What is the first song you would add to a playlist titled “Ultimate Party Music?” Is it one by Pan!c at the Disco or Journey or A-ha, or even The Weeknd? Whatever the band or song is, there’s a good chance Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras have it in their set list. The band will be kicking off their tour on Thursday, May 4, when they perform at The Space at Westbury.
The songs that the band play vary across all genres, including rap, hip-hop, R&B, yacht rock, 80s hair rock, new pop and more.
“We love being able to do whatever the hell we want,” said Tom Sandoval, lead singer in the band and an actor on Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules.” “We hear a song on the radio, and we’re like ‘yeah, we should do that.’”
Beyond just variety, Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras attempt to bring fun and energy to whatever stage they are performing on.
“How we describe our band is we’re like the ultimate party band,” said Jason Bader, a Plain View, L.I., native, who is the band’s drummer and co-founder alongside Sandoval. “It’s as if you were having a party in your house and you were making a playlist of all the party songs. Those are the songs we do.”
They also want audiences to feel a relationship with the set list.
“We try to make it so that the songs we choose have a connection culturally with people,” Bader said. “It’s a super fun collection of songs. You’ll know every single one of them, and you’ll want to dance and sing along to each one.”
For Sandoval, it was always about the love of music – nothing else.
“I always look at music as like my drug,” he said. “You know, it’s my drug of choice and I get lost in it, and it’s just – I love it so much.”
Sandoval grew up surrounded by music. His dad was a radio personality and DJ, his uncle was in a cover band and his older brother was a huge music fan.
“Between the three of us – my dad, me and my brother – we pretty much had everything and anything [musically] that was out. It was crazy,” Sandoval said. “We would go to the music store, and it’s like, ‘Are you getting this or am I getting this?’”
The lead singer also grew up playing instruments and even performing, from a young age.
“I started getting into talent shows. I would dance and lip sync to songs,” Sandoval said. “It was always like 20 girl acts and then me.”
The talent shows morphed into proper bands, but as he progressed in his career, Sandoval did not have as much time to focus on music, and he especially did not have time for writing original songs. But that all changed after Sandoval met Bader and discovered that he played the drums.
“One night over some beers, [Jason was] like, ‘Have you ever thought about doing music again?’” Sandoval recalled. When Bader suggested starting a cover band, the actor and business owner was intrigued.
One of the first people Bader and Sandoval connected with was Colin Deas, now the musical director for the band as well as a saxophonist and vocalist.
“He’s a multi-instrumental, musical genius,” Bader said. “He was the first person we reached out to because he has such a wide range of abilities within music – a whole bunch of different instruments – and he also has big network of musicians.”
Deas helped them find other band members, and after a few auditions and jam sessions, Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras was born. The band now consists of Sandoval, Bader, Deas, Maddi Fraser on backing vocals, Kevin Stiphen on lead guitar, Randon Davitt on bass and vocals, Macrae Eckelberry on trumpet and Michael Aaron on rhythmic guitar and vocals.
As a Long Island native, Bader has fond memories of his musical childhood on the island. In the early 2000s, he had a band that played at venues such as the now shuttered Crazy Donkey in Farmingdale. Bader fondly reminisced about going to his first concert – The Beach Boys at Jones Beach Theater. The area also brought him closer to one of his favorite musical icons.
“Billy Joel is my one of my idols and just being from Long Island and knowing Billy Joel is from Long Island,” he said, “that was also a very cool thing for me.”
Bader also added that he is excited to be back on the East Coast and performing on Long Island.
“I think comedians and artists love to come and play Long Island,” he said. “People from Long Island are so supportive and really love it so much.”
As a drummer, Bader has a different view of these supportive audiences than the other band members.
“For some reason, people in crowds, sometimes they think that people on stage can’t see them,” he said. “I can see everybody.”
He uses his vantage point from the raised drum set to assess the concertgoers and read the room.
“I’m really focusing a lot on the audience and their energy and – especially when we’re trying out new songs and setlist – seeing what people really are enjoying the most and gravitating towards,” Bader said.
This energy is key to the band’s success in creating that ultimate party feel.
“We feed so much off the energy of the audience; we’re all looking for that and we love that,” he said. “That obviously makes such a great show: when the audience is rocking out, we’re rocking out and then you have that connection where it’s just pure joy and fun and you let loose, and you pee yourself. And that’s what our show is all about. It’s just coming out having a great time, forgetting your worries and just enjoying each other.”
“Come on out to the party,” Bader said.
More information about the band and upcoming tour dates can be found online.