Q:When you decide it’s time to make a new record, is that more exciting or stressful?
Ans: Its work more than anything, we come in with a mentality of producing a product. We are excited but we can’t get too ahead of ourselves or else we lose sight of finishing the album project. We are excited once the recording and mixing process is done. That’s where we start adding all the flare and magic!
Q: How do you shut things out?
Ans: Referring to recording? We don’t. We invite all and any discrepancies that come our way. The band soaks in all situations and we pull out a better product than expected sometimes.
Q: How easily do songs tend to come to you?
Ans: For the most part pretty easy. Once we finish one album, we have another one already laid out. We are lucky to have a handful of songwriters and easygoing and talented musicians which contribute to the most basic idea in a song.
Q: What’s your motto or the advice you live by?
Ans: We don’t have any mottos, but we believe in a brotherhood. Sort of “all for one and one for all” kind of mantra we feel. The band members are self-sufficient in their own terms but we know we contribute to something bigger as a whole.
Q: What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar/in the car?
Ans: To perform? Maybe our second album all the way through on bars and car. And our single from the first album “Beer Goggles”. As of our personal favorites, we are all too diverse to agree on a song unfortunately but like it that way because we tend to show each other some astounding music in any environment.
Q: For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words?
Ans: Edgy, Aggressive, Unique, Catchy and Punk…very very punk!
Q: You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the proccess?
ANS: It depends who wrote the song. Our singer Padilla writes about his own personal experiences, his hobbies, movies that he likes, political situations, urban living and so on. The music is inspired by our peers and idols. Some from our music scene and some from childhood favorites. Our favorite part is just getting all the parts together and tightening them up, nothing sounds better than an idea which started from scrap become something complete.
Q: At what age did you start singing?
Ans: Our singer started since he picked up a guitar in the late 80’s/early 90’s, the other members started singing as soon as they had the guts to be back-up singers haha
Q:Who are your inspirations?
Ans: Its very diverse but overall we are heavily connect with Ska music. Our drummer likes metal, rap and punk. Our bassist like hardcore and most of its subgenres (StraightxEdge, Post Hardcore, etc), punk, corridos and banda. Our singer likes pop punk, electro-pop, show jingles, big band arrangements. Our guitarist likes hardcore, punk, metal and rap. Our trumpet and trombone player are into jazz of all forms, big band, indie rock, alternative and world music. Our Sax player likes to hear what’s good on the radio (he would just say that) and Myself, the keyboardist, like reggae, punk, latin music and rock. Its all factors which keeps the band interesting.
Q: If you could perform with anyone, in the future, who would it have to be?
Ans: Pretty much our hero bands. Rancid, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, Fishbone, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, NOFX. For the most part, bands in that alley.
Q:What is your favorite song to sing live?
Ans: That’s a hard answer which everyone has a different opinion on but our singer is very fond of singing our cover of the Misfits “I turned into a Martian” in spanish.
Q:Do you have any events coming up or recording going on right now?
Ans: Yes! As of now we are booked straight into the fall. Recording our second full length in March and we have 2 one week tours in the making with another one pending to confirm plus a bunch of weekend runs to Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.
Q: Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to sing as a career or just advice about careers in general?
Ans: Out of personal experience, sing like its your last song. Be fearless and proud of your voice. Practice daily as well! For careers, make sure the career you want is one you can see yourself doing for years to come. If not, then look into another one until you’re happy. I think that’s the meaning of a happy life: doing what you love, uncompromising.
Q: If you had a soundtrack to your life what song/songs would have to be on it?
Ans : anything from Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass, anytime any day of my life. Forever.
Q:How does the conversation go when someone pitches the performance to you?
Ans: Honestly, we try to leave an impression just by being ourselves. We never have to pretend, especially being a musician. We are pretty big in honesty and being humble here.
Q:When and why did you start playing?
ANS: For me, its going to be 11 years in feb. and it was literally to keep the time between finishing homework and going to school. I stopped playing video games for a while and ended up focusing on getting better on piano. I didn’t realize that I was getting better until my brother mentioned it and I was pretty amazed by the progress I made. The rest of the band I’m sure they have their reasons to play.
Q: Which instruments do you play?
Ans: I was just the keyboardist for a long time. When the song writing process started getting serious I started stepping up to write songs on my own on drums, bass and guitar. The rest of the band is just as good as their peers, our horns are able to play either others equipment with great tone and our singer can play drums and bass as well as his guitar skills.
Q: What was the first tune(s) you learned?
Ans: Just parts of classic rock songs like bohemian rhapsody and music from The Doors.
Q: Is your family musical?
Ans: No, not until I started playing keys. My brother then picked up guitar and myself, him and my sister started singing out of no where.
Q: Describe your family member’s musical interests and abilities ?
Ans: As mentioned above my brother just plays guitar and sings and my sister just sings. We all have a taste in rock music, ska, reggae and spanish music such as boleros, salsa and all.
Q: Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Ans: Ray Manzerik, he can play bass, organ and sing and he wrote killer songs with the Doors. Whats not to admire??
Q: Which famous musicians have you learned from?
Ans: Again, it was Ray then I picked up from local musicians as I was growing up.
Q: Who was your first teacher? Other teachers?
Ans: Eric De Los Santos, great teacher as well as a great friend. Now days he looks at me from the crowd and its great to see him cheer me on!
Q: Describe your first instrument. Other instruments.
Ans: Keyboards, took up drums and then braved the bass. Guitar just came after the bass since it’s a stringed instrument. I did a bit of Viola, Trumpet, Sax and voice in high school and that’s about it.
Q: What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
Ans: Maybe my first festival, its crazy to look back and know that years ago I was just a kid who was trying to make a hobby out of this music thing.
Q: Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
Ans: My older band mates were, they still have records and tapes. I wasn’t fortunate to use those enough
Q: Who are your favorite musicians? Groups? CD’s?
Ans: The Doors, Operation Ivy, Rancid, Led Zep, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder…theres too many to say!
Q: Have you been in competitions? Fleadh’s? Any prizes?
Ans: Nah, never even heard of those haha
Q: Do you perform in public? Describe those occasions? Concerts, radio, TV?
Ans: Shows and Concerts all the time! We played at the summer concert series at The Levitt Pavilion in Mcarthur park, Mariachi Plaza and Placita Olvera. I get a little nervous because we are a little more aggressive than the line-up we are usually with
Q: Do you play for dances? Step-dancers? Describe the differences?
Ans: I don’t think we ever done that haha just gigs and concerts, never a dance.
Q: How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
Ans: we laugh it off and play it as professional as possible. The key is to not look like you messed up!
Q: Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition?
Ans: Nah, not anymore. Been doing it none-stop for a decade and I just miss it more than anything now.
Q: What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?
Ans: Don’t look at the crowd at first, look behind the crowd. They wont feel your stare and you wont feel theirs.
Q: Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?
Ans: Im not sure what kind of session you mean? Recording? Music? Rehearsal?
Q: How often and for how long do you practice?
Ans: by myself? An hour a day with the band 2-3 hours a practice, 2 practices a week.
Q: What do you practice – exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?
Ans: All of the above, its good to retouch your skills and then work on a song you started weeks ago or work on a cover you want to do.
Q: Do you teach music?
Ans: I used to, I did private lessons but I got carried away with playing so many gigs that I had to let that go.
Q: How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?
Ans: haha…I let you know when I find the answer to that. I’m still playing it by ear day by day!
Thanks for taking time out of your day:)