Daze Talks About Balancing School and Performing
Since joining Union County, New Jersey’s School of Rock program, siblings Gabe and Adriana Rivera knew they loved performing. The two were selected to join the advanced section of the program and are scheduled to play at the Prudential Center in Newark with other student musicians from around the county. School of Rock also provides these dedicated young musicians with opportunities to perform gigs around town, gaining exposure to the local musical climate-a crucial stepping stone for any new artist. After self-producing and releasing his first album “Drifting”, Gabe wanted to take the next step into his musical journey and formed the band Daze along with his sister and friends Sofia and Vicente. The four have only performed live on a few occasions, but their energy and synchronization alone are enough to rile up a crowd. Spicing up hit songs from Maroon 5 and Neon Trees, Daze brings their own sound to the table-proving that you’re never too young to actualize your aspirations.
Q. You’re all in high school. How did you find the time to start a band, make music, and perform shows all the while balancing school?
A. Sofia: I kind of just try to incorporate learning the songs into my life. So for example, like any chance I get, I’m playing the set in my Airpods. I had like three tests last weekend and it was super hard to cram it all in so I was just playing [the set] over and over again while I was studying. I was like multitasking.
Gabe: It’s funny cause I’ve been trying to make a band with my friends since 7th grade when I couldn’t play any instruments. Over the course of those few years I’ve been in a few bands but never my own. I had built the skill of learning stuff but this time it’s actually my own band with my friends. That’s kind of how I put it all together.
Adriana: Yeah same for me, I’ve been getting more used to having to learn a bunch of different songs in a small time frame. I’ve been doing School of Rock for a while. That’s been helping me get used to learning songs in a shorter time frame.
Q. You focus on covers but you also play songs from Gabe’s album “Drifting”. What are your favorite songs to play?
Sofia: That’s a hard question. Maybe Harder To Breathe, Pool house, and Kilby Girl. I would say those are my top three.
Gabe: Mine are Harder To Breathe, Poolhouse, and Drifting.
Adriana: Mine are Harder To Breathe, Drifting, and I don’t know I wanna say either Pool house or Everybody Talks because it’s very fun and upbeat.
Vicente: I would say Harder To Breathe, Kilby Girl, and Basket Case.
Q. Is there an official Daze album in the works?
A. Gabe: I mean I’ve talked to you guys about it. About maybe starting to write our own stuff but it’s like not gonna happen for a few months, if it does.
Q. Talk about the atmosphere of performing together.
A. Sofia: This is just something for me but I’ve never been in a band before so I was like really nervous. I was comfortable with the actual things we were doing but I was still nervous cause this was just a little new for me so I think that’s where the nerves were coming from.
Vicente: I’ve had a lot of different feelings depending on the type of gig. The ones that are more laidback I feel like I have a lot more freedom with what I do. I think the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re performing is to have fun cause that’s one of the big parts of it. You don’t want to feel like you’re forced to be there. It’s something we all wanna do and it’s really fun. We’re making music.
Gabe: For me, performing is one of my favorite things to do because not only do you get to do your favorite thing to do but you also get to make people’s days better. We haven’t had a show where you’ve had to pay to get in but for those types of shows people are paying to see you so you want to give them a show. You have to show that you’re happy and excited to be there. I feel like that’s very easy to do with this band because we’re all close even though we’ve only known Sofia for what, two months? It doesn’t feel like it. Obviously I’ve known my sister(Adriana) for 15 years and Vicente for a while so it’s really easy to have fun on stage without being awkward.
Adriana: Yeah I think at the end of the day it’s like what Vicente said. We’re just making music. Yeah obviously it’s about learning the songs and getting them right but it’s really about having fun. You have to be comfortable and kind of feel like music when you’re doing it and not just going through the motions. I feel like part of being able to do that is having a good chemistry with each other and then once you have that it’s not really that nerve wracking anymore, at least for me. It’s more fun.
Q. How do you plan to keep Daze rocking when you all head off to college?
A. Adriana: I mean I’m really the only one going off to college next year but we’re making the most of it now.
Gabe: I feel like this is just a for now thing. The bands that I’ve been in have gone their separate ways and off to college and stuff. I feel like that’s gonna be the same thing if we don’t blow up with our original stuff.