You've likely bared witness to seven-year-old phenom Adrian Romoff's majestic classical piano playing that made him one of YouTube's latest viral sensations. Chances are Boca Raton teens the Vogans
have not made it on your musical radar in such a way, just yet, but the local saplings have a budding talent that rivals Romoff. Granted the quintet is wee bit older than Romoff, with ages ranging between 16 and 18, but out of the gate, the boys demonstrate a composure of an indie band deep into its career.
Though still in high school and only playing together for about a year, they shell out a crisp, buoyant, jangly sound that makes you think that this five-piece has been playing the CMJ, SXSW-type festival circuit for much longer. They're still kids though. But who knows? Around this time next year, the Vogans stand a chance at being the next Brooklyn-like, Boca-bred buzz band.
The band, consisting of vocalist Andre Heizer, guitarist Nick Jamshidi, bassist Paul DeFilippis, synth/percussionist Nick Palmieri, and drummer John Paul Morrissee, is set to play with one of its local idols Lavola at the end of the month. The Vogans have a ton of appreciation for Lavola and say it has influenced them tremendously. We got a chance to exchange some words with the talented troupe and gleaned some insight on what it's like being a band in ritzy, AARP-centric Boca Raton, and how the band chiseled out a sound so pristine, so fast.
New Times: So how did you guys meet?
Nicholas Palmieri: We all met through our high school (West Boca High Vanguard).
What is a Vogan exactly?
DeFilippis: The name was made one day when we were going through books. There was an alien in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy called the Vogon, so we turned it into the Vogans, and that was that.
Considering your age, do you have a hard time finding gigs
DeFilippis: With certain venues, definitely.
Jamshidi: Yeah, especially at places like Speakeasy and Green Room where they serve alcohol. Our band manager (local music socialite Gena Rumble) is certainly helping with that issue though, and she was instrumental in helping us land the gig at Propaganda with Lavola, which we are all psyched about.
Palmieri: But now that we have singles to send out to the bars, we're getting street cred.
Describe how one goes about obtaining street cred in Boca Raton?
Palmieri: Meeting people in bands and making the right connections, releasing recorded music and merch.
Do you think there could ever be a credible, thriving music scene in Boca Raton?
Palmieri: No, not as far as I can see, there just aren't enough venues. There are some cool spots in South Florida though, but they are all about a 20 minute car drive away.
Morrissee: And the people in Boca don't seem to be all that interested in live, original music.
Heizer: I believe Boca is incapable of a "scene." Until we get people who think for themselves and finally decide to do something about it. The problem is that Boca is filled with people who have no taste, and all of their taste is the same shit that is played on the radio 24/7.
Jamshidi: Well, there is the Funky Buddha.
DeFilippis: And everyone seems to complain around here if you are too loud past 10 p.m.
OK, let's talk about the nitty gritty, I know you've experienced some bumps in the road with the release of your debut EP. You have been working on it since June. When will it be unveiled?
DeFilippis: We are still working on final mixing and mastering.
Seems like it has been a tedious process for the band, have you picked up any lessons?
Heizer: Absolutely, we learned never to pay for production of the album in advance and also we learned how much time goes into the process. There are so many microscopic details that go into each recording and they have to be perfect.
Jamshidi: Yeah, we paid in advance, and there is a high chance this all would have gone a lot quicker if we waited until it was done before we finished paying. Nothing against our producer, it was a stupid move on our part.
The Vogans perform with Lavola and the Howling Winds on November 30 at Propaganda, 6 S. J Street, Lake Worth.