An Interview With Pounders
SJOCR: Greetings friends and listeners of San Jose Our City Radio. It is my pleasure to introduce to you, direct from San Jose California, Pounders. Pounders is Chris Pounders on vocals and guitar, Alonso Hernandez on bass, and Justin Imamura on drums.
(Crowd applause and thumping rock music.
The virtual crowd gets up and cheers for a moment.)
SJOCR: (motions for calmness) Hello! Thank you for doing this interview with me. How are you feeling today?
Pounders: We are feeling thirsty….these pretzels are making us thirsty!
SJOCR: Damnit! those are supposed to be thirst-less pretzels. Hey Mr. Producer, you put the wrong pretzels out. Sorry about that guys. I’ll fire him after the interview. So please tell me what first brought you to the music scene while we wait for those special pretzels?
Pounders: For each of us, music has been in our blood. We have all done music, in one form or another, since grade school and it really is all that we know. It’s a privilege to be a part of a bay area music scene that is on the cusp of popping again.
SJOCR: I feel that popping sensation too. No Mr. Producer we don’t want Popcorn. You all don’t want Popcorn do you?
Pounders: Only if it’s from a Christmas tin.
SJOCR: Where were you and the other band members born and raised? Where is it that you now call home?
Pounders: We are all San Jose boys. Justin is a Campbell resident, Chris is on the San Jose/Campbell border, and Alonso is on the Eastside of San Jose…which is the Mexico border.
SJOCR: We also have chips if the pretzels are too salty. No? Okay. Well, how did you choose your band name?
Pounders: We had a few choices, but ultimately, Chris had the coolest last name. I don’t know where we would be with the band name Imamura or Hernandez. We’d probably be playing in Sake houses or Tejano clubs. Maybe not such a bad thing, we hear they pay well.
SJOCR: We don’t like to talk about money here at the station. It makes Mr. Producer thinks he’s underpaid. Growing up, what bands influenced you the most?
Pounders: The great thing about the 3 of us is that we all come from different musical backgrounds. Chris likes a lot of 80s music, Justin has a punk background and Alonso is a metal head. We do have a lot of bands that we all share love for. Bands like The Clash, The Police, Rancid, The Cure, and The Misfits are pretty prevalent in our music today.
SJOCR: The South Bay has a lot of talent influenced by those bands. We also have our share of movers and shakers. How long have you been in the Music business? How did you get started?
Pounders: We started playing together the summer of 2006. We were a part of a show called “School Of Rock” at Great America. It was pretty cool, every day we played Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Pat Benatar, Guns N Roses and other killer covers. In between shows, we started jamming and writing tunes of our own. Being in a music environment all day with each other made it so easy.
There was chemistry between the three of us from the start,
so we just went with it.
SJOCR: Chemistry is very important in a group of individuals intent on making their mark. Do you have a favorite performer or band?
Pounders: Some of the best times we have had have been when we are able to go to shows together as a band to see those that inspired us. Weezer, Blink 182, AFI, Pennywise, Papa Roach, Lagwagon, Danzig w/ Doyle and Alkaline Trio are some of the great shows that we have been able to enjoy as a group. These bands always bring it.
SJOCR: Seeing shows like that has many rewards and offers musicians a good lesson in what it means to be a consummate performer. Have you had a good deal of success with your music? Could you tell us more about recording your music and or videos?
Pounders: We have been fortunate enough to see some successes that we are proud of. Our album Chasing The Sun was sold in Hot Topic, our music played on several college and commercial radio stations, had our music featured on videos for ESPN and we have played some pretty killer shows. We did the main stage San Francisco Pride festival, Warped Tour, and, probably the coolest on a personal level, had the opportunity to open for Alkaline Trio in a hometown show. We have a blast recording our music. We have a great working relationship with our super producer Steve Murr.
He just gets us and knows what we want from our music. That really does make our job a whole lot easier. Videos are another story. Those can be some tough tough days.
Our first video for Chasing The Sun was directed by Frank Door.
He did a great job making us look like badasses. It was a dark video and showed a theatrical side of us. For our next video, we worked with Colin Goheen, bassist of Our Vinyl Vows.
He and Ricky Kelley went in a totally different direction. We chose our song “Scream And Let It Go”, and we went bright, colorful and in your face! We think it really captures our live show quite well.
NOTE: Colin and Ricky’s video/media company is called Mark of the Bear
SJOCR: Cool. It’s always nice to form those types of affiliations. Tell me a little about your creative process. How do you find inspiration?
Pounders: We get inspiration through each other. It may sound a little cheesy but it’s entirely true. We are all confident in the skill set of each other member and that makes all the difference. We don’t try to overthink songs. That can be one of the worst things to do because then the song loses its identity and becomes something that is forced. There has been many times where, if we get stuck on an idea, we just leave it alone for a while. When it feels right again, we revisit it. That’s how our song “Until I’m Dead” came to be. We had the main riff written months before the song was done, we just never had the right parts to compliment it. The song was actually completed while we were in the studio recording another song. Chris and Alonso were waiting for the amps to get mic’d up and just jammed the riff. The song started to write itself. Its funny how things work out that way, inspiration can come at any time.
SJOCR: That spark that inspires us is a wonderful thing that empowers us to do great things. Do you have any other artistic hobbies or passion?
Pounders: A thing that makes Pounders work so well is the support that we have for each other. Pounders isn’t the ONLY thing that we have as a creative outlet. Chris and Justin do a lot of work with The Street Drum Corps and BANG!
Chris also is a part of an electro pop group Culture Theft,
Justin plays drums with AJ Orbitz for DJ/Drum performances, and Alonso seems to be in every San Jose band. He plays in Shadow Beat Ritual, Revolt Revenge and has a jazz big band. Pounders is always our main focus through everything though.
SJOCR: Ya all are some busy fellows. Where would you like to see the bands career go in the next five years?
Pounders: UP! We have been very happy with the successes that we have had but we are never content or satisfied. We can always be better at what we do and go further. Each of us have jobs outside of music and would love to be able to tell the “real world” to shove it! We want to have our music be our full time profession. All we need is that door to be cracked open and we can bust it down!
SJOCR: Well Our City Radio is here to help you in that endeavor. We can start by unlocking that door for you in our plethora of Networks around the world. How would you describe your stage persona image as opposed to the real-life, day-to-day person?
Pounders: It’s pretty close to real-life, just exaggerated. We love having fun on stage because the audience can really pick up on that. If they see us having a good time, it turns into a good time for them. Who wants to see a boring band just stand in one spot all night? You can just watch YouTube clips for that. Our mission is to make sure that every single person that comes to see us feels like they got their monies worth. They took the time to come out and support us, we need to reward them the best we can. We have a lot of banter with each other, poke a lot of fun on the mic but it’s all in love. We aren’t the jerks to each other in everyday situations like we are on stage. Well…Alonso actually is.
SJOCR: What a great attitude. I always believed the same about giving the audience your best. Any last words?
Pounders: Thank you to everyone that has been a part of TEAM DTP.
Pounders use #TeamDTP for their Street Team that’s “Down To Pound”
We can’t verbalize our appreciation to the fans enough. The support you all show us is never taken for granted. We get a lot of fans from word of mouth. Fans talk to other people about us and it helps us grow. We need that same enthusiasm for the entire music scene here. There are a lot of really good bands that just need the right people to listen. Keep coming out to shows, keep bringing friends, and keep buying CD’s. This will make San Jose and the entire Bay Area the focal point of the music scene again!
SJOCR: We look forward to hearing more from you on Our City Radio. Good luck and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with our listeners and me! Peace.
Pounders: Thank you guys.
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