Rock, Funk, Latin and Soul; The Sounds of the Sandoval Band

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If you are looking for high-caliber, faith-based music with a unique blend of rock, funk, Latin and soul – Click the link at the bottom of this interview and add The Sandoval Band to your playlist right now; you will not be disappointed.

Fronted by Jean Sandoval (an accomplished guitarist, arranger and composer) the band’s new 6-track album, ‘The Sound of All’, will keep you grooving in your seat. Featuring various seasoned vocalists and musicians, each song is infused with hope and life, while boasting impassioned guitar riffs over grooving rhythm and horn sections.

So who is Jean Sandoval and the Sandoval Band? Here is an interview with Jean on inspiration, being a musician, recording and more.{{more}}

1. How did you get your start in music? Who have you worked with in the past?

A: I’ve been a huge Michael Jackson fan since I was 6 yrs old, and was fascinated by all the instruments and sounds they’d make so I knew pretty early on I wanted to do something with music. I began gigging out with different bands in High School, which led to studying music in college and pursuing it professionally. I’ve had the honor of playing music with tons of super talented and amazing musicians such as Jaci Velasquez, Salvador, Freddy Rodriguez, Juan Carlos Alvarado, to name a few. I’m currently playing out with my original project, Sandoval Band.

2. What can people expect when they hear your new album?

A: The title of the new record is ‘Sound of All, Episode One’ and it’s a compilation of several genres that I’m passionate about and have always wanted to express on one record, ranging from rock to funk, country to jazz, and some kind of blend of them all. Lyrically, it’s probably the most personal to me and captures my season in my life these last couple of years, topics including politics, faith, love, frustration and hope.

3. Who did you work with on this album?

A: A bunch of great people! I wanted to shake things up a bit on this record and feature a different singer per song. Jen Durkin (from one of my favorite bands, Deep Banana Blackout), George Colon, Jerry L Sharpe, Jessica Reese, Esteban Ramos and my wife Amy Sandoval are all featured. The rhythm section consists of Chuck Peterson on drums, Lawrence White on bass/synth bass, Luis Rivera also on bass, Tim Rouse and Wayne Brown on keys/piano and Jon Blanck on sax/keys/piano, Emmanuel Rivera on trumpet, Jordan Jancz on cellos, John Monthei on pedal steel, Izzy Graterol on percussion, and the record was mixed/mastered by Manley Cameros.

4. How do you balance music and family?

A: Well since they both influence each other in lots of ways, I have several answers. I’ve learned that as soon as I’m home, I’m home. In other words, I’m in full daddy/husband mode. It’s very rare that I do ‘work’ at home and really try to honor and respect my time with my wife and kids. Since music is huge at our house, I can never really ‘turn it off’ but instead include my kids and specially my wife in what I’m doing; that usually means I’m always playing her my new demos and projects, and besides her being a singer, she has a great ear and I fully trust her feedback.

5. What inspires your songwriting?

A: Everything. Currently my surroundings, circle of friends, church and culture have really inspired this album and no matter what the theme may be, I always try to funnel it through the filter of hope, unity and love.

6. How do you think God can use your music to influence people?

A: The only way I can answer that is by creating music that I truly believe comes from the heart of God and that is authentic to who I am and who I feel God has created/called me to be. Once I know every lyric, groove, chord, solo is influenced by God, then God will use it however He chooses. I may sometimes see how God uses my music but there’s more times that I actually don’t ‘see’ it, BUT I know for a fact God is using my music to speak to SOMEONE. To me that’s where faith kicks in, and I just have to be obedient with my gift/calling and continue to pursue it with excellence.

7. How often do you practice guitar? Who are your musical influences?

A: I try to practice a couple of times a week, which turn into songwriting sessions ha ha. I have tons of influences, honestly the list keeps on growing, but I would say my all-time influences are Eric Clapton, Prince, George Benson, Jeff Beck and John Scofield.

8. Do you play any other instruments? What do you play on the album?

A: I would say guitar is the instrument I’m the most comfortable with. On the new album, I do play a lot of synths and do some programming.

9. Do you find it a challenge to have so many band members?

A: It’s always going to be challenging to work with numerous people and on top of that very creative and talented individuals. But the challenge is mainly juggling all the different schedules. Musically, they’re all top notch, responsible professionals that I can always count on things getting done, respectfully and passionately.

10. What do you think of digital music? Is it a curse or blessing?

A: It’s both! It’s a blessing in the sense that it’s more accessible than ever before, which is amazing. The negative side of it is that quality and authenticity sometimes pay the price.

11. What would your ideal gig be?

A: Great sound and a bunch of people who are excited to hear original music. Pretty simple.

12. What was the coolest show you did? The toughest?

A: The coolest was also the toughest! I was on tour with Latin/gospel singer Juan Carlos Alvarado, we were playing a venue of 20,000 people or so and the stage monitors went out, add crazy slapback on top of that and it’s chaos! But it was a blast!

13. What are your plans for this year? The next few years?

A: I’m currently working on ‘Sound of All, Episode Two’ with a release date of Fall 2019. Producing several other projects as well.

14. You also lead worship at a church. Do you find it hard to switch gears from performance to leading worship?

A: It’s definitely not easy but very possible. I’ve had to be very intentional about channeling creative ideas that may not work in the church culture and releasing them either in the studio and/or live. I’ve experienced that by doing so I’m much more passionate, dedicated and joyful at both.

15. What do you do outside of music?

A: Ha! You mean as in hobbies? Honestly, I love to just hang with my wife watching our favorite shows (currently: This Is Us, The Goldbergs, The Good Doctor and random Netflix shows), and most recently taking my 3 1/2 year old to Chuck E. Cheese.

16. Your wife Amy has a beautiful voice. Do you get to perform together often?

A: Thank you, I’ll let her know you said that! We do get to work together. She also leads worship at church with me, so we get to worship together quite often. We are also working on a record together (we released a single a few years back, ‘I Give You My Heart’ by Jean & Amy).

17. What do you hope people come away with from this album?

A: I truly hope that people can listen to it and be encouraged about life and all the blessings we always miss to count. This country is somewhat divided on lots of issues, and they are important issues, but our love and respect for one another should be prioritized without condemnation.

18. Three words that describe your show.

A: Soulful. Honest. Energy.

19. You are heading into the studio. What are your go-to items to bring with you?

A: Since I own a studio, it’s hard to answer that, ha ha, but going to a studio, all depends on what kind of session it is (genre-wise), but I’ll always have my ‘82 Strat, my Santo Tonecaster, pedalboard with a bunch of crazy toys (including My Boss V-Wah, Digitech Ricochet, Cosm Fuzz and tons of overdrives and more). Oh and a good amount of coffee!

20. Where can people find you and your music?

A: I lead worship at New Life Church in Wallingford every Sunday, so you’ll always see me there! You can also find all my music on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and all digital outlet. You can also find us on Facebook at facebook.com/sandovalband and my website www.jeansandoval.com for all other records I’ve produced and have been a part of.

Be sure to check out their new album, The Sound of All, and catch them live at a show for a real treat! Music and show dates are found on the links above.

Lori Lebel

Lori Lebel has been putting her passion of music to work in the business for over twelve years, booking, managing, promoting and photographing artists, as well as freelance writing music reviews, band interviews and features for top recording artists and indie bands alike with several online and in-print magazines and blogs. When not working with artists, Lori enjoys painting, spending time with her family, and exploring New England and all it has to offer.

If your business is interested in being a sponsor or advertiser for Lori’s column, please reach out to us or make a tax deductible donation to our nonprofit, PN4UINC.

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