They’ve shared the stage with Flyleaf, Fireflight and Mandisa. They took home the Orlando’s Next Big Thing 2011 title and describe themselves as “the rock-infused flavor of Paramore and Mute Math with soulful vocals and musical technicality.” This four-piece, female-fronted, concoction of energy is powered by a tight bond and their mutual love for God. In fact, the bond is so tight that they even opted to answer the majority of this interview as a group. In today’s world, when everything is full of complaining and negative energy, it’s refreshing to hear something inspiring and clean. Not convinced that you should give them a listen yet? Their debut album release is happening on August 26th, at the Plaza Live Theatre and each $10 ticket purchase also gets you a free CD. ONE31 is Rebekkah Joy Serra (vocals), Felix Molina (drums), Crystal Molina (bass ) and William Snyder ( guitars).
SJ: Congratulations on the Orlando’s Next Big Thing title. How was that experience for you?
ONE31: It was amazing! We competed last year and didn’t make it to the finals, but this year we worked hard and came out with the win!
SJ: Did you know it was going to happen?
ONE31: No, it was tough competition. There was so much talent!
SJ: What made you do it and what’s your favorite prize out of what you’ve gotten?
ONE31: What made us do ONBT was to show Orlando what we got, whether winning or losing, we’re doing what we love. We think the best prize was just being able to call ourselves Orlando’s Next Big Thing…everything else was just a bonus.
SJ: Do you guys have a boss in the band, or is it a democracy?
ONE31: It’s mostly a democracy, but we all run different parts of the band. We work together, and we respect each other and our each individual talent.
SJ: I saw the new video. Tell us more about it. Where should people go to see it?
RS: The video is our single, “Lost”. We worked hard on the video, and we are so proud of it! We wanted the video to tell a story where not only was it a visual, but helped the song speak for itself. I wrote the song about a friend who struggled with moving from relationship to relationship, that she lost who she was in the process. It’s about finding love and God and how that brings you to finding who you are. You can watch the video now at www.one31music.com ! You can also download the song for free!
SJ: What are your plans for the remainder of the year?
ONE31: Push our album. We’re super excited for our mini tour to NC in September and we are setting up some weekend tours throughout Florida. We’re trying to expand and get it out to more people. We’d also love to get representation through a major label. We did our part in putting all the work in, now it’s just about letting the music speak for itself! We’re ready; we’re just looking for opportunities.
SJ: Did you have the “recognized by a stranger” moment yet?
RS: Crissy and I have been “recognized” at random places like Pointe Orlando and the Amway Center…I’m sure Felix and Will have, but they can’t remember. [laughs]
SJ: What’s the best thing about being in a band?
WS: I didn’t grow up with siblings, so it is really cool to call my band family.
CM: Sharing experiences with people that have the same mindset and goals that I have in music.
FM: Solo, you can only go so far. With one, you can conquer a thousand, but with more, you can conquer nations!!!
RS: Everything is better as a team. It’s cool to have a second family of people who share similar goals and aspirations.
SJ: The worst?
ONE31: Two things. First, learning everyone’s personality and how they work…kind of like getting past the first stages in a relationship. Second, being that were not a signed band and work normal jobs, it’s sometimes hard to work around our work schedules to get together.
SJ: What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician? Do you have a plan B?
FM: We say if you have a plan B, it should somehow reinforce your plan A. Plan B is for those who don’t believe in a plan A!
SJ: How many times did you want to throw in the towel? If you did want to, what stops you?
ONE31: We all had a stage where we were about to throw in the towel. We’ve all experienced that moment that we wanted to give up…but we always ended up realizing that music is bigger than anything. If what you are doing isn’t sometimes making you want to throw in the towel then you aren’t being challenged!
SJ: Did you purposely decide you will have two girls and two guys in the line-up, or was it a coincidence?
ONE31: It was a complete coincidence! ONE31 went through a few different line-ups through the past 2 years, but somehow it always ended up being us 4….it was meant to be.
SJ: If you were to compare yourself to a band, who would it be?
ONE31: We don’t really think you can compare us to one band because we are inspired by many different genres of music. Rock/Pop/Soul explains it all.
SJ: Do you have any advice for the next year’s ONBT contestants?
ONE31: Be yourself, work hard and respect the other bands. They are trying to make it just as much as you are! Really go for it and promote it because it’s a really good cause and ONBT will back you up. Take the advice that they give you and really work on it. It’s all about the whole package. Presentation is the key! Most of all, show love. Even though there’s only one winner, it doesn’t mean you can’t make ONBT. We competed last year and didn’t even win any of the finals. This year we won!
SJ: Where can people learn more about One31?
ONE31: www.one31music.com !!!