd. Seeing people start a pit a let loose is just amazing. Their energy fuels me and makes me want to put on a performance that they will not forget. It makes all the hard work worth it at the end of the day. 
Sam: It’s so much fun banging the drums hard! That’s it.

9. Your latest release was July 31st. Are we getting another single soon?

Yeah we have been playing so many shows over the summer and we haven’t had a lot of time to sit and record but we’re gonna stick to just weekend shows for a bit and work on finishing our first full length album. Hopefully it’ll be ready around November or earlier.

10.  What inspired your track ‘My Friend’ lyrically?

Jacob: Well I wrote and recorded everything on that song when I was in a dark place.  I just wanted to lock myself in my room and record and that was what came out. I don’t like to really put my own meaning out there for my lyrics cause I like to leave it open to interpretation of the listener. But just at that time I wanted to be seen. I’m a lot better now but that was just something that came out at that moment. 

11.What do you do when you’re not musically involved?

Jacob: I’m rarely not musically involved. I’m constantly on the go, be it going to shows to pass out demos, working on promotions, working on new songs. But besides that, I have a full-time job to help fund this dream of mine and I have girlfriend that I like to spend time with where we go to the movies or just hang out and what not.
Sam: Get High.

12. Where would you most like to tour?

Jacob: I would say Europe. My friends in the band “Liily” had just come back from touring Europe and they said it’s such of an amazing place. 
Sam: Also Europe because that’s obviously the other side of the world and I’ve never been. We’ve got to spread the music.

13. Who has the worst dress sense?

Jacob: Sam by far. I constantly tell him he’s stuck in 2008 haha.
Sam: Me…Just cause.

14. Funniest show story?

Jacob: I’d say there was a show at an art gallery with my original drummer Sky. He decided to get a little high before our set and he completely forgot all his drums parts for our set. We just stopped after two songs because it got so bad.
Sam: Can’t think of one…there might be something wrong with us…Help!

15. Pizza! What do you do have?

Jacob: I love pizza!! I’m going for Pepperoni and bell peppers. This is why people don’t like getting pizza with me.
Sam: Pepperoni Pizza.

16. Most annoying member?

Jacob: We’ll there’s only two of us so I gotta say Sam. My reasons are just because we come from different backgrounds so we don’t always see eye to eye on things. Him being from Orange County and me being from Los Angeles. Just different personalities but it makes up for it when we step on that stage. We bring an aggressive show that shows two worlds colliding.
Sam: Well there’s only one other member…So it’s Jacob by default.

17. Who has the worst tattoo?

Jacob: Sam’s face is a horrible permanent marker haha but I’m the only one with tattoos and there’ll be more to come haha.
Sam: I don’t have any…I’m pretty sure Jacob does, yet I don’t even know what his tats are. They must suck if they didn’t catch my attention.

18. Fast forward and you’re millionaires. What do you do with the money?

Jacob: Invest. Music careers are often so short lived. Instead of spending my money, I’d find ways to help my music more and possibly branch out into other things like film or opening local businesses. But first, I’d have a house built for my dad according to whatever his design is and get him his dream car, a 1961 Lincoln Continental. Like the one JFK was killed in. Also! Raising a family would be nice too. Make sure my kids have a comfortable living.
Sam: Build a millionaire recording studio first for business, then buy some motorcycles and my 911 GT Porsche, (or Shelby Mustang) and lastly give some back to my family and friends who have always been there for me.

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