Each month GoGirlsMusic.com spotlights an artist or band from its community, asking a series of questions. This month we feature New Jersey rock band Sinsanity. We chatted it up with Tia Bocker who fronts this powerhouse rock band from N. Brunswick and even got a few answers from guitarist Brian Jimenez. They’re comprised of 4 very different creative styles joined together to form a unique, hard driving, upbeat modern indie rock sound. Enjoy!
The chemistry of the band members. Our excitement level shoots up when we’re all feelin it. And we’re connected off the stage as well. There’s genuine concern and camaraderie between us. Brian (guitar player) and I are close and we feed off each other on and off stage; it’s why we write so well together.
When did you first know you had to do this thing called music or bust?
I was 5. I was always singing and dancing and fidgeting about.
Describe your music style and name three musicians you have been inspired by and why.
The music is whisper to a scream, kinetic, and schizophrenic at times because we all have different influences and we write what we feel; we don’t pay attention to what’s going to sell. It’s not too complicated, just driving stuff you want to listen to, can sing along to with a few sweet surprises to make you say “what?? oh yea!”. Musicians: Hard to pick 3…I can go from Etta James to Mudvayne and back in a day! But Shamaya from Otep comes to mind for her strength and energy, Jimi Hendrix for his groove and infectious riffs, Jeff Buckley for his sweet voice. He hits me right between the eyes.
What’s your ideal venue atmosphere?
Movie theater style seats, the comfy ones that recline a little bit. But there has to be a big area where people can dance and security’s not allowed to interfere with the fun. The stage should have different levels and platforms, sturdy speakers that I can run around and dance and jump up on them. And the sound system needs to be wireless friendly so I can be free to charge around.
Describe how your music career has evolved since you first started performing.
I started with writing dance music and techno rave but I gravitated towards rock because it was a better platform for my vocals and energy level.
How would you describe the music scene in your area?
Sinsanity Guitarist Brian Jimenez: The music scene I think is more diverse than ever due to lack of venues in the tri-state area. There are no clubs like cbgb’s which was really a punk club ……seems like all places cater to rock and roll to dj’s.
What was the inspiration for your latest release?
The 3 songs we have ready for our upcoming EP The Machine are drawn from some simple life situations. Not Me is a self-look at my relationship experience and the drive to search for the perfect situation that just doesn’t exist. Break describes being so afraid of something good placed in my life that I want to tear it down rather than get comfortable and stay. Electric Chair, one of the band favorites, was born one practice out of melodic riffs and heartfelt lyrics. Not to be cheesy but it was one of those moments where the music made us so excited we finished it almost on the spot. My drummer gave me her journal to get ideas and marry them with my own for lyrics. I’d flipped to this page and it said Electric Chair. I took from her writing and I wrapped it with my own from an experience that was actually happening to me at the time that related to what she had written about. It’s a very emotional song for me.
What do you think is number one for a musician to think about before preparing for a CD project and do you have any tips on saving time in the studio?
I think it helps when you’ve played the songs out live for awhile. When you own every lyric, every riff and melody line you don’t have to keep doing it over and over. Being tight and practiced helps a lot.
What makes or breaks a musician just starting out in your opinion?
Sinsanity guitarist Brian Jimenez: Rome wasn’t built in a day this shit takes time seems like 3 to 5 years before it starts to pick up. It’s learning how to have different relationships with your band members and how to manage that. We fight like how me and you (Tia) fight, like we were dating but then smooth it over like it never happened. That also goes with toughest moments like watching people come and go for whatever creative differences happen.
When I was growing up, it was boy-dominance on the scene. It was tough for me to be taken seriously. I’d wanted an electric guitar; my parents (luv them always) got me an acoustic and gave the electric to my older brother who didn’t even ask for it. I guess they couldn’t picture their daughter rockin out? I struggled against people dismissing me and the feelings I had behind it to keep grabbing at what I wanted and that was to sing. I can’t remember ever wanting anything else more than to perform.
I was signed to a major label for awhile as a teen. I had no control over anything, didn’t get to write the songs, just sang what they told me and performed. But I was a kid and I was caught up in the fame part of it. I had no business sense and I was scared of all the business people I met. I recorded an entire album’s worth of songs but they didn’t get past the one song released. They eventually dropped me and because I was a scared rabbit, I did nothing with the connections I made. I was depressed and I retreated back to my normal life. I turned away from music for a few years. But it called me back because music never leaves you once you have it in you. Once I got back to my game, I’ve never stopped. I’ve overcome my shyness to a point and learned to push my fear in the corner. I have taken a break between bands, but only to get my head on straight. These days, I don’t stop for anything. I try to think of myself as the machine. I take care of myself as much as I can so I can keep running forward.
What advice would you offer up and coming artists that get discouraged other than don’t give up?
Music will never leave you; ever. No matter what, the desire for it won’t leave you. So if you need a small break, take it. If you need to switch up the people you play with, do it. Focus on the music you like and don’t worry about selling. Fans need to see you, not the plastic product. They want to identify. It’s ok and advantageous to be genuine and to be you in front of them. If you make yourself into a plastic toy for the people music will start to feel like the enemy to you. Real is what’s up.
Tell us something you want the music world to know about you.
Tell the fans I love them and tell the music world I’m comin to get ‘em *rawr*
What have you gotten out of being a member of the GoGirls community?
You girls have some fun stuff going on all the time! In the short time I’ve been involved I notice there’s a lot of useful information and a sense of belonging in the community. As a musician, and a girl, it’s nice to have connections like the GoGirls.