The premier Los Angeles cover band Something Hot Band offers a versatile sound of rock, soul, R & B, country and jazz but they spice up their sets with a unique blend of original songs as well. The Something Hot Band has an ensemble of excellent local musicians fronted by a dynamic-duo of singing talent Vera Janischova and Lenka Shockley who happen to be mother and daughter. LAsThePlace.com caught up with this dynamic-duo singing talent for an exclusive interview.
LATP: How long have you been performing and who are your musical influences?
Vera: I’ve been always singing, as a 8 year old in Czech Republic on the radio where I won a competition. Later in Germany in the catholic church choir in Latein also in high school with a girls singing group and of course, always in the shower.
With our band Something Hot we’ve been performing in venues and at weddings and outdoor concerts for the last 6 years. My musical influence is mostly music from the 60s, 70s and 80s, love Motown, classic rock, R&B and 80s music like Blondie. We do covers for all of that and beyond.
LATP: You have both a full piece band for weddings and clubs as well as a small acoustic band for smaller venues. Which do you prefer?
Vera: All of it! It’s all amazing, love the feel with our 9 piece band with the sax or Peddle steel guitar, depending on the venue, but love the intimate 5 piece band in smaller venues. We have 3 lead singers and sing lots of harmonies, so even with just a key board the songs sound full.
LATP: Your band is very versatile doing a blend of rock, jazz, country and even some R & B. Which of these do you prefer to sing?
Vera: Personally I love to do covers from the Supremes, Blondie, Olivia Newton-John, Bosa Nova, country and Linda Ronstadt, but Lenka is great with jazz, Led Zeppelin and everything else, so we cover a lot of genre.
LATP: You have an amazing voice capable of any type of music but your stage presence is definitely a “Smooth Operator” like Sade. Who are your influences in music and whose stage presence do you admire the most?
Lenka: Thank you so much for the compliment! And my father would be thrilled in regards to the Sade comparison! More than any person I’m influenced by spirituality, and moving in an inspired way for me comes from a sense of a connection to divine energy, so there isn’t anyone I’m trying to be like except myself. I am influenced by instruments and people of all types. To me, a man without a home singing or playing his soul out on the corner has the sort of “stage presence” we talk about. The honesty humility and love are most inspiring.
LATP: You seem to captivate the audience with a very diverse repertoire of music. Are you attracted to world music and which international artists do you like?
Lenka: Oh absolutely! I love all music! My favorite world music artist is Ravi Shankar. I listen to the part of the world’s art basically daily I also love gypsy folk music, music of the travelers, especially the east European style. Since it is truly Folk, and practiced in communities, it is difficult to name artists because a lot of the time they are anonymous citizens of that particular culture.
LATP: You recently wrote and recorded a song featured in a movie. Can you tell us how that came to be and do you see more original music in the future?
Lenka: Yes, that was an awesome experience. What basically happened was I was performing at an outdoor venue in Manhattan Beach, singing some jazz on a Sunday afternoon, and the producer of the film happened to stop by and enjoy our music making. One thing led to another and I went to his studio to talk about what the song should be inspired by in regards to the film. Feeling so moved by the ideas of a social political movement and growth in positive directions that Edmund Druilhet, the director, shared with me, with my guitar in hand, I mused the piece into existence. Co- writer Ed Greenman and I did some work on it afterwards but the main idea was produced on the spot.
I definitely see more original music in the future. In fact that is what I am working on and have been for the past year. I feel most myself in creative spaces so music writing I think is a definite long term practice for me. Thank you! Peace and love!
Go see the Something Hot Band at the Rosenthal Wine Bar and Patio in Malibu, CA.
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Written by Duke James