"As a kid, I loved music and vinyl records. I still have the vinyl records from my childhood and I am always buying more! My lifelong ambition was to someday make an album that I was a part of.” Lead band member Steven Semeraro continued; "This was my dream and I get to share it with people I love. We [band] are a tight group and this album is very special to me. I get choked up because this is a big thing for us. The LP is out now digitally and the vinyl should be ready by spring; We just need to finish the artwork”!
The Innocent Bystanders began their musical career as a band made of attorneys. Drummer Steve Berenson, and Semeraro had known each other for several years. In their early 20’s, they had established a few bands here and there but in 2014, The Innocent Bystanders, made the decision to finalize their dream! Initially, performing was just for fun. The attorneys performed for a good year around the San Diego area while making a name for themselves. They had written a ton of songs and enjoyed performing them for their audiences.
By 2017, The Innocent Bystanders were on a roll! They released their First EP entitled, "Attractive Nuisance”. This EP is all about the things you love that are dangerous but for some reason, you are still attracted to it. The band craved more! They began to spill their creativity on paper, creating songs derived from personal experiences. They utilized friends who were G’s at songwriting to help them create more songs and then, the unexpected happened. Steven explained; "In 2018, our lead guitarist Chris, passed away. We were all very impacted by his passing. Chris is the inspiration behind some of the music on the album”.
"We started to record 'Book of Life,’ in 2019. Covid slowed down the release a bit but, this also gave us time to make sure everything was done right. All of the songs on this album are personal songs. 'Call of the Wild,’ was inspired by the difficulty of losing our family dog. He got away while we were on a family vacation. 'Call of the Wild,’ captures the idea of a relationship between a dog and the owner. What must the dog feel while on his own?”
The Innocent Bystanders have been going strong for eight years!!! They are currently working on yet another LP. "Realistically we are looking at releasing this LP in 2023. We have 8-9 songs in rehearsal now. Two are written by Debbie, two by Ben, one by a close friend, who contributed songs to our prior releases, and 2 or 3 are mine.” Semeraro continued; "We are toying with the idea of recording in Ireland. There are lots of logistics needed to get everyone there. I have gotten this far with my dream so why not fulfill the rest of my dreams? This LP has a similar kind of music, all meaningful and not a lot of fluff, young love, or party songs. Very meaningful songs on this album! Very personal”.
Meet The Band!
Steven Semeraro - Rocks out the 6 and 12 string electric guitars. Also known as the core and brain trust.
Steve Berenson - Drummer - "Another core and brain trust of the band!”
Jessica Lafave - Beast on the Sax! "Jessica is able to integrate the sax through the songs in a very unique and intriguing way.”
Ben Nieberg - A master on the acoustic and vocals. "Ben is known to be very extraverted to say the least. He is often described as taking casual to a whole new level. Ben has great stage presence and is an awesome songwriter. Between the sax and the acoustic, it makes a very interesting sound that isn't what you hear from most bands.”
Donny Samporna - A badass bass player! "He probably could have gone to Julliard. He has amazing talent. The bass is integrated more in our music than what you would typically see.”
"We learned by trial and error honestly. I was never really good at songwriting. My switch was flipped while I was watching a documentary on, The Eagles. This documentary is about their entire career. There was a scene where Glenn Frey was explaining that he lived in an apartment over Jackson Browne. He explained that Jackson Browne would play the same song that he was writing over and over again. I realized that if Jackson Browne had to work that hard to write a song then, I'm not working nearly hard enough.”
The Innocent Bystanders aren’t looking to tour the country. Their goal is very simple and realistic. They aim to play, record, release records, build a following, and catch one of their songs on a show or movie. Download "Book of Life,” today to experience a new and fresh kind of jam from a few friends who are living out their dreams one LP at a time! Make sure to catch the release party for "Book of Life,” coming soon! Possibility of the location is at Panama 66! Until Next Time…Stay Golden Team!
Advice From Steven Semeraro!
"Find people you like to play music with and you enjoy on a personal level. This alone will create magic. Skimping on anything can really cost you. Don't rush things.”
2. "When we began our band, we started learning songs related to law. 'I Fought the Law,' 'Jailhouse Rock.' One of the first songs we rehearsed was 'Lawyers, Guns & Money,' by Warren Zevon. It includes the line, 'I'm the innocent bystander.’ We decided 'The Innocent Bystanders,’ would be a good name for a band.”
3. "My musical inspiration comes from the band, 'Waterboys,’ from Scotland. They do a lot of different types of music. Their early albums did the kind of stuff that we are doing in regards to multiple instruments, saxophone, and acoustic guitars. I look at them as an influence on how to do things right. I really like The Beatles, and watched the 'Get Back,’ documentary all the way through 3 times! We have more similarities in our musical style with Waterboys.”
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