Updated: Aug 1
Founding members Paul' Pablo' Thomas (guitars, keyboards) and Bobby Moon (vocals, percussion) formed Spellbound in the mid-1990s. Over two decades, the duo has produced critically acclaimed albums as award-winning songwriters and producers.
Gentlemen, thank you for this honor. I am honored and grateful to interview such amazingly talented and unique artists. To set a foundation, please introduce yourselves to our readers.
Paul: Sure, I'm Paul Pablo Thomas, and I play guitar and keyboard.
Bobby: And I'm Bobby Moon. I'm a vocalist, songwriter, and percussionist.
Awesome! What is the location of your current residence?
Paul: We are near Redondo Beach, in Los Angeles, California, near the beach cities. It's where we grew up. We've moved all over Los Angeles, but now we're back by the beach area.
Bobby: Because we grew up in the beach area, our sound is influenced by that culture. We have a dense sound combining the city, sophistication, and top-notch musicianship Los Angeles is known for.
At the same time, our sound has a beachy tropical feel with a tropical sound, which is the foundation with which we began.
Awesome! Thank you for shedding light on where you're from and the foundation upon which your music was built. Can you tell me how you developed your love for music and how long you have been making music?
Bobby: We met in high school and are still fast friends due to our shared love for music. I'm a huge music fan, always was, and always will be. I was like a sponge, soaking in all the music I could.
I grew up overseas in Korea and came over when I was young. But, overall, the music got me through my travels and was a tremendous comfort.
Playing music has always been a dream of mine. At that time, it was a bit uncommon for an Asian person to pursue music as far as being a member of a rock band, so I am grateful for having had the courage to follow my dream.
Paul: In my case, I would give credit to my mom. My mom has always encouraged me to play the piano ever since I was a child. I was introduced to it by her. She loved music and even tried playing the piano herself. Despite being more of a fan than a player, she encouraged me. Since childhood, like Bobby, I loved listening to music on the radio around the house.
I'm delighted to hear that! Both of you are now multi-instrumentalists, so it paid off. Multi-instrumentalism is extremely useful when you have a group consisting primarily of two people. Most of the work is done by two people, which works well in the studio because you don't have to pay additional musicians, but what about live? Do you play one instrument and put down the other or hire other musicians to assist you?
Paul: We do a little of both. Bobby and I switch instruments every couple of songs. Also, when we perform live, we bring in additional musicians, such as a couple of horn players, other vocalists, a percussionist, and a drummer. We've had up to ten additional people in the band before. So yes, we must add other musicians because we can't do it all.
We also have a sampler that we use occasionally. For some things, we have a loop or a drum pattern that's sampled, and we have that going. Hence, we strive to bring the fullness of the studio sound to our live performances.
Bob: Yes. We do switch around quite a bit when performing live.
I'm sure your show is spectacular! It would be great to see you live one day. While performing live, do you find it challenging to perform two separate functions simultaneously?
Paul: Initially, it was challenging, but I've improved over time. Like singing, I never considered myself a vocalist, but then I started getting encouragement from Bobby, the other guys, and occasionally people in the street, and now I love singing. So, I try to do it as much as possible. It's something I enjoy doing.
Bobby: Rather than just becoming the lead singer, I've learned to adapt. Having great mentors, fellow musicians, and partners who are much more talented than I am musically has encouraged me. I feel so blessed because of that. Our creative environment is full of love and compassion. We're not a hostile environment, but we try to help and encourage each other, and that's why I love this band and being part of the whole process. We all grow through our encouragement and support of one another.
Regarding your question, it is a little tricky to focus on the lead singing and playing instruments simultaneously, but after many practices, it becomes second nature. Overall, it is incredibly fulfilling.
That's right. The feeling of being part of a tight, cohesive, and harmonious band is terrific. You can accomplish a lot with a band like that. Good for you guys. You've won an award for your music. Would you mind telling me about that experience?
Paul: Yes. Billboard Magazine used to run an annual contest, "Billboard Magazine World Song Contest," that continued for roughly 15 years. For our song "No Mas Casada," which we wrote around 2005, we received an honorable mention at the 12th annual "Billboard Magazine World Song Contest." So, it was a big thrill to have a corporate magazine recognize us; that's the award-winning part.
That's awesome! Congratulations again for such a huge accomplishment and honor. Can either of you tell me about some of the projects you have been involved in?
Bobby: Yes, besides “Spellbound,” we've also been blessed with our studio. Because of this, we were able to not only pursue our musical vision to the fullest, but we've also branched out into doing solo projects. Before we became studio owners, we rented a studio.
We've also branched out into doing solo projects. "Pablo Project" is Paul's solo project. He has recorded several solo albums.
I have a couple of solo albums named "Bobby Moon." We've also produced an album with a local Cuban singer, a diva, and an incredible singer, Candi Sosa. After becoming friends, we encouraged her to do an English album with us since she is primarily known for singing in Spanish. So, we work on many projects because of our love for fusing different cultures within our music.
Also, we add a little Spanish when the language needs a higher definition outside of English. World music is our passion; DJs and radio stations have recognized and supported us due to our love for it. Just off my head, one would be Tom Schnabel, part of KCRW, a big station here.
Tom Schnabel also booked the Hollywood Bowl, so we had the opportunity to perform when that opportunity arose. So, it's things of that nature.
And I'm sure you guys did a phenomenal job! What a fantastic opportunity. So, tell me, gentlemen, where did the name "Spellbound" come from?
Bobby: We wanted a name that was short and simplistic.
Paul: Our previous name was "Life After Death," but we changed it because it seemed to give our band a bad connotation. The original name was not meant to be negative, but people got a negative impression of it, so we wanted something more universal that wouldn't offend anyone.
Bobby: In selecting a band name, we wanted it to define our music, to be simple and easily understood.
Thank you for explaining the origins of your band name. Gentlemen, God has created all of us to be unique and not simply carbon copies of one another. How would you describe your sound, and what differentiates your style from all others?
Paul: Firstly, it's a fusion of sounds. The music we create combines rock, R&B, funk, and Latin. What differentiates us is the way that we mix those elements. Other bands have blended those elements before, but how we mix the ingredients differentiates our music from the rest.
Also, we incorporate Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Brazilian music into our sound, which I only hear a few other bands doing today. So, I think that gives us the unique spice and flavor that "Spellbound's" music is known for.
Awesome! And unique you are. Tell me about your record label. What is the name, and who started it?
Bobby: The label is called "Selfish Recordings." We did not choose that name for our label because we are selfish. Our choice of name was because we were young and did everything ourselves. So, we did it all our "self-fish." Having our hands in many departments and functions within our company, we wore multiple hats.
There are many things we learned about album distribution besides the creative process, such as the mastering in the post-production process, the distribution, and the labeling that goes into making it look and sound professional. Aside from this, we learned how to send barcodes to the appropriate press and radio stations as part of the campaign. As a result, we learned how to treat our music as seriously as a major label would, but with just the two of us managing it.
Due to a lack of manpower, there were limitations, but due to the brainpower, we have survived for over 30 plus years.
Paul: And that’s a long time. (laughs)
Yes, it is, and that's awesome! It's beautiful to see best friends of many years come together to create something exciting and special. Kudos to you both! So, tell me about your new music. Who wrote it, and who's on the project?
Bobby: The album is called "Especial, which means special. As our 13th album, this one is significant because we have reached the height of our career. The single we are currently promoting is called, “Party in La calle” and it’s the first track on the album. The song means, party in the street. In Latin, 'callis' means 'street,' and in Spanish, 'calle' means 'street."
This project features original Fusion songs written and produced by Paul and me. The additional musicians included on the project are Juan Carlos Villaquiran (Saxes), Brian Beukelman (Trumpet), Don Littleton (Guest Drummer) Humberto Ruiz (Guest Trombone), and Candi Sosa (Vocals, Congas, Guiro, Claves & Maracas).
Our love of music and artistic maturity are evident in this album. By knowing artists of diverse cultures, such as Brazilian and Cuban musicians, we have become immersed in their cultures, incorporating their authentic sounds into our own. Therefore, our project is a fusion of Brazilian, Cuban, R&B, rock, and pop.
Paul: Another notable mention is that Candi Sosa co-wrote one of the songs with us in addition to her singing and playing percussion on a few of the tracks. She’s a very talented lady.
Awesome! Gentlemen, when will the project be released?
Paul: July 21, 2023, and once it’s released, it will be available on Apple Music, Spotify, and all digital platforms. They can also visit our website, whichisspellboundband.com.
Sounds great! Where can people see you perform live?
Bobby: Currently, we’re doing localized shows in Los Angeles, California, and Northern California. Those interested in following us and supporting our music can visit our website for any performance dates added.
This is all good stuff, guys! Can you leave us with a few words of inspiration?
Paul: As corny and cliched as it sounds, follow your heart. As stupid as that may sound, it still works. And do what you love. The world is full of copycats who try to emulate other artists. And being like someone other than yourself can only take you so far. Blossom into who you are. Whether you are an artist, producer, or studio engineer, be yourself, find your identity, and follow your path. That's been the most gratifying thing we did in all these 30-plus years in Spellbound.
Our path led us to discover who we are. It was sometimes great, sometimes not so much, but it always works well when you follow your path.
Bobby: To add to Paul's statement, when it comes to being a songwriter and a musician, look to the sacred instead of the secular for your inspiration and as your foundation. By doing so, that is what's going to get you through. Make God number one.
Great advice! Having God in our lives and the Holy Spirit's guidance to me is the true meaning of achieving success. Everything depends on Him, even down to our very lives and the breath we take. I'm so glad you recognize the sovereignty of God and the need for Him in your personal and professional lives. Awesome! So, I want to thank you, guys. Interviewing such talented and extraordinary gentlemen is an honor and a privilege. Thank you so much for allowing me to have a slice of your life and for allowing me to interview you. And as always, I pray that God will continue to bless the works of your hands, be it done according to his will, and that the Lord will protect you and your beautiful families and keep you safe. I want you to know that I am proud of your accomplishments and everything you guys are doing, keep on pressing on and do and be all that God has created to be, and I'm rooting for you.
Paul: Oh, thank you so much, Gina. God bless you. That’s beautiful.
Bobby: Yes. Thank you for the privilege of working with you and The Indie Post. God bless you, Gina.
Awe, Thank you. Goodnight.
Paul: OK. Bye you.
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5 Spellboundpics 3 Gold and Silver suit pics by Joey Ikemoto Photography
1 Bobby and Paul pic by Gloria Plascencia
1 group shot by John Taboada
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End of Interview
Disclaimer: The words of inspiration posted by The Indie Post, written within ( The New American Standard Version Bible Verse) are not the words of the above interviewed. "John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him." "Romans 10:9-13 9 [f]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, [g]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, [h]resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE [i]PUT TO SHAME.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13for “EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”