RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AMERICAN BAND THE OFFICIAL 4PM
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
We were inspired by music at an early age. Our parents’ playlists were crates of records that included everything from Motown to disco and funk music and as time evolved, we started trying to emulate some of our favorite singers and songwriters until we developed the ability to write songs of our own.
Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history.
We are 4pm (For Positive Music) and there are 3 of us including myself Ray Pena, my older brother, Roberto Pena Jr. and our long-time friend, Larry McFarland. We are best known for our top ten hit “Sukiyaki” which peaked at #8 on Billboards Hot 100 back in February of 1995. We scored global acclaim and national doors were opened to us which catapulted our success and we went Gold in the US and Japan and Platinum in Canada and Australia. We released a few albums starting with our debut album “Now’s The Time” 1995, followed by our sophomore release entitled “A Light in the Dark” 1997 which gave us another charting single entitled “I Gave you Everything” which peaked at #67 on the Hot 100 Hip Hop/R&B Chart.
We then released a self-titled album called 4pm (For Positive Music) 2000 under our very own label. Our last album was only released in the Asian territory and was a compilation of songs from our favorite artists and was called “Sweet Soul” 2001. After a long hiatus we regrouped to record our latest Album entitled “A Song for Everyone” and the first single entitled “Some of the Time” will be released globally on December 16, 2022. The album release is slated for the Feb-Mar 2023 time frame.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, how do you feel you are doing?
All things considered, we feel that we were able to retain our abilities to both perform and record good music and we were blessed with the opportunity to have a career that has spanned over the course of 31 years in the music industry. We have indeed taken some time off in between each of our efforts but we will always be involved in the music business in one form or another.
How have your songwriting skills developed over time?
As we have experienced life with all that it brings our songwriting has matured and has evolved into songs with a lot more substance than those which we had written when we were a lot younger. We have also been able to resurrect lots of older songs that we wrote and with some rewriting and strategy have been able to introduce some of those songs on our latest album. We are extremely proud of our abilities to write songs that are timeless and still have, in the archives, many songs that we plan on releasing in the future.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
In this digital age and with the obsessions that many people have with social media, sites like Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snap Chat have become the New MTV of our modern day. Even though we came up in a different era, we have embraced these platforms and all of the new technology that allows us to reach millions of people with just a click of a few buttons. We would encourage anyone that is pursuing this business to take full advantage of these platforms and promote, promote, promote their music using them.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
Larry reached out to some adoring fans while we were performing in El Paso Texas and was not only pulled into the audience but some overexcited fan tried to pull his diamond-studded 4 pm ring off of his pinky finger.
4pm launched, headlined, and completed a worldwide stadium tour in 1996 with the Back Street Boys and N’Sync
Ray completely lost his voice right before a performance at a super mall in the Philippines and the show had to go on. Needless to say, it was not only our worst performance ever but we never experienced a finale that came with complete silence at the end.
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
It’s not something that really bothers us a whole lot. Spotify just happened to create a very genius way for music lovers to listen to their favorite songs from their favorite artists, discover new music from other artists that they would not ordinarily have access to, and have the ability to create their own custom playlists. We can’t be mad at them for that. Chances are that some other genius will figure out a way to one-up them.
What was the worst experience on stage?
We were performing at a venue in Las Vegas when the system shut of on us and the only audio that was working, thank goodness, were our microphones. We continued singing in Acapella after the background music cut off and it was one of the most terrifying experiences that we ever had on a stage but to our surprise, the audience thought that it was all part of the show and we ended up getting huge applause anyway.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about.
Ray performed a backflip at every show 4pm did back in the day
Larry is half-German and half African American
Roberto’s other passion besides music is Art.
What makes you stand out as a band?
We are multi-faceted in that the 3 of us are pretty proficient at songwriting, recording, and performing live without a lot of effects on our voices and can sing songs in Acapella at the drop of a hat.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
“Some of the Time” is one of the songs that we wrote many years ago and it is a story about love and how sometimes you can be madly in love with a significant other but occasionally not like them very much, however, over-arching message of the song is that in the end the love for one another always wins the race no matter what you might be going through.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
Sometimes our song-writing technique will start with some kind of inspiration which then leads to jotting down some thoughts and while writing down the words trying to format them into a sort of poetic style and then we follow that up with a melody that agrees with the emotion of the lyrics. Other times we produce music first and then follow up with melodies and lyrics that complement the music
What was the recording process like?
We had a very great experience recording our first single “Some of the Time”. It began with the collaboration between us, R3 Recordings in Wilmington Delaware, and our music producer Hookmaster Jaz from San Diego. The chemistry that evolved in the studio between us and Hookmaster was nothing short of Amazing and the ideas seemed to flow effortlessly. We are very pleased with the outcome and look forward to introducing our new and fresh sound to the world.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
We are very blessed and grateful to have an opportunity once again to share our music with the world and look forward to performing and bringing positive music back to our current and our new fans!