‘Violectric and Fretless Rock’, An amazing collection of seven classical musicians who know just how to rock the hell out of a stage! Aerosmith to RollingStones covers, from pop to metal and custom arrangements. Their sound is independent in their genre with added of course the pure beauty of string instruments. This is a band to take notice of! This past week I caught up with Lead Violin and Founding member Michelle Jones to speak about this unique musical project and here is what she had to say: What made you want to come together in a group like this? I created the concept of Violectric in 2007 and invited other musicians to join and play modern and classic rock music with me. Since that time, the original concept has evolved into what it is today: a full 7-piece instrumental rock band comprised of a string quintet plus keys and live drums. We create all of our own arrangements of classic and modern rock tunes, and play them live (no backing or click tracks) on traditional classical instruments, sometimes using digital and looping effects. When the situation calls for something on a smaller scale, we go by the name “Fretless Rock.” Fretless Rock is a string ensemble up to a quartet with or without a DJ, and with or without backing tracks. Fretless Rock also can do more modern, dance and electronic music with a DJ using colorful, electric instruments and visual effects with costuming. Now, l love your sound and the rock influences, but how would you describe the group’s sound? Thank you for your very kind words! I think our group’s sound is best described as “rock with a touch of class.” Violectric mostly uses the traditional acoustic wooden instruments with pickups to amplify the sound. Although the instrumental sound is familiar, the style in which they are played is definitely different from classical music. Much of the music is usually harsher, so our playing itself is harsher. But, we have to remember to keep the ballads sweet and mellow with emotion in every note. Since we do not use live vocalists, the instruments must become the voice of the musicians who play them. This includes all the subtle nuances that a human voice projects, just on an instrument. The audience usually knows the lyrics to every song we perform. We like to say to the audience “the voice in your head really can sing!” Fretless Rock uses a mix of acoustic wooden instruments and electric instruments, thus allowing us to use even more effects with our playing. I love to use guitar pedals to create varying effects on the overall tone and sound! When we partner with our DJ, it brings this to yet another level. The DJ mixes in sounds and beats while we play instrumental lines on top and create new melodies and harmonies. With both Violectric and Fretless Rock, no two performances are ever exactly alike since we improvise each and every time, and our song selections are widely varied with each show. We learn new songs every week and are constantly rotating our song lists to match each event’s unique audience. What has been your proudest musical moment, so far? There are so many wonderful and memorable moments, it is difficult to narrow down to just one. We love to entertain, but my personal favorite moments are when audience members come up to me after a show and tell me something personal about themselves and how our music impacted them. Some have told me how that performance took them back in time to a memory, a place, an event, and how that was a defining moment in their lives. Others have come to a show several years later and shared a story of how that earlier show changed their life. People have met their soul mates at our events and gone on to be married with children, and were thanking us for creating the opportunity for that to happen just by doing what we enjoy – putting on the best performance every time. I know that those moments would not have happened in that specific way had it not been for a live band with a live audience. Each needs the other in order to thrive and survive. This continued symbiotic relationship will forever create memories for all involved. Are all of you native to Central Fl? Three of our musicians are native to Central Florida. The remainder either moved here for college or for other professional musical work in this thriving entertainment climate. I moved here after college, and have lived here longer than anywhere else. I love it here, and I am proud to call Orlando my home! Do you have a favorite song to cover during performances? Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The audience sings along every time, and loves to head-bang with our cellist. It’s always our favorite and is the audience’s favorite, too! How would you define your band name? Violectric is a mix of two names: Viol and Electric. The “viol” is the predecessor to the violin/viola and is the namesake for each of our modern day string instruments. Violin, Viola, Violoncello (usually shortened to cello), and Double Bass Viol (usually shortened to bass). Since we have electrified each instrument through amplification, I created the name “Violectric” to define our band and the instruments we use. Fretless Rock is a play on the word fretless, meaning “without frets.” Our stringed instruments do not have frets, unlike guitars and most electric basses. We use fretless instruments. Since we play all rock, modern, dance and electronic music, it seemed appropriate to lump the categories together to just “rock” and describe the instruments we use. It also applies to our attitude – we don’t fret about an event; we just love to put on a great show! What are your hopes to achieve in the near future? Wow! We have accomplished so much in just this short amount of time, and are truly grateful to our fans for their kind and generous support. Our next hopes are to continue to tour on a more frequent basis, perform in even more cities and countries and continue to educate people who are interested in careers in music. Through Violectric Educational Programs, we have introduced students to the real world of being a professional musician. Our workshops range from management, touring and contracts to technical direction and riders, as well as a whole host of other topics that are not traditionally taught to music majors in school or university. We have taught students throughout China and the USA and hope to continue sharing our love of music with people and students across the globe. Anything you would like to tell our Orlando readers? Please continue to support local artists, bands, musicians and entertainers in every genre! We have a unique culture in Orlando that is unlike any other city in the world. We have world-class entertainers who have decided to make Orlando their hometown because of the support of the community. We need people to attend live concerts and shows to maintain the balance between the music and the listener. The musicians feed off of the energy of the audience, and vice-versa. Although technology has made music more attainable, nothing replaces seeing and hearing it live and sharing that experience with friends and family at that exact same moment together. Who knows? You might meet your soul mate and be able to tell that bandleader about it years later, too! Thank You so much! For more information on the band: http://violectric.net/ PR Contact: Ilene Lieber, Passion PR Communications Consulting, firstname.lastname@example.org.