By Nicki Escudero
By Amy Silverman
By Brian Palmer
By Chris Parker
By Troy Farah
By Lauren Wise
By Lauren Wise
"She's great to work with," says Rey, lapsing into a momentary touch of chivalry. "She doesn't expect any special treatment because she's a girl. Except when it comes to carrying her suitcases." The tall blonde guitarist laughs at the thought of the nightly throng of would-be male groupies rushing to Saraya's assistance. "There's always some sap who gets stuck with those!"
Perhaps befitting Saraya's status as the sole woman in the band, the singer often acts as a kind of socially correct school marm to her sophomoric crew, registering outrage at their explicit tales of groupie conquests, groaning in response to their grossest gross-out jokes, at one point even calming things down enough to conduct a decent interview.
In that fleeting moment of repose, Saraya speaks lovingly of her family ("My dad used to tape Beatles songs for me when I was three. They were always so supportive of my musical ambitions") and waxes modest on her singing style ("I'll never have the technique of a Pat Benatar or Ann Wilson. All I can say for myself is I feel every note in my bones when I sing").
GIVEN THE GROUP'S fondness for frivolity, it's a wonder how the bunch ever settled down long enough to write the eleven well-crafted rock ditties on its debut album. It was the songwriting skills of Saraya and Munier, after all, that got the singer and keyboard whiz signed to their record deal after a Polygram V.P. discovered them playing original songs in an earlier Jersey bar band called Alsace Lorraine. Now, with the addition of Rey, Taylor, and Bonfante, songwriting chores are distributed throughout the band. But how does this crew get serious enough to put a few well-chosen words and notes down on paper? Alas, we may never know.
"There has to be a death in the family," Rey cracks without missing a beat.
"Or impotence," tops Taylor.
Sandi Saraya just shakes her long black bangs and smiles with embarrassment at her guest.
"You guuyys . . . " she moans wearily.
"A lot of people really feel that she is going to be the sex item, like a Pat Benatar. And that's something that'll surely help this band become big."
Eating at a Tempe Carrows restaurant before showtime, Sandi Saraya fearlessly endangers the hips a major record label is banking on.