Thanks for coming out Noach! I really enjoyed watching your band play Night Rider at the Saucepot. How long has your band been around now?
Thanks for having me! We’ve been together for about two and a half years now.
How did everybody get together?
It all started with me knowing Jeremy (Lemen, on bass and cajon) from some open mics at Creekside Brewing back in the day…
When did you meet Rachel Santa Cruz (harmonies, keyboards and percussion for the band)?
I met her about two years ago. I had been playing with Jeremy a bit when we ran into each other at Bliss cafe. I was doing a singer-songwriter set where he joined me on cajon. Rachel was hanging out that day and I met her there and she told me she played music; I told her we should jam out and she joined the band!
At the same time, Adam (McAlexander, on lead guitar) was playing with us here and there. Whenever Jeremy would play, he would ask Adam to come out too because they were already good friends. Rachel had just joined us that week and we all got together and played the Hoof Fest, which was the first show we ever did with the four of us. We’ve been playing band shows since then and expanded to six (bringing in Scott Marlin on fiddle, and Jarrod Zacarias on drums) just in time for the Morro Bay Harbor Festival last October.
I understand the band just recorded at the Sauce Pot Studios recently. What was that experience like?
It’s coming out great, we’re just finishing up mixing with Rick (Loughman) and then we’re gonna get that 4-track EP out.
That’s great to hear! How long have those songs been in the works?
Oh, we’ve been playing the songs since we started the band, a lot of them, so the songs have been around for awhile. We’re now getting the means to actually make recording happen, so that’s where we’re at now.
Where does the band rehearse?
At Rachel’s house usually, we have a nice garage space there.
There ain’t nothing like a good garage jam. What was it like opening for Front Country at the Siren in Morro Bay?
It was awesome; a ton of fun. Front Country was just talked about in a Rolling Stone article titled: 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know which was pretty cool. I already liked their music and wanted to go to the show anyways, so we got talking with Good Medicine Presents and tried to get into that opening spot. We’ve done a few shows with Good Medicine, like the New Times Music Awards, but that was our first national touring band that we played with through them.
It was cool because shows like that bring in a lot of music lovers from that band, and we get exposure, so it turned out to be a great show and a really fun band to play with. The lead singer of Front Country was great to talk to as well; we got to hang out with her and talk music for a little. It’s fun to meet bands like that and learn from them about touring nationally.
Is that down the road for you all, touring nationally?
Yeah, we just made our debut in Sacramento and are trying to start branching out a bit— I want to put some kind of a little tour together just to get out there. Once the EP is out we’ll do that. Right now we have one official release on Soundcloud (Big Sur). This four track EP will be a pre-release of the album.
It takes a long time to record an album and we’re working as we go. We just want to get our music out there sooner than later so we’re just gonna pre-release these four songs first.
I’m looking forward to it!
Yeah, me too! Thanks.
So I know people sometimes compare you to Janis Joplin. How do you feel about that?
People say it every show, “you sound like Janis Joplin.” I kinda totally agree. I just kinda feel a connection with her music and her soul style and it really resonates with me. I think it’s definitely a big influence in my original music also, just having that big soul voice style.
You’re channeling her.
Yeah, it’s kinda weird how that happens but you do just kinda embody their style and start implementing different techniques they use. When you listen to an artist a lot, you tend to pick up on their techniques and you may implement something here and there in your own writing style.
Who are some of your other big influences?
Well, I’ve listened to a wide variety, it’s very eclectic. I like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, a lot of the old country. I feel like I was born in the wrong decade sometimes, I’m just such a 70’s child.
I’ve got a lot of influence from 60s and 70s music in my writing. Contemporary music is a totally different sound and I just draw a lot of music from the 60s and 70s, when music had a really organic feel to it whether its country or classic rock.
The band recently expanded to a 6 piece for some bigger shows but you still do a lot of solo, duo, and trio shows. Which do you prefer?
I like playing with the band the most, but music is my full-time job, so for now I have to do both. At least until we get that EP out!
Tonight you’re headed up to the Songwriters at Play Showcase. You’ve done a few of those now, right?
I have; it’s a lot of fun to hear everyone else. I like the songwriter showcases because it brings songwriters together and you get to share and hear everyone’s music.
I love what Steve (Key, founder of Songwriters at Play) has done for the community, bringing artists together like that.
That was actually one of the ways I got started when I moved here. I started going to some open mics to get out there a little, ‘cause I hadn’t done music for a living before two and a half years ago when I quit my full time job to pursue music as a career. Starting out was kinda rough because I’d go out to get gigs and people would be like, “who are you?” And I was from out of area.
Where are you from originally?
I’m originally from Indiana but I went to school in Maine for five years, then travelled around the country a little bit, spending some time in Alaska and and on a ski mountain in Colorado. I actually moved out to Morro Bay to take a Marine Biology job because that was what my major was in college. I worked that for 3 years before they decided they were going to eliminate my position in Morro Bay, so it was either relocate or stay.
I didn’t want to relocate so I stayed and that was when I started pursuing music as a career. I had been thinking about leaving that job to pursue music so the timing kind of handed itself to me. That’s when I started playing gigs.
And here you are!
Making a living, didn’t say I was rich. If I can make a living off of music, that’s what I want to do. San Luis Obispo is a great spot to do that because there’s a lot of live music venues around here, whether it’s wineries, bars, or clubs, and very supportive crowds. It’s a very music-welcoming county—you can literally make a living off of it around here.
Thanks for coming out Noach; it’s been great to learn more about the band and I can’t wait to check out the EP!
You can check out their upcoming shows and all other things Noach at https://www.noachtangerasband.com/, or on Facebook at “Noach Tangeras Band”.