Beginning their journey in 2018, the band Ruby Shore features Trixia Dela Rosa as lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Nic Medina as lead guitarist, Esther Wilbur on bass, and Nic Peters on drums. All are current or former ASU students studying biomedical and electrical engineering, and together they have created an alluring musical experience for their listeners. No matter the size of the venue, whether it be a coffee shop or something as big as their recent performance at Devilpalooza, their sound represents their own diverse musical backgrounds, but also echoes the timeless sounds that came before them. Most importantly, they showcase the potential that young musicians have to leave a mark on the indie-rock scene in Phoenix.
WOD: When did you first become interested in performing as a band? Was there something specific that motivated you all to choose each other as bandmates?
Esther: I met the band a couple years ago through a mutual friend who let me know that they were looking for a bassist. We set up a day to meet and jam and I enjoyed myself and liked playing music with them, so after a short time I joined up!
Nic M: When Trixia and I started the band, it was just us two playing acoustic covers at a local coffee shop. After playing so many acoustic shows, we decided it was time to form a full band. There was another bassist and drummer before Esther and Nic P., and they were great and there are no hard feelings, but I am extremely happy with our current members. We get along well and are comfortable performing together on stage.
WOD: When was your first performance? What was it like?
Nic P: My first performance with the band was the Battle of the Bands Round 1 at ASU and it was spectacular. Something I noticed right away was how good the chemistry was on stage and how much the crowd really enjoyed our playing. It made me feel really energized to play. It also helped we won that round of the competition and went on to win the Battle of the Bands on all the campuses.
Esther: I don’t think I was technically an Official Ruby Shore Member™ at my first performance but it was a lot of fun! It was my first time at Sozo out in Chandler and it was so delightful, I’ve loved every time we’ve played there.
Nic M: My first performance with Trixia was at an open mic night at SoZo Coffeehouse. It was only an acoustic set but it was the scariest thing getting in front of these other musicians and playing our two cover songs. Remembering the days of our first performances really reminds me of all the progress we have made.
WOD: What inspires you to continue making and performing music?
Trixia: Every time I go to a live show for a band I really like, I always end up going home and writing. Live music absolutely keeps me fueled and inspired, because watching other people write great music pushes me to do the same.
Nic P: Music is my creative outlet. It helps me decompress and express my emotions. I love playing really interesting new songs and being a part of the writing process. That’s one of the things I love about Ruby Shore, we have so much range in our covers and we write a ton of really cool songs.
Nic M: Just like Nic P. said, music is a great way for me to get out of the day to day life as an engineering student and be creative. What inspires me to continue would be that and knowing people really enjoy the music we write. It makes me want to write and release more songs on streaming platforms.
WOD: What’s your favorite thing about making music and/or performing together?
Esther: It’s hard to pick a favorite part because making music is something that I find deeply satisfying at pretty much every phase- I like the process of picking up a new song and slowly learning it, watching myself get better at it until I really understand it, and then eventually getting in front of people and sharing it with them.
Nic M: My favorite part is seeing how our audience reacts to music we write. When people tell us they loved a specific song and wish we would release it, it really confirms that our hard work creating these songs really paid off.
Trixia: We are all so silly! We have the same stupid humor off stage, and I really think that translates to the chemistry you see when we perform. Lately we have been obsessed with the Megamind meme.
WOD: How does your love of music influence/impact your other work/life in general (Or the plans you’ve had for the future)?
Nic P: While I mostly play music as a hobby, I love the idea of touring. While I don’t know if I could step away and do it now, I could totally see myself traveling and playing music at some point in my life.
Trixia: I can see what Nic P. is saying, since we are about to be newly graduated and will be at pivotal points in our industrial careers. However, if our songs went viral overnight and we were offered a tour right now, I don’t think I’d say no. I’ve always felt like music and science have been a heart vs head battle for me and I believe in following your heart. SO music is definitely a deeper passion for me than work life.
WOD: How do you stay involved in/contribute to the arts & music community in the Phoenix area?
Esther: I actually moved to Tucson in 2021 so anything I do involving the scene kinda has to be done from afar for now. Mostly I just try to keep up with new releases from the bands I like and keep an eye out for new bands to listen to. Sites like Bandcamp are great for that sort of thing. Oh, and T-shirts! I like to pick up a band tee every now and then when I have the cash for it.
Trixia: I love attending shows from local bands and will do that as often as I can. I’ve also bought shirts from local bands I love.
WOD: How does living in Phoenix influence you as musicians/artists?
Esther: I loved going to shows in downtown Phoenix when I still lived in the Valley- my favorite spots were places like The Trunk Space and The Lunchbox often featured offbeat acts that I wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else. Seeing the energy at shows like that made me want to give all of my performances everything I have.
Nic P: Living in Phoenix I thought there was no music scene, but when I started performing in my first band I realized there is a really cool group of performers that are a cool, tight knit community. Having that community and some cool venues really helped me fully realize my love for performing.
Trixia: Phoenix is huge! You don’t really realize it growing up in Arizona. But the music scene is just as huge and brewing with talent.