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Band Name: Liquid Blue
Location: San Diego, California
San Diego activist recording artist Liquid Blue stands out as an original and intelligent voice for positive change. The band turns social commentary into art. Their debut album, Supernova, combines western pop melodies with exotic East Indian instrumentation to delivery a hard dose of progressive political commentary. The band aims to raise public awareness with a mission to promote positive social change and shed some light on the dark corners of reality. It's music with a message.
How did the group form?
Liquid Blue was founded in 1996 by vocalist/songwriter Scott Stephens, who envisioned the band as a vehicle to express his passion for music, politics, human rights, environmental protection and other issues. It was Scott's belief that much of today's music promoted the same trivial, mind numbing messages again and again. He felt there was a need and a legitimate market for pop music with a deeper message. It was these ideals and ideas that drove him to create Liquid Blue.
Prior to forming Liquid Blue, Scott was immersed in the L.A. music scene as the editor of a punk magazine (Raw Power) and also in the dark violent underground of the sports world as a skater with the L.A. T-Birds Roller Derby team. Between the editing and skating, he found time to sing with "Electric Warrior", a five-member rock outfit from the San Fernando Valley. The guitar player in "EW" was Michael Vangerov, a crazy, off-the-wall rocker known for circus style acts such as climbing Marshall stacks and diving to the stage. The band toured the U.S. and Canada with their aggressive brand of metal/punk and angry lyrics about the state of the environment, politics, etc. The group eventually broke up, just as a buzz was starting to build. Michael joined "Rhythm Tribe", who were quickly signed by a major label (Elektra) and Scott bolted the L.A. scene for Alaska, where he joined a local band and completed college where he received his degree in the Performing Arts. An avid surfer, Scott eventually came back to Southern California and settled in San Diego. Without waiting much time he called his old buddy Michael to see if he would be interested in joining forces in his new project, Liquid Blue (see also "Vision" section). In less than a couple days Michael packed his bags and headed south to join Scott in surf city (Encinitas).
Who are some of your musical influences?
Yes, Bob Marley, Martin Luther King, Peter Gabriel, Cesar Chavez, Suzanne Vega, Nelson Mandela, Sam Phillips, The Rolling Stones, John F Kennedy, The Beatles, David Bowie, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ralph Nader, Ravi Shankar, Jimmy Carter, NAS, John McCain, Black Eyed Peas, Gandhi, Genesis, Mother Teresa, Muhammad Ail, Jon Anderson, Joan Baez, Kofi Annan, The Ramones, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Shirin Ebadi, Sting, The Peace Pilgrim, Paramahansa Yogananda, Moby, Leo Tolstoy, New York Dolls, Bob Dylan, Alan Cranston, Madonna, Howard Zahnister, Live, Albert Einstein, Sex Pistols, Sparks, Lenny Kravitz, Ansel Adams, Prince, Cheap Trick, Sly Stone, John uir, Pearl Jam, Iggy Pop.
Have you worked with any well-known artists/producers?
The band's debut cutting edge CD, "Supernova", was produced by David DeVore, (12 multi-platinum LP's) and mixed by (two-time Grammy winner) Joe Chiccarelli. The album was recorded at the legendary Western Recorders on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood.
Who does your sound resemble?
Bhajananandi, Manish Sanjeev, Manuel Iman, The Coors, Texas
Have you opened for any well-known acts?
The Coasters, Cher, Eddie Money, Paul Rodriguez
What is your inspiration in doing so?
Liquid Blue; an element and a color. In the 60's it meant expanding the mind; experimentation and reaching another dimension. The ultimate goal was nirvana, heaven, samadhi, inner peace or any of the many names for bliss.
Liquid Blue, the band, has idealistic goals backed by realistic efforts and expectations. For every action there is a reaction. Positive actions bring positive results. In musical terms the premise of this philosophy is that every song, every album, every concert can make a difference. The real goal of Liquid Blue isn't to necessarily change the world, but to change one person, or one attitude at a time and to change ourselves in the process. The message of Liquid Blue is one of love. Not human love, but higher love. Liquid Blue's founder, Scott Stephens, has vowed that the band will never write or record a human love song. Not that there is anything wrong with human love; it is truly a wonderful thing, but 90% of popular music is devoted to this subject, while other important topics get much less "airtime". Liquid Blue's interpretation of love is that of care and concern for others. This translates into themes of peace, freedom, equality, civil rights, human rights, concern for the environment, etc., which are common threads in the music of Liquid Blue. The result of a "higher love" philosophy and action is a better planet to live on. Less conflict, more harmony.
Music can be a catalyst for change. Music can inspire and motivate. Music can uplift and provide hope. Popular music can be targeted to our base instincts or our highest ideals. Liquid Blue strives for the higher standard.
The music of Liquid Blue is multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-faceted. It blends western pop melodies with ancient and modern eastern sounds. It has been coined "World Pop" which is a brand new genre classification. Both lyrically and musically, Liquid Blue has set a course for a new sound and a new attitude.
What are the inspirations behind your lyrics?
Liquid Blue supports peace, justice, equality, environmental protection, human rights, fiscal responsibility, education, the arts & civil liberties. One world, one love.
Do you have any other occupations?
The band is a full-time thing for us. Layla finished third at the US Surfing Championships in 2003 and won the World Bodysurfing Championship in 2002! Guitarist Michael Vangerov has his own signature guitar model produced by Neal Moser.
How do you see the future in music? (i.e. styles, trends, etc.)
The Indie movement will bring talent back into the equation. We will lead a trend into a fusion of middle eastern sounds with rock/pop melodies.
What makes you as an artist/band outstanding and unique from the others?
Our sound is very unique. The music of Liquid Blue is an exotic fusion of western pop melodies with ancient & modern eastern sounds.
Do you have any moments that stand out in your mind about a previous live performance or being on tour period?
Performing sold-out stadium shows in China for 65,000 fans and broadcast to millions on live TV. At the end of our set we would perform a song (Pong Yo) in Mandarin language and the crowd would absolutely go nuts! The people in China were great.
Do you think as an artist/band that you will have a career of longevity in the music business?
So far we’ve been making a living for 10 years. We’ve toured 60 countries and will probably hit 100 within a couple years. The key performers have made long term commitments. For us, it’s not about the money, it’s about making positive, cutting edge music and making a difference in the world.