U-ROCK Concert Series presents local talent to campus

By Sean Goodwin

Dozens of students gathered in the University Park on Thursday during U-Hour to listen to the band, the Modern Mad from Covina, Calif.

The band features Giovanni Simone on vocals, Michael Ruiz on bass, Nick Joun on guitar, and Jojo Ortiz on drums.

“We want to get people moving,” Ortiz said. “Don’t sit down when you come see us.”

The band was true to their word because at no point throughout their hour-long set did a single member stop dancing. They actively encouraged the audience to move in some way.

The band members didn’t shy away from rocking out, as Joun constantly displayed interesting melodies over Ruiz’s bass lines and would occasionally burst into a rock solo. Joun stated how they’re hoping this unique blend of sounds benefits the band.

“I think that’s one of our things: surprising people,” Joun said. “We’re bringing back guitar music and melodies with guitars and vocals working together. I think the best kinds of songs are made out of that.”

The songs inspired the audience to dance, and the rock-inspired base of the music gave the audience the energy needed to dance.

Simone’s vocals added onto the music in a manner that really emphasized the sound the band was going for. His voice gave the calmer songs emotional depth, and would give the extra push of energy the band needed when they ventured into their harder segments.

Simone gave a few words about what inspires his vocal style.

“We all can say there is a love for classic rock. I think we all base out of that,” Simone said. “But there’s a lot of stuff that we bring in. Nick and I really like a lot of country.”

He also stated how James Brown inspires him performance-wise, and that inspiration could’ve been observed purely through his performance.

A part of the band’s performance that made them exciting to watch was their use of improvisation.

The band would constantly change the structure of their songs to make it more exciting for them to play and for the audience to watch.

“We all understand the basic side to music and the complex side,” Ortiz said. “If we need to extend something, we can extend it without losing the song at its core focus.”

“The main thing that I love about this band is that while we’re playing, we do a lot of listening to each other which allows us to feed off of each other,” Ruiz said. “I feel like our ability to improvise and the musicianship really adds to the sound.”

Although they have already established a great sound, the band isn’t afraid of adapting.

“We expect to evolve. We don’t want to stay grounded in anything. Our songs, even in this year, have changed so much. We just want to keep changing and keep it interesting,” Joun said.

The band is all about having fun, but they are determined to stay serious when it comes to being the best band that they can be.

They’re just a small band right now, but they’re inspired to entertain anyone that sees them live. The performance on Thursday, Nov. 9 proved to be successful as the audience grew and danced more up until their last set at the end of U-Hour.

“As a group of younger guys who really have a lot of aspirations, goals and ideas, we want to take this to the furthest point we can,” Simone said. “It’s also about making people feel good. At the end of the day, we are entertainers. So we can’t make this entirely about ourselves. It’s about giving back to the people that are there.”

The Modern Mad plans on playing as much as possible, while focusing on local school campuses.

The Modern Mad plans to focus on playing more on local school campuses

Courtesy of the Chocolate Media

The Modern Mad plans to focus on playing more on local school campuses

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