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Meet ... New Violation

Handout photo 
From left: Mike Young, Joey Rodriguez, Jorge Ortega, Soulean, Mike Sowers. 

Handout photo From left: Mike Young, Joey Rodriguez, Jorge Ortega, Soulean, Mike Sowers. 

Violators: Joey Rodriguez, vocals and Korg; Jorge Ortega, guitar; Mike Young, guitar; Soulean, bass; and Mike Sowers, drums. Rodriguez and Sowers answer questions by e-mail.

Background check: "Jorge and I were roommates and started playing in my bedroom," Sowers recalls. "Mike and Jorge were in a band in the past, so the chemistry between them was already there. We looked for a singer for a while with no luck. When Joey showed up, we knew right away he was the right fit. Soulean came last and added just what we were looking for from a bass player. Our writing is generally rock-based, and he is always pushing for a funk bridge or breakdown."

Old meets new: New Violation, with members who live throughout Tampa Bay, formed last year. The guys offer up 97X-friendly modern rock but more soulful and classic rock-influences than their more emo-ish peers. Most importantly, Rodriguez's vocals don't have that generic whine. Sometimes he sounds like early Elvis Costello or Robert Smith. "The first music I can remember as a kid was Richie Valens and Buddy Holly," Rodriguez says. "As for not sounding emo-ish, I have already gone through puberty."

CD: Self-titled, due in the coming weeks. A three-song demo can be purchased at their shows or ordered through the band's MySpace profile at

Recording the new CD: "We hooked up with Drew (Bricker) from Gattaca Studios and just had a good time," Sowers says. "It was our first time recording as a band, and the first time ever in the studio for some of us. Being that there were five of us in there all the time, there was never a dull moment. While one person would be laying something down, the other guys were doing something to keep themselves entertained. The free-flowing beer was truly the glue that made the magic happen. It's getting mastered right now and we're all stoked about it."

Like Prince or Cher: The mono-monikered bassist says his grandmother used to call him Soulean as a child. (He also goes by Sam Harris.)

Taskmaster: Young does most of the day-to-day stuff, such as booking shows.

Daytime lives: Sowers works for Capital One, Ortega works for Gunn Financial, Young for Verizon, and Soulean is an electrician. Ortega owns his own custom wood fabrication business.

If they could open up for anyone: Guns N' Roses (in the '80s), Rise Against and Story of the Year.

Hear 'em: Friday, Feb. 29, 9 p.m. with Say When at Market on 7th, 1816 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. (813) 248-2356.

Meet ... New Violation 02/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 8:55am]
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