Vicky Tafoya was a shy child, whose mother thought singing could bring her out of her shell. Well, to quote The Runaways, “Hello, Mom! I’m your ch ch ch ch ch cherry bomb!” Singing was definitely the catalyst that brought Vicky out of her shell and allowed her to share her gift with the world.
Meet Vicky and the Vengents, a group that have dubbed themselves a “Psychedelic Maltshop Punk Rock Group,” which is equal parts Doo-Wop and Punk Rock. The Southern California band formed in August 2008 and use rapid fire guitars and 1950’s melodies to create their own original garage rock sound. The band consists of Vicky Tafoya on lead vocals, Matt Beld on lead guitars/vocals, Andy Beld on bass, and Mario Tafoya on drums. They recently released a three song single on Weiner Records, a subsidiary of the world famous Burger Records in Fullerton, CA.
Can you tell us how the band got together?
Matt: I was already in a band called The Vengents when I was invited to a BBQ at Vicky’s house. I asked if she had a guitar, I picked it up and we started playing and putting songs together until 4 am the next day. It flowed naturally and have been a songwriting team ever since. We have had great chemistry since the beginning. That was back in 2008. Since that time we have released two full length records and a couple of singles.
Tell us about the family connection in the band?
Vicky: After a few lineup changes over the years, we are happy to have my nephew Mario Tafoya on drums and Matt’s brother Andy Beld on bass. It’s nice to be able to look over and see my nephew behind the kit.
What was your experience like on Geek & Sundry Live?
Vicky: The experience for us that day was so much fun. I thought it was great because it reminded me of the days of old television. People used to gather around the television at home watching different types of live entertainment. It was very real. We often feel that with the internet today, so much of the world has disconnected people from each other in so many ways. With this show, people all over the world can actually interact with each other and the entertainment acts in an instant… with the live chat room. It’s very personal and intimate. I like that. The world gets to know each other and find each other in this cool “world” station that you’ve created.
Can you tell us about some of the band’s influences?
Matt: Each of us have an eclectic mix covering several decades of rock n’ roll. My main influences are Chuck Berry, Doo-Wop, Link Wray, Little Richard and The Ventures.
Vicky: I have a fondness for Doo-Wop and girl groups including Joan Jett and Blondie. I also love the Ramones, The Beach Boys, The Turtles, The Zombies and anything Phil Spector produced.
What has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you since the band formed?
Vicky: I made an unsuccessful attempt at passing our band’s CD to the legendary LA disc jockey, Rodney Bingenheimer, at the premiere of “The Runaways” film. Later we made some connections and eventually got the disc in Rodney’s hands. The great news is that he loved the band! Since that time, he’s had our songs in his rotation during his Sunday night “Rodney on the Roq” radio show on the world famous KROQ 106.7. Rodney has been really kind to us and a great supporter of the band. He really understands our sound and loves many of the same bands that we love.
What do you geek out about?
“You Used to Be My Baby” is the new single from Vicky and the Vengents. Click below to check out the song on the Burger Records SoundCloud link.
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Band Photo Credit: Aaron B. From Burger Records
About the Authors:
Judy and Jody Timmerman have been avid promoters of the Southern California music scene for more than 20 years. They are both members of the Long Beach Music Council and nurture local musicians through their various music endeavors including the Rebirth of Rock radio show, Songwriters Unplugged event and Live Rock Gig and Long Beach Independent Music Websites. They have been booking music guest for the Geek and Sundry Twitch.TV channel since March of 2015.