ABOUT THE BAND
Based in Miami, Florida, Better Strangers is a rock band that features singer deCasa, guitarist Joey Rodriguez, bassist Yang Waingarten, and drummer Nic Collins. The band blends a heavy rock style with contemporary layers and melodies, giving the group an irreplicable sound.
The origins of the band can be traced to January 2015, with members Yang Waingarten (bass) and Nic Collins (drums). After being close friends for a number of years, as well as sharing a mutual interest in music, Waingarten and Collins started a band with two other friends. The band played covers at a few local venues until member changes provoked the pair to search for new additions to the group. Joey Rodriguez (guitar) joined the group in late 2015, and the band began to play numerous shows and write its own music. Waingarten, Collins, and Rodriguez stayed together through multiple lineups, honing the band’s unique sound and creating the alchemy present in Better Strangers’ music. Previously known as “What You Know” and “Fifty Eight Hundred”, past versions of the band played around the world at festivals such as Montreux Jazz Festival, Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival, Sion Festival, and more. In April 2019, Waingarten, Collins, and Rodriguez decided to part ways with their longtime singer, initiating the search for a new member. Expecting a quick turnaround, the trio did not think the search would last over a year; yet a high standard and defined vision for the group allowed no room for compromise. As well as participating in the ongoing search for a singer, the group spent much of its time reinventing and refining its sound.
In May 2020, the band received an email from deCasa (singer) regarding the vacant position. After a few exchanges containing the original demo for “Lies”, both parties decided they would meet up in Miami for a week to see how they would mesh, hopeful this lineup would have potential.
The quartet connected immediately. By the end of the first day, Waingarten, Collins, and Rodriguez knew they had finally found the missing piece of the puzzle. The band had stumbled upon something special and moved forward, without hesitation.
Better Strangers' debut single, “Lies”, was released on November 27 2020. Followed by their second single, "Slow Fade (Warm It Up)", on December 18. Finally, the group released their third effort, "Change", on January 1st 2021. The band hopes to make a name for itself in the music industry while making rock relevant again in a world that so desperately needs it.
MEET THE MEMBERS
Joey Rodriguez (Guitar)
Nic Collins (Drums)
Yang Waingarten (Bass)
A Puerto Rico native, deCasa kickstarted his musical journey in 2018. Influenced by the music and culture of his island, he began writing and producing music from his bedroom while attending college in Texas. Early demos and releases led to the formation of a unique bilingual catalog that piqued the interest of house show organizers in his college town. deCasa assembled a backing band and began to play shows, becoming part of the underground music scene developing at that time. Local buzz landed him opening slots for touring bands passing through the Lone Star State, and less than a year later he took on the role of vocalist for what is now Better Strangers.
Born in Miami, Florida, Joey Rodriguez felt connected to music long before he ever picked up an instrument. Although not a lifelong musician himself, his dad introduced him to the music that would inspire Joey to play the guitar. His extensive CD collection covered all eras from the 1950s to the 2010s, much of it rock or guitar-based music. A fascination with the expressive nature of this music drove Joey to begin playing at eight years old. As his style has evolved over the years, his love affair with the instrument‘s role in songwriting and recording has only grown.
Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Nic Collins has been playing drums for as long as he can remember. Collins combines the grooves and layers found in contemporary music with the distinct heavy hitting classic rock drums of the 1970s, 80s and 90s. From touring with his father, Phil Collins, and legendary progressive rock band, Genesis, to writing and performing with Better Strangers, Collins aims to implement the different elements of many areas of music in his drumming.
Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Yang Waingarten was brought up in Miami. With a constant interest in music and attempts at many instruments, Yang resonated with the bass guitar. After meeting Nic in middle school, Yang’s love for music only grew. He discovered a passion for rock music upon exploring classic records from the 60s and 70s. Combined with the more alternative musical influences of the 90s, Yang developed a unique bass style that could be described as modern, musical, and explosive.
Apple Music + iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/better-strangers/1538537436
“Lies” - Single
“Slow Fade (Warm It Up” - Single
“Change” - Single