We interviewed the members of the Fresh Beat Band: Shout (Thomas Hobson), Marina (Tara Perry), Kiki (Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer) and Twist (Jon Beavers), before a recent show at Madison Square Garden. After the interview we watched them perform, and it was a great show!
How did you meet each other?
Kiki: We met a few years ago in Los Angeles when we first decided to put the band together. We needed a drummer, we needed a keyboard player, guitarist, DJ.
Shout: It was a lot of auditions. We spent a lot of time making sure we really liked each other before we went into it.
Were you friends before the band?
Twist: I never met these guys before the band, which was a while ago. We've been friends now for a long time because we've been in the band, but we all came to the audition and they were mix and matching people to see who will be the best band.
What is your favorite musical instrument?
Twist: I play turntables in a band, like a DJ. But I would like to learn to play the piano like Shout, but he's too busy for me to ask him to give me lessons.
Marina: I play the drums in the band and they're really fun to play all kinds of percussion instruments. I would love to learn how to play the cello. I think it's a gorgeous instrument.
Shout: I play the piano, but I kind of wished I played the tenor saxophone.
Kiki: I play guitar and violin on the show, but I would actually love to learn how to play piano.
Do you write your own songs?
Kiki: I'm actually a songwriter, but on this show we had a bunch of songwriters that Nickelodeon got to pick, and they also wrote words and music.
Twist: A lot of the songs were written by the creators of the show who are a mom and dad that had a young daughter who was 6 at the time; she's much older now. And they wanted songs that she would like. So it was kind of cool. It was a family project.
Shout: In our spare time we do music on our own, so she's written a great album that she sells on the side, and I have an album that I sell on the side.
If you weren't in a group what else would you be doing as a job?
Twist: I made coffee in a place that was kind of like Starbucks. Kiki: I probably would be in the theater or on a TV show or in a movie or probably make a new band and do my own music.
Marina: I love working in television. It's really fun and I love getting to make people laugh and hopefully get to continue doing that.
Shout: My job would be the same. I always wanted to be on Broadway. I love doing TV, I love doing movies. I started acting when I was 6. So this is all I ever really wanted to do, to entertain people. I'm at my happiest when I'm entertaining people.
How did you come up with the name Fresh Beat Band?
Twist: The creators I told you about, the husband and wife, they came up with it. I don't know what the combination of thoughts was. Exciting, fresh, music has beats, and a bunch of people playing together, it's a band.
Shout: We had a different name for awhile, but it didn't quite capture who we were.
How many times have you played MSG?
Kiki: This is our first time.
Twist: We played other cool spots in New York like Summer Stage in Central Park.
Shout: We did Carnegie Hall with Jason Mraz. That was fun.
Do any of you get stage fright?
Shout: I'm never nervous until we're standing in the wings and the girls are on one side and the guys are on the other side of the stage and I'm like, oh man you can hear the people, and it becomes real. That's the only time I get nervous. As soon as I walk on the stage I'm fine.
Marina: A little bit of nerves is good. It shows you care about what you're doing, and you want to do the best job possible and give people to come to see you a great performance. So a little bit of nerves is good. Then you see the parents dancing out in the aisles.