RepresA is an up and coming hard rock/metal trio that has quickly gained critical acclaim in Sacramento area for their unique style and powerful lyrics. RepresA was formed in 2011 in Newcastle, CA. After years of playing shows, lineup changes, and a hiatus, they reformed in 2017. They now have a solid following of old fans and new. With Tony Mena on Guitar/Lead Vocals, Chris Madga on Bass, and Noah Bingaman on Drums/Vocals, RepresA is better than ever! Experience there unique expression through sociopolitical lyrics and a fusion of multiple genres!
How did you first get into music? Who or what turned you onto metal?
Thanks so much for asking! My Dad first got me into music, he started taking me to concerts at a very young age to see some great classic rock bands. He’s not a musician but we share the same love for going to shows!
I’ve always been into Rock, but I got into metal when i discovered a Double Bass Pedal.
What got you started playing music and how old were you?
After going to my first concerts and hearing the power and energy of the crowd and volume, I knew right away I wanted to play music and the drums stood out to me. I always wanted to play drums but I lived in an apartment so I started with a guitar and bass at age 10.
How did you become a drummer? Are you proficient in any other instruments? Have you always been creative?
I finally got a chance to play drums like I had wanted to when my I got my first set at age 13. It was a great fit and I was able to pick it up a lot easier than bass or guitar. I still play bass, sing, and write my own acoustic songs on guitar, but drums will always be my first instrument. I just love to write and share my lyrics with people, so the guitar comes in handy for that! I actually just out of the studio working on my first professional drum cover that also features me playing bass and doing all the vocals, I’m really excited to release it!
What was the local scene like in 2011, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?
For me I never had many friends and didn’t really know anyone in the music scene, so when I first started making music and trying to be heard in 2011, there was no one to listen to! I was pretty much at the bottom, looking up at other local bands that already have a lot of fans and friends, that pack the house, wondering how I could ever get popular like that when I don’t know anybody!?
One of my favorite band in 2011 was Ezera, they had some amazing dual guitar and always brought a huge crowd!
Now, I have so many favorite local bands and friends that work so hard I think are great, but one that really stands out to me right now is Apollo’s Key, these guys are brand new and have only played a few shows but they have sold out every single show so far! That impresses me a lot and there music is really good!
I do a small amount of events and I just booked a banger of as lineup for January 4th, 2019 at The Boardwalk with some of my favorite Sacramento bands including them.
How did RepresA come about? Where did you develop the name? Where is it derived from? What other band names were considered? How would you best describe your sound?
The name RepresA is simply based off of some cool local history. We originally started in Loomis, not far from Folsom, Ca. Some people don’t know but the historic Folsom State Prison is actually located in it’s own city, Represa, California. Not Folsom. It’s also the 2nd oldest active state prison in the U.S. so we thought it was interesting. It also fits our name as we sometimes write sociopolitical lyrics that sometimes have the message of Breaking Free, Not being A Prisoner or Slave, and Equality. We feel it was almost a perfect fit and made sense.
You recently hooked up with No Pants Records out of Portland, Oregon, what have they promised to do for you that you can’t do for yourself? What are you expectations of them? How did they find you? What are their expectations of you?
No Pants Records has already done a great job for us. We do all of our own work and push hard to promote and try to gain a following, but it’s not always easy and nice to have some help, they help us are willing to help us promote, get bigger shows, help with music distro, and point us in the right direction if we ever need advice. We want to expand and play out of town shows, but if we do we don’t know that anyone will be there, No Pants is able to find us shows all over the west coast with lineups that already bring a crowd, as well as Portland, OR area festivals. We have tried to reach out to companies, record labels, and festivals with little to no response, but when our label reaches out for us we almost always get a response. I think it helps being signed, otherwise your looked at a lot of times as just another “Unsolicited Band”.
I heard about No Pants Records through a friend in a local band, they were highly recommended. They accept open submission but do not sign just anyone, the label manager Matt showed a true interest in us and is always very helpful and encouraging. But at the same time not demanding at all, he lets us make the music we want to make because he believes in it and backs it 100%, we had no reason to even want to try to get on another label.
The band just secured some endorsements and sponsorship. What do these things entail exactly? Will you be going to NAMM in January?
No Pants also helped us get some awesome stuff that would have been hard to get on out own. I got a huge endorsement from Saluda Cymbal Company which includes all the cymbals I want for almost nothing, we get free guitar strings from Dean Markley Strings, and there is more that isn’t yet confirmed!
NAMM would be awesome if had the opportunity to go. Probably not this January but maybe 2020!
What is the plan for recording new music, where, when and with who will be recording you? Will there be bonus tracks, cover songs, vinyl and cassette?
Funds, funds, funds…. We’ve been writing music for years since 2011 but finally just recorded our debut EP and release it on 8/3/18. But, we actually have a whole albums worth of fire material waiting to be recorded once we can afford it. Our debut EP “United Slaves” was all self funded, but now that we are on our label we can save a lot of money recording the next CD cause they will help with the distro and we won’t have to do it all ourselves,.. But at the moment, we’re still trying to make our money back from the last recording, but soon! Early 2019 we will hit the studio with Bob Swanson from Mayhemeness Studios in Sacramento to record EP #2! This one will be released through our label and we will also have a ton of new merch to go with it! We just jumped up in popularity recently and hope to do big things in 2019, we want to pack the house at our shows! We jumped up in popularity recently, going from around 750 to over 6,500 likes on Facebook. We’ve always pushed to try to gain more followers and likes but they have found us lately which has felt so humbling!
Who are your original influences and who are your current inspirations and admiration’s local and or national?
So many greats so I’ll do a top 3, original influences would have to be REO Speedwagon, Boston, and RUSH,
But currently I would say Papa Roach, those guys are seriously always rising higher and doing huge things, never slowing down. There also fairly local and huge in Sacramento. Then Bullet For My Valentine and Story Of The Year!
Whats the biggest show you have played so far and do you still get nervous before a gig?
The biggest show so far was Folsom Live Festival on September 22nd, which had a crowd of almost 8,000 people!! We went up against 14 other bands in a 98 Rock competition and won a spot on by bringing 86 people to Powerhouse Pub in Folsom! I honestly love performing so much that i get too excited to be nervous!
What makes a good RepresA song?
A song that makes a statement. It really doesn’t matter your race, class, or gender, we are all human and that’s what really matters, if we can express that somehow in our songs we want to! But the uniqueness to our style really makes us stand out, a mix of melodic with heavy. One second it sounds pretty and vibes, the next you are banging your head and moving! We try to have a little something for everybody and not stick to one style.
What kind of references or influences do you take from other mediums? Is there any particular book, or other artists that you are inspired by?
I say Im most inspired by Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach, mainly because of his lyrics.. There are times where I thought he took the words out of me, took my thoughts and put them on paper. I’ve never been able to relate to lyrics the way I do his, and to see him come from so little and be where he is now is inspiring for sure! Born with Nothing, Die With Everything!
How much time do you spend on social media a day? Which do you hate the most but can’t live without? Which do you like and why?
I was actually never into social media before i was in a band, but realize it’s important for promoting! Now I run all the social media accounts and try to keep up but technology isn’t for me! Haha I’m old school, pen and paper. Rather than digitsl I still like to buy CD’s and hand out paper flyers. I hate the fact that I need Facebook and Instagram but wouldn’t go without them! I could live without Twitter tho..
Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months?
I haven’t listened to a whole lot of brand new stuff to be honest, but Story Of The Year recently released there Wolves album this year and it is probably my favorite album of all time by any band!
You’re on a desert island and only have three albums to listen to for the rest of your life, what are they and why?
Papa Roach – The Connection
Story of the Year – Wolves
Bullet For My Valentine – The Poison
My favorite albums, mainly for the lyrics, but I couldn’t live without the bad ass duel guitar solos BFMV has!
The Connection is an album I feel I relate to the most, Wolves makes me feel good and gives me a good energy I don’t normally feel with any music, and The Posion just rocks!!
What does metal mean to you?
Metal to me means having a bangover and having to let your body recover after a show. If your neck hurts and you can barely move, if you got bloody, sweaty, screamed, laughed, all in one night.. that’s metal! And every show that Capital Chaos TV puts on is always metal!!! \m/ \m/
“RepresA’s new album “United Slaves” is truly amazing & out now!” – No Pants Records, Portland, Oregon.
Tony Mena – Guitar/ Vocals
Chris Madga – Bass
Noah Bingaman- Drums/ Vocals
FFO: System of A Down, Incubus, Deftones, NOFX, Rage Against The Machine