It’s been a while since we’ve had a featured artist. We’re back at it with a featured band and plan to have one a month to introduce you to.
Today we’re talking to Vic Monaco of local cover band, The Mix. We think you’ll find their history and love of classic rock and roll fun and wanting you to go check them out. The information shared below was taken largely from the band’s website as well as directly from Vic. Thanks so much, Vic, for sharing your bands story with us. Rock on!
Who are the members of The Mix? And where did the band name come from?
The Band is me, Vic Monaco, Bill Mecaughey, Ric Lake and Billy Walp.
The band used to be called Vic’s Mix, when I had somewhat of a revolving cast of musicians playing with me. Once the personnel got settled, we changed it to The Mix.
The Mix represents the end of a musical chairs existence, both figuratively and literally, for me.
When did you get together as a group? How has it evolved into the current lineup?
We’ve been together about two years.
When my last band, Stealin’ The Covers, disbanded, I decided to try something different: a duo with STC guitarist (and cousin), John Daly. That project, Daly Double, was a leap of faith, not only due to its loss of a rhythm section but, also given Daly’s nomadic musical life that included touring with the late, Carl Wilson of The Beach Boys.
I soon needed to find a replacement for Daly and once again turned to an STC bandmate, multi-instrumentalist and Grammy-winning producer, Pat Robinson.
The project was re-named Musical Chairs, with the idea that on any given night, the audience wouldn’t know which of the duo’s musician friends might sit in. The name turned out to be even more appropriate as guitarist Brian Nagy eventually became a regular presence.
With me serving as booker and musical director and the project alternating between a duo and trio, the name was changed to Vic’s Mix in the summer of 2013.
At a summer house party, I performed some songs with Bill Mecaughey, my very first musical partner from our teen years in the Fox-Chase-based band Hot Ice. Our collaboration lasted about seven years until Bill turned more toward R&B and jazz fusion.
We remained friends and the musical shorthand we shared was obvious to them at that party. The two of us started rehearsing in earnest in the spring of 2014 and played our first gig Memorial Day weekend.
The project took a giant leap ahead when Ric Lake added his bass and vocals to the musical mix in November 2014.
A couple of months later I invited another former bandmate, drummer and vocalist Billy Walp, to make the project a full band.
Apparent by this time that the lineup and camaraderie was rock solid, Vic’s Mix became simply The Mix in January 2016
What type of music do you play?
We play music from the 1960s through the 1980s, including a “Beatles” set. The latter is unique in that it is largely acoustic and includes some music from the individual members of the “Beatles”. There are some folks who come to see us just to hear that set, which is always evolving. For instance, we’re learning “Eleanor Rigby” right now.
The band also plays an acoustic and harmony-laden show featuring a great mix of tunes. Think The Eagles , The Doobie Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison and Bruce Springsteen. While those names are very familiar, The Mix’s tunes are often songs you just don’t hear from other bands such as “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature” and “Hand Me Down World” by The Guess Who or “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen.
What (and/or who) influenced the music you play?
Being close to 60, many of these are the songs I grew up on. Plus, many of them are tunes Bill and I played in our first band together (Hot Ice) when we were teens. (We do them a WHOLE LOT BETTER now.)
What role does music play in your life? Was it always something you had a passion for? Are you pursuing music as a full-time career?
I started taking guitar lessons when I was 8 and took them for six years. I also had voice lessons both privately and at Temple University. I’ve been in bands since I was 15. I am very passionate about a lot of different music, not just the “oldies” we play, and I go to concerts often. It is not a full-time thing for me. Most of my full-time career has been spent as a newspaper reporter and editor.
If you could play any venue in the world, where would you play?
I’ve played some great venues (with other bands) including Citizens Bank Park and World Cafe Live (main stage), which were both VERY cool. I guess to answer your question, I’d like to keep it local (so friends can come) and intimate, so I’d say a place like World Cafe Live or The Keswick Theater.
Where can people hear your songs? Are you playing anywhere live anytime soon?
We play at a lot of local venues including Baker’s American Grill in Southampton; The Dog & Bull Brew & Music House in Croydon; Curran’s in Bensalem; The Fireside lounge in the Brunswick Zone in Trevose; and Squirrel Murphy’s in Warminster. Our gig schedule is on our website (www.themixpa.com) along with our audio demo.