Unsung Guitar Hero: A Conversation With Fabrizio Yambao

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Published March 4, 2020
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The Montclarion
Fabrizio Yambao is the lead singer of The Neverends. Ben Caplan | The Montclarion

Myles Fabrizio Yambao is a senior at Montclair State University. He studies acting in school, but on the side he’s a local rockstar. His band, The Neverends, performs regularly in local venues in and around Montclair, New Jersey.

Q: When did you start getting into music?

A: My mom got me into The Beatles at a very early age. I remember distinctly getting picked up from the babysitter’s house and she had “Pet Sounds” in one hand and “Sergeant Pepper’s” in the other. Me being a little kid, I was so drawn to all the colors of “Sergeant Pepper’s.” We went back home, put it on my Sesame Street record player and I listened to it and I was like, “Oh my god this is so cool. People do this for a living?”

My sister was actually the first one to get guitar lessons and I was taking piano at the time. I picked up the guitar and I actually [started] learning every Kiss song [and] every Metallica song. I was a huge metal-head back then.

Fabrizio Yambao sits down to talk about his band. Brielle Wyka | The Montclarion

Fabrizio Yambao sits down to talk about his band.
Brielle E. Wyka | The Montclarion

Q: How did The Neverends start?

A: We started in middle school. It was me, Tyler Jon Becker, our drummer, and two other people. We started playing [in] sixth grade. Then I met our current members from eighth grade going into freshman year of high school. We’ve just been together for eight [or] nine years.

[Becker], our drummer, was the new kid in sixth grade. I remember looking at him at lunch and being like, “That kid looks like he knows how to play an instrument.”

I approached him and he said, “Yeah I play drums.” So, I invited him back to my house and we jammed on “Reptilia” by The Strokes for about an hour.

Gerassimos Giannoulis, nicknamed Jeremy, our bass player, played bass for the high school musicals and I always went to see those. “Ger-Bear,” he was slapping that bass in the orchestra and I was like (Yambao snaps his fingers as he recalls), “That’s our guy.”

Then I met Stephen Pale, we call him Pale, in middle school jazz band. I kept on trying to impress him by playing “Crazy Train” or “Master of Puppets” and he’d always be the one to be like, “Quiet down because the teacher’s about to talk.” He was the goody-two-shoes, but we just clicked from there.

We all grew up in New Milford, New Jersey and then branched out for college so we’re all scattered throughout New Jersey. [Becker] goes to Rutgers University, Pale graduated from William Patterson University and [Giannoulis] graduated from Ramapo College.

The Neverends perform at The Meatlocker in downtown Montclair, New Jersey. Brielle Wyka | The Montclarion

The Neverends perform at The Meatlocker in downtown Montclair, New Jersey.
Brielle E. Wyka | The Montclarion

Q: Where does the name “The Neverends” come from?

A: (Yambao laughs) It’s a stupid middle school name that we’re stuck with. I don’t even know how it came [to us]. We wanted a contrast in the name. Originally we were called The Dark Suns; we somehow got to The Neverends.

Q: What is your favorite part of performing?

A: Sharing the same space [and] energy with the crowd. It’s pretty freaky to see people just jamming out to songs that you wrote or singing lyrics you wrote back at you.

We have a moderate following, but I still haven’t gotten used to it. But that’s my favorite part – just connecting with the people, sharing the energy, sweating with them [and] rocking out with them.

Q: What is your favorite part of songwriting?

A: In the beginning I used to write songs just because it was a catchy melody. Now I’m focusing more on lyrics. If I’m done writing a part of a song and it emotionally affects me, I [think], “Yeah that could probably emotionally affect other people.”

Seeing the reactions to some of our [songs], having that in mind while writing a song is super important – making sure everyone can connect to it and not just me [and] trying not to be selfish.

Ben Caplan | The Montclarion

Frabizio Yambao plays guitar in his band The Neverends.
Ben Caplan | The Montclarion

Q: You’ve mentioned The Strokes, but what other bands inspire you guys to make music?

A: The Strokes are a huge influence on me and Pale. [Becker] and [Giannoulis] not so much. They’re more [progressive] metal guys, which is a cool combination whenever we collaborate to write a song. I’m super into indie pop, or 80s pop in general.

Q: How does what you’re learning in the acting program at Montclair State affect how you navigate your music career?

A: With acting, a lot of it is just letting loose, being yourself [and] not being afraid of what other people think of you. I think I try to do that on stage to the best of my ability. No matter what happens [I’m] giving it my all. If a string breaks [or] goes out of tune, it’s fine just keep on going.

I really like the [expression], “The band plays on.” Like everything’s going down, the world’s ending and the band’s just like, “Okay. Might as well just play till the end of it.”

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