Interview with David Perez
Hangin’ at Ricki Lake?
What’s the topic of the show today?
At first they told us it was high school reunions, and then we read on the thing that it was ‘High School Reunions: Haven’t Seen You Since I Had A Sex Change’. (laughs) And we’re like, ‘They’re not bringing us out during that, right?’
So are you gonna meet the people before the show?
No. We actually tape it before they even start the show.
Do you perform before the audience or do you just tape the stage show?
No. The people will be there so we’ll give them a little something to see.
So, what is a C Note show like?
It’s different because our music has such a diversity with the Latin, R & B, dance, and pop. With all that music combined, and the way that we bring it to our show, it’s like, you know, it’s got a little sexiness, provocativeness, in there. We’ve got the Latin rhythms; we go through the little Latin dance moves out there for you. We’re doing the R & B, hip-hop, so whenever we get a chance, we’re gonna bring the girls up to do it with us.
How long have you guys been performing together?
We’ve been together for four years. We’ve been around singing anywhere we could.
When you hooked up with Trans Continental (their management company), did you sign separately or as a group?
Actually, they came to us when we were already a group doing talent shows. And they recognized us, and they brought us to the attention of Lou Pearlman. And then he saw us, and he signed us to a management contract and we went from there.
Is what you are doing now similar to what you were doing before you were signed?
We were doing talent shows, weddings, basically anywhere that we could sing at and get some exposure and get seen.
Did you guys go the same route as Backstreet Boys, ‘NSYNC, and L.F.O. as in starting in Europe and then coming to America?
No. When we got with Trans Continental we were like, ‘You know, we are doing the Latin thing and that is our style. We are a little more R & B and we are a little more sexual and we are a little bit older than those guys; we’re not the bubble gum thing.’ If you listen to our songs, you can tell right off the bat the content that we are talking about, the ladies and what not. With all of that, and since the Latin thing is big here in the States, we were like, ‘We want to come out here and then go over there.’ We didn’t want to start out over there and then come here.
Trans Continental has had a lot of bubble gum bands come along. When you hooked up with them, did you say that you wanted to stay true to what you were doing and not become another bubble gum band?
Yeah. It was more like this is our style, this is who we are, and anything different would be a mistake. To us, there is a generation of kids out there like us that don’t have a voice that they can look up to and be like, ‘Yo, these cats are doing it.’ They are like us. They have a Latin background but they grew up in the States. They are doing the R & B music that we love and grew up with, but at the same time we have a lot of Spanish music at home that we grew up with. So, we were like this is who we are and this is the kind of music that we are into. It just kind of fit into the pocket. It’s just something that came about because of who we are and how we are.
Do you think the Latin flavor will go south, like are you going to go to South America and doing shows there too?
Yeah. I believe that we’ll be going to Puerto Rico soon. And the single will be dropping in all of the Latin countries. C Note don’t want to leave no stone unturned.
Do you feel that your songs discuss situations that everyone can relate to? Is that the appeal of your songs?
Most definitely. What we talk about is things that we’ve gone through and we feel. When you hear a song like “Different Kind of Love”, it is basically saying, ‘Look girl, there is no other girl that is giving me the sensations and the feelings that you give me, and when we are together you take me to ecstasy.’ Stuff like that. I mean, we are all guys that love going out and picking up the ladies. We’re like in a big group and we’re like, ‘Yo, let’s go check these girls or let’s go do this.’ So when you listen to our songs it has that, but at the same time we let them know that we are not only about partying because we have our sensitive side, also. So when you hear a song like “One Night With You”, it’s like, ‘Tell me where it hurts.’ We’ve got a little bit of everything.
We actually caught the Ultrasound program on Trans Continental on MTV. Do you feel like that was good way to show people how much you guys really bust your asses working on music and routines?
Definitely. At first we saw the title of it, ‘Revenge Of The Boy Bands’, and we were like, ‘Nah, Revenge Of The Boy Bands, we’re not trying to be in that mix.’ But when you watch the show and see the work ethic and what we are going through in the studio, you see without a doubt that we are different and we are in a category of our own. And hopefully we will make a category because everybody wants to put you in a category, because it makes life easier to put one person in this group and someone else in another. We hope to change that and make a new category.
So are you afraid of being categorized as a ‘boy band’ and people not giving you a chance because they write you off as another Backstreet Boys or ‘NSYNC?
At first we were. We were like, ‘Man, people are gonna group us. They’re gonna think we are like this or that.’ But the more we thought about it, there are just too many factors that show we are our own people. If you look at our music or look at our show, and you hear and see the way we carry ourselves, you pretty much see that we are not the same. Yeah, we are four guys, and we are singing and dancing, but there is a lot more to it. So when people come to see our shows, and talk with us and sit with us and experience how we are, they realize it’s not that.
Where did the name C Note come from?
C Note actually came from us sitting around trying to think of names; you know how that is when you’ve gotta think of a name. So we were like, ‘What do we do?’ and we were sitting around writing down names, all these different names. Some that were like terrible, and some that were pretty good, and Dru was like, ‘How about C Note?’ We all looked at him and we were like, ‘C Note, what’s that mean? What’s the meaning behind it?’ We were thinking a c note is a hundred-dollar bill, it’s like mint and it’s one hundred percent. So we were like, ‘That’s kind of nice,’ and as we went on, we put a little saying to it which is ‘create nothing other than excellence.’ And that is what we try to do every day and take our show to a new level because we don’t want to be known as, ‘Yo, C Note was phat, that show was phat, but I saw it last year and it was kind of similar.’ We just want to grow as musicians and take it to new levels every time.
So who are some of your influences?
Man, you go from New Edition, Stevie Wonder, Jodeci, Boyz II Men, Brian McKnight, and then you go into Tito Puente and Gloria Estefan. There is such a wide variety of people that have influenced us and I think that is why our music has come out the way it has, and that is because of all of the influences that we’ve had.
Who would we catch you listening to right now?
Actually, all of us are a little different. If you listen to Raul’s cd player, he’ll probably have like 112. Dru’s will have Stevie Wonder, he’s a Stevie Wonder freak. Brody will have Brian McKnight in there. And me, I’ll have a little 112 and Brian McKnight, but I like the hip-hop, so I’ll have DMX and Nas.
So what are your personal and professional goals as with the group?
Personally, I want to expand as an artist and learn about the business and how the business goes. I’d like to go into a lot of things, like when we were doing the video I was like all in the director’s ear, asking him how things worked, and in the studio I do the same thing. And then I’d like to do some acting and modeling. Expand; I don’t want to be known as one thing. As far as with the group, we just want to bring the C Note experience to everybody and break every barrier there is. Whether it is race, color, nationality, or whatever kind of music you like, we just want the daughters, the grandmothers, the mothers, the fathers, the sons; we just want everybody, no matter who they are, and have them experience our music. If they like it, they like it. And if they don’t, they don’t, but I’ve got a feeling that in ’99 they’ll be feeling us and we can put smiles on the faces all over the world.
Lastly, what do you plan on doing to bring in the millennium?
Hopefully we’ll be out there and people will be digging us and we’ll be able to put on a huge show and have a huge party. We’ll bring it in with a roar.
+ charlie craine