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Victoria teens compete in national battle of the bands

By by melissa crowe/mcrowe@vicad.com
Nov. 28, 2012 at 5:28 a.m.


rock the vote

To vote for Victoria's 24-7, sign up at schooljamusa.com and click "vote" on 24-7's page. You can cast one vote a day and voting ends Nov. 30.

The eight bands with the most votes will compete in Anaheim, Calif., and the winner of that contest will go on to play SchoolJam Germany in spring 2013, plus $5,000 for their school music program and $1,000 toward the purchase of musical gear for their band.

Nikko Vallejo - Guitar

Matthew Vallejo - Drums

Josh Moya - Vocals

Christian Ruiz - Bass

24-7 is flirting with making it big time. The hard rock band opened for Los Lonely Boys and plays at several downtown venues. You wouldn't know from the music that all of the members are still in high school.

Josh Moya, the 17-year-old lead singer, took some time to talk about the perks of being a young musician, his goals for the band and how a national battle of the bands can make it happen.



WHEN DID 24-7 FORM?

We've been together probably three years. The guitarist is 15, I'm 17, the bassist is 15 and drummer is 13. We started when I was around 11 at my grandpa's Christmas parties and little things like that. We've gone through a couple guitar players and a bass player because they left for college. Now, it's me, my two cousins and a friend.



YOU SAY 'THE RHYTHM IS IN THE BLOOD?'

I think we've had that chemistry just being related to each other and being around each other all the time. Growing up, there was five cousins that were really close, the oldest is 21 to 13. We're all two years apart.

We have some older cousins they've been playing for a long time, probably 20 years, and we've grown up around their music. They're big mentors in our lives. They've played big gigs in Victoria, and so we've experienced that with VIP passes. It's a good jump start.



WHAT'S IT LIKE PLAYING IN BARS AND CLUBS UNDERAGE?

It's easy here because we'll play at Downtown Bar and Grill, The PumpHouse, Golden Gecko and other places. Some of the gigs you have to be 21 to get in, but we can get in because we're in the band. We're the only kids running around.

We're there with our parents, so it's not like they're going to let us drink. We're just really focusing on the exposure and a good performance, just trying to get our name out there.



WHY DID 24-7 ENTER SCHOOL JAM USA?

We have a great manager, my uncle, Mario, he's the drummer and guitarist's dad. He goes above and beyond finding us gigs getting us in contests. He'll get these gigs and we'll play them and get paid. For this contest in particular, he just told us in a mass-text, 'Hey you guys are in a school jam.'

Who ever wins gets to go to Anaheim, Calif. to compete and then goes to Germany."



WHY SHOULD PEOPLE VOTE FOR 24-7?

We're the only ones from Victoria, and there's only three from Texas. It can be there's not a lot of teen bands in Texas or Victoria. There's only 120 or 130 entered and we've been in the top 10, so we're doing good.

If we win this online thing and get to go to California and have that experience, that's just amazing. I don't know how to describe the feeling.

It would be a great experience to have and we've been working hard at this for a good two years as the band. Pulling off an accomplishment like this would be one of my No. 1 things. Next to that is when we won The Shrimp Fest in Seadrift - we won $2,000 and got new equipment and paid our manager.

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