Interview with The SensationS Band of San Diego


The SensationS Band of San Diego
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Describe the band
Hello, I would like to thank Gigs4 all for allowing me to do this interview. The SensationS Band of San Diego is a first rate variety dance show band which has performed extensively over the years including on television, concerts, corporate functions, weddings, private parties, special events and military bases always to rave reviews. We have an excellent reputation in southern California as a very professional band. We feature the amazing and soulful voice of our gorgeous and spectacular female vocalist named Ashley, who has toured and sung with great bands in Las Vegas, as well as 3 excellent male lead singers, and are renown for top notch professional lead vocals, fantastic harmonies and superb musicianship. We also feature our incredible sax player who has a jazz music degree from New York. We are very flexible and accommodating and are able to work as a 4 piece all male rock band, 5 piece variety dance band with our magnificent female singer, sensational 6 piece by adding our phenomenal sax player or even as a full 7 piece show band by adding our outstanding 2nd female singer.

Does the band's name have any significance?
Yes, my goal was to have a sensational band which I am proud to say we have accomplished.

How long has the band been together?
Since 1999

Who founded the band, who is the leader?
Robert Latimer who is the lead guitarist.

How did you come up with the concept for the band?
I wanted to put together a great variety dance show band which plays many different styles of music from the 60's to the present which would have a broad appeal to a wide audience. This makes it fun and interesting for the band to play many different styles of music and, because of the variety, it offers us the opportunity to tailor our show to suit the needs and desires of our clients and agents.

Describe the music you play.
We play the top dance hits from many genres including pop, rock, disco, blues, Latin, Motown, Rhythm & Blues, exquisite ballads and even a bit of jazz or country upon request. We are also able to play some excellent instrumental music upon request. Our song list may be viewed on our band web site at www.sensationsband.com

What drew you towards the music you play?
The nice thing about playing in an excellent professional covers band is that we can select our favorite songs to play that we all like and will also achieve the goal of the band which is to please our clients and audiences and keep them dancing, entertained and having FUN the entire time.

Describe your first performances.
My very first performance was playing trombone in concert band in 7th grade. The first performance by The SensationS Band was at a private party for a friend.

What kind of response do you get from your audiences?
I am happy to say that we always receive rave reviews and very often even encores which makes all the work rehearsing rewarding. A corporate client testimonial letter may be seen on our band web site at www.sensationsband.com Just click the yellow link which says "Client Testimonial."

How many vocalists do you have?
In our standard 5 piece we have 4 superb professional lead singers and we all sing harmonies which are professionally arranged by our bassist who is a former CBS/Alfa recording artist.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Miami, Florida and studied music at the University of Florida-Go Gators!

How early did you start singing / playing?
I started my musical career by playing the trombone in 7th-9th grades which taught me to read music which has been very helpful in scoring out musical parts for the band. I started playing the guitar at age 15 and at age 19 I was playing guitar in the # 5 rock covers band in the state of Florida in a band called "Beloved".

Was anyone in your youth an inspiration to you?
Yes, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Santana, The Tempations, The Young Rascals, The Beach Boys and any really good song on the radio all inspired me.

Do you have any musical training?
Yes, I am classically trained and also perform at major venues in San Diego as a solo classical guitarist and romantic guitar artist.

What is your most memorable experience with music?
That would have to be performing on television and also playing 3 big shows for 2,000 people in the 90,000 square feet main room and concert hall, Sails Paviloin, at the magnificent San Diego Convention Center. I was told by the sound engineer at this venue that The Beach Boys have also performed there which brought me full circle in that I always loved and respected the music of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys.

What mixture of originals / covers do you perform?
While we are a covers band, we do perform an original hit song written by our bassist, Mr. Bobby Monroe from the famous 80's band The Monroes, entitled "What Do All The People Know." You might remember having heard it on the radio. His hit song may be heard in its original radio version by going to our band web site at: www.sensationsband.com Just click the yellow link which says "Hit Song By Our Bassist." We hope you like it.

What is your favorite venue?
Any venue with a good audience.

Where is the farthest you have traveled for a gig?
We perform in the San Diego regional area and would consider traveling farther.

Tell us about the musicians you perform with.
They are all first rate musicians and singers and were selected from the very top talent in San Diego. The best part is that we are all very good friends and that we have excellent band chemistry and enjoy playing great music together.

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened at a gig?
I don't know if you would call it crazy but it was very funny to us. We once had a member of the audience come up and ask us if we could play the song "Ride Sally Ride." Of course there is no such song as that and we all knew he meant the well-loved song "Mustang Sally" which has lyrics during the chorus that say "ride Sally ride." Our drummer, who is from Nottingham England, said to him in his classic deadpan English accent "we don't know that song but we do know a song called Mustang Sally and we think you will like it." The band couldn't stop laughing. The neat part about all that is that my sister's name is Sally which is not a real common name.

Have you done any radio or TV performances?
Yes, The SensationS Band of San Diego has performed on television. Our bassist has sung and performed his hit song on national television and his hit song has also been played extensively over the years on the radio.

Do you use any props or special effects at your performances?
We do have a full set of different hats including different colored fedoras as well as black cowboy hats which add a nice touch for a show band. We also provide a nice colored stage lighting system as well as a cd system which allows our clients to play any cds, which they provide, through our full PA during our breaks.

Do you use any vintage instruments?
No, I own 6 guitars but none of them would be considered vintage. My favorite guitar is my 1975 Hernandis Grand Concert. It is a world-class classical guitar made with magnificent woods from different areas of the world. The top is solid cedar from Spain, the back and sides are solid Brazilian rosewood, which is extremely rare now, and the fingerboard is granadillo wood from Africa. The rosette, which is the decoration around the sound hole, was all hand inlaid in Persia. I use Arabesque strings which are silver plated in France, the guitar was made in Japan and I am playing it in the USA so I call it my "international" guitar.