First Verse - From The Top

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - May 18, 2007

They joke that they all were raised in low-income housing, but there’s a lot more the guys from First Verse have in common - like a love for working out at the gym, golf, watching other bands perform and, of course, music.

All between the ages of 23 and 25, Ervin Nicolas, Allen Ubaldo, Bryan Sanchez and Glenn Domingo have been making music together for about five years and performing at private parties, bars and clubs throughout Oahu. The guys currently have ongoing gigs at Ige’s Restaurant the third Thursday of every month, and at Bikini Cantina first Fridays.

“We play at private parties, and we have an array of fans, but we do get approached a lot by the elderly because we can play ballroom dancing music too - it’s because we play at a lot of Filipino parties,” says Nicolas, a Radford High School graduate.

May 22 marks a big accomplishment for First Verse, as their first CD, from the top, releases after almost three years of production work. With no label or producer, the group worked every aspect in creating their CD, which they say was a lot of sacrifice and long hours.

“We had to do it all ourselves, and along the way we took some wrong paths and wasted a lot of time, money and effort,” says Ubaldo. “But we learned a lot.”

“And we would eventually like to produce other bands’ albums, and continue to do our own,” adds Nicolas.

First Verse anticipate an interesting year with the release of their CD and are encouraged to start working on another album - one that showcases their unique live sound that they’ve polished through the years.

To find out more about First Verse, visit them at

Q’n A

W h a t ’ s your idea of a fun night on the town?

Allen: Going out as a band and watching a band. And I think I speak on all of our behalf. Some nights we like to watch jazz to change it up, or some nights we like to watch alternative. It’s fun.

What local group do you most enjoy watching live?

Ervin: Hot Rain and Inoa’ole. Allen: I say Hot Rain, Ben Vegas and Maila Gibson. Glenn: I like listening to my girlfriend sing. It’s entertaining.

What is your most prized possession?

Glenn: I would say my wallet, but because I like to Tahitian, I would have to say my malos. I bring that everywhere with me.

Allen: Our instruments. Bryan: My Nintendo.

Name something that you haven’t done that you want to do before you die?

Ervin: Sky dive and enter a bodybuilding comeptition.

Bryan: Sky dive.

Dave Hirano, Glenn Domingo, Bryan Sanchez, Allen Ubaldo and Ervin Nicolas
Dave Hirano, Glenn Domingo, Bryan Sanchez, Allen Ubaldo
and Ervin Nicolas

Where’s your favorite hangout spot on Oahu?

Bryan: Mai Tai’s.

Ervin: I like Aloha Tower because there’s always a lot of different bands that perform.

Allen: Yeah, Aloha Tower has a lot of music all the time. It’s just band after band after band.

Where would you like to perform that you haven’t yet performed at? Allen: Waikiki Shell.

Glenn: Yeah, probably that because I think we’ve performed everywhere else that we wanted to.

Bryan: At the Birthday Bash or something, that would be nice.

What’s your favorite late night snack?

Glenn: Ultimate cheeseburger at Jack In A Box.

Bryan: Mine is corndogs.

Ervin: We usually go to Million or Sanoya’s.

How do you let out steam?

Ervin: Go to the gym.

Bryan: I just watch TV, the golf channel.

Besides words like a, the, and - what word do you think you say most often?

Glenn: Like. We would always count how many times we would say like. Ervin: Aaah or with a “D” in the front, daah.

Bryan: Any kine.

Glenn: Bryan, he so laid back that if you ask him a question he says, any kine.

Allen: Shoots.

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