Sitting on the couch in the green room of the Glass House in Pomona, Aja Volkman, Rich Koehler and Dan Epand do not look like they would be friends, let alone band mates.
Volkman, vocalist from Oregon, is more eclectic, with long dark hair and a flowing costume consisting of a full-length black sequin dress and a pink kimono bought from across the street that day.
The boys both wear eye shadow, but Koehler, guitarist from Ohio, favors a rocker style, with tight pants and wild curly hair. Epand, on the other hand, drums from New York, dons a deep v neck and pants, with a simple grey jacket.
“We are all really individual, it’s like a marriage,” Koehler said.
However, when the band takes the stage, an amazing musical chemistry emerges, showing exactly how compatible these three are.
Although they each write their own parts, the drums, guitar, and vocals come together in perfect harmony.
“We all give each other (musical) freedom,” Volkman said. “We love each other’s talents.”
“We work so quickly together, you can call it magical,” Epand said.
Opening their set was a song entitled “Taxi Cab,” where Volkman’s voice changes effortlessly between hard, almost screaming parts, to soft and melodic parts as she incorporates interpretive dance moves.
Koehler gets on his knees, feeling the music, and Epand variates between standing and sitting as he plays the drums. The original members of Nico Vega met in Los Angeles five years ago, but Volkman, Koehler, and Epand became the band we know today three years ago.
“It was amazing chemistry right from the beginning,” Epand said.
As the band’s set continued, the audience of 100, who were as unique as the band itself, began to feel the intensity of the musicians.
They soon began dancing and singing along to a song from their new music video, “Gravity.” Volkman starts with a chant of, “I wont be afraid of anything,” energizing the crowd and getting them involved. Then the song starts, and the crowd went wild, fist pumping as Volkman gets into the crowd.
The concept for the music video involves the band mates running from a mob of people who are trying to beat them up, symbolizing the challenge they have rebelling against conformity.
“I think the video really coincides with the song, and I am proud of where we are,” Epand said.
Plus, the band members did all of their own stunts, and Epand broke his nose. Nico Vega finished their set with the song “Beast,” which is written about the devil. The song starts out with a powerful, march-like guitar section.
Epand, who is now sweating through his eye shadow, performs his section beautifully, with an intensity that is not matched by many.
Volkman finished with crazy dance moves, releasing all of her energy into the crowd, who was screaming for more. Besides having an amazing stage presence and artistic ability, the members of Nico Vega have amazing hearts. They truly care about their fans, about creativity, and about being an individual.
“Make art, and never ever stop, no matter how illogical, because it is the evolution of man,” Volkman said.
“Don’t be afraid of judgment in what you make or do,” Epand added.
Plus, it never hurts that they have an amazing sense of humor.
“Stay away from Aspertame, don’t get flu shots, and Diet Coke is poison,” Koehler said.
If you missed this amazing show, Nico Vega is planning on scheduling more tours soon.
For more information, visit www.nicovega.com.
Carly Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.