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Local Spotlight: Haochi Waves

November 14th, 2014 -

Haochi Waves in the corner by Alex Cordovi

 Haochi Waves | Photo by Alex Cordovi, courtesy of Haochi Waves

Miami band Haochi Waves is releasing their debut LP Peggy on Saturday, Nov. 15 at Churchill’s Pub. The launch is expected to see a free performance at Churchill’s by several local artists in addition to Haochi Waves, including Shark Valley Sisters, Bleeth (formerly The Astrokats), Wastelands, The Bearings, Kazoots, and Landica. In anticipation of the full release, which will be sold at the show in CD and tape form, I sat down with the members of Haochi Waves to get to know them and their album a little bit better. Haochi Waves is comprised of guitarist Didi Marcela Aragon, bassist Ana Farina Mackliff, and drummer Juan Fernando Oña.

First things first, what’s the story behind the name. You mentioned earlier that your cat is actually named Haochi.

Farina: Well I got the name from a Chinese cookie, a fortune cookie and it was on the little fortuneteller thing. It said “Haochi.” It means delicious in Japanese. So then I got the new cat and I named her Haochi.

Juan: Seven years ago was the new cat.

Farina: Right. And then after our previous band broke up, we were trying to just move on and have a new band with ourselves and so I named the band after… I mean, we all came up with the name.

Pretty Please was the name of the band you were all in until the band broke up. How is it moving on from disbandment and how has the process been going into this band?

Juan: It’s actually a little difficult. Whenever you start a band, whenever any of us have started a band, we put a lot of care into it. Usually the first year or two of the band is what we call the development stage. You’re finding your voice, your chemistry with each other. And then when Pretty Please broke up, it was a little disappointing because we had spent like two or three years polishing that product. It was ready to go. I bought a van and everything. Like “Lets go on tour!” and then the band breaks up and you’re like “fuck.” It sucks, but it’s life. It’s like the end of any relationship. Any failed relationships, you just have to pick up the pieces.

Farina: It was heartbreaking but at the same time you just want to move on because you don’t want to feel that pain. Forget about it and just move on.

Juan: Our first record is what you would call the rebound fuck. When Haochi Waves first started, Pretty Please had just broken up and we wanted to maintain the momentum that we had for so long with Pretty Please. And we were like you know what, lets start a new band but lets not mess around. Lets come up with a demo immediately and we did and that was the first record. And we just did that. We put out what we had at the time. Personally, I am actually very disappointed with our record. I almost wish it didn’t exist because it was a brand new project that hadn’t been developed yet and we just put out what we had. Now the new record, in our opinion, in my opinion, is our redemption. Because this is the idea, this is what we’re supposed to sound like and not that first record. But it’s difficult to pick up the pieces but it’s also awesome and exciting and challenging. Think about heartbreak. You’re heartbroken that you just lost this person that you’ve been with for so long but at the same time you’re kind of excited because you get to mess around with other people. That’s kind of exciting.

Haochi Waves next to van by Teajay Smith

Haochi Waves | Photo by Teejay Smith, courtesy of Haochi Waves

Would you say the old band has any influence on you now as Haochi Waves?

Juan: Always. Every band that all of us have been in has little by little influenced us and informed us and taught us.

Farina: It’s an experience. You learn from everything from that.

Juan: You learn from any musician you play with. I love the idea of just jamming. The way they did in the old jazz days. It wasn’t about bands; it wasn’t about this name or that name. It was just about a bunch of dudes getting together and just playing. And I love just going to the studio with somebody who I’ve never played before and just knock out something. Even that person that I just jammed with them for two days, I learned a little bit from that person. What they were playing kind of affected me and I wrote something I would have never otherwise written had it not been for that one experience. And then that one experience is like I have it in the pocket ready to go. Then whenever it presents itself, bam. I play a beat that I learned with somebody else or a vibe that I learned through somebody else.

Didi: I don’t know if Farina feels the same but I sometimes feel like I usually like jamming with other people…I like to come up with something on my own and then bring it to the table and jam together.

What is the writing process typically like for you guys?

Juan: Usually we finish songs together. Usually it’s one person that has the fundamental idea of the song. For the majority of the time, almost all the time, it’s either Farina or Didi.

Didi: We bring the limbs and then we put the body together.

Juan: There’s a new way that we’ve been writing that is kind of cool. In essence what it is that we’re here in this room and we’re just jamming. Just jamming, having a good time, going with it but we record everything. So many brilliant ideas come and go, so many little moments and they don’t get recorded and fuck trying to remember that. “What was that little riff?” No, hell no, you’re not gonna remember that. So we record it and then I’ll sit there and listen to the recording and be like “Ooh, there’s a nice little nugget right there.” And then I isolate that little piece and this little piece and then we’ll actually have assembled entire songs based on just a four-second clip, five-second clip that we had. We’re like “Oh, that, that vibe right there. Let’s build on that.”

Farina: Didi and I do that a lot. When writing a song, we won’t remember it the next day. It’s kind of in the moment type of thing. And Didi will record it on her phone what the idea was and then we’ll listen to it. Because when you’re playing something, it’s not the same when you’re listening to it when you’re a musician. And it’s kind of like we record it and then we want to listen to it to see if it sounds good and she’ll do that. She’ll record it on her phone and we’ll listen to it together.

How would you say modern technology is helpful besides your writing process but as a band in general?

Juan: There’s an incredible amount of advantages. Being a true independent band, not an indie band but an independent band that does all their own shit, I could tell you right now that the sky is the limit with what you can do with a decent computer and a bunch of stuff you can download for free off the Internet. You can do practically anything if you’re so inclined. Didi designed all the art for the record on her phone. Didi doesn’t even have a computer. I wish she had Photoshop. She could do so much awesome stuff with that. But she does it on some little apps that she has on her phone, composites it together and sends them to me.

Can you tell me a bit about the cover artwork itself?

Didi: The artwork is just things that I’ve collected over the years that do have a meaning. One girl is very emotional and you see her crying. I guess it’s showing like a past drama. And the other one is like the whole sexuality of women. It gets thrown out there by other people, by men, and not so much by women. They feel like it’s kind of degrading but I feel like when a woman does it’s, more empowering. I’ve been drawing my whole life but I’ve never really put it out there. Just drawings for myself. I guess now I’m just kind of putting them out there and trying to make some sense of them.

Juan: The artwork of the album is actually a collage of just drawings that Didi has on pieces of paper with marker. And she doesn’t have a scanner. She photographs her drawings with her phone and then puts them together in her app on her phone and that’s how that album cover was made.

Farina by Jorge Gonzalez Graupera

Farina | Photo by Jorge Gonzalez Graupera, courtesy of Haochi Waves

I keep hearing about this surge of bedroom producers among artists in Miami. The term mainly applies to the creation of the music itself but I’m coming across several artists such as yourself that do more than just produce the music themselves. Can you tell me your thoughts on this?

Juan: Necessity is the greatest teacher. You can’t afford a mechanic to change a part, you Google it, go get the manual for your car and you figure out how to do it on your own. I would apply that to music, to anything that we do. Be it carpentry, artwork, photography, video, music. Anything. Fixing the tour van, getting it all ready to go. It’s all necessity that we just don’t have money to pay other people to do so we just figure it out on our own. So many things that I’ve done, I can’t even remember, but so many things I’ve done in the process of making this record, you know how many times I googled it and YouTubed it because I had no idea what I was doing? All the time. But luckily the information is out there. What you were talking about before, the advantages of modern society, it’s not just the technology and the free software we can get off the Internet and pirate shit. It’s not just that but it’s also the information.

As a band that has to do practically everything on their own, would you say you’re more prepared than others?

Farina: We would like to think so. I don’t think so though, I don’t know. More experienced maybe. I don’t know.

Juan: Preparation really comes in many different degrees. There are bands that don’t have all the roundedness that we have where we can do this and this and this. But hell they’re fucking amazing musicians. Dude, I can’t even play a drum fill. In a way, I do think that we might be a little more prepared. Not just prepared but a little more informed. We’ve made tons of mistakes. In previous projects, we’ve gotten our feet wet. We’ve made tons of mistakes. Not necessarily that we’re better or in any way prepared more than anybody else but maybe we made a few more mistakes than other people have. That’s for sure. That I can guarantee you.

Since we’re on the topic of having to do practically everything on your own as a band, I saw that Juan is also the producer of the new release, Peggy. How do you switch from the role of the drummer of the band to the producer?

Juan: That’s actually a good question and it’s a question that has been the source of many a conflict. There are separate roles, there are different roles. I have the role of the drummer. I also have the role of the producer, and then when the album is done, I have the role of management and PR agent. It’s weird. You’re pretty much going from a creator, to a producer, to a businessman. Those three complete different roles. It has actually put me at odds with my own band members with Farina and Didi. I’ll make a judgment call that a manager would do or that a PR agent would do and then all of a sudden they’re mad at me. They’re like “What the fuck man, why  did you do that?” And then I’m like “Well, it’s kind of better to say I’m sorry than to ask for your permission and say no.” Then I’m the asshole for a couple of days. But it’s difficult. It kinds  of sucks. I wish I had a manager and a PR agent that could do all that and it could just be “la la la la,” drugs and music for me. That would be awesome. But that is not the case. It’s difficult to snap from one role to the other role, to the other role. If I’m acting manager, I cannot think like a drummer, I cannot think like a musician, I cannot think like an artist, I cannot think like a producer. I ought to think like a businessman. It puts me at odds with my own self, with my own band. But fucking A, it needs to be done.

Speaking of roles, how did you gravitate towards your instruments? 

Juan: Well my instrument, I can point at a joke. What do you call a guy that hangs out with musicians? A drummer. For me, it was the easiest. All the brilliant musicians that I know, that I admire, their first instruments was the drums and they moved on to greater and bigger other things. I didn’t move on. I stayed there. So that’s my excuse. And it was fucking easy and it afforded me the opportunity to work on other things. I never aimed to be a virtuoso. I never aimed really to do things that are beyond my current capacity. I never did that. I can point at my very first show. I was so petrified. I was literally almost about to shit my pants because I walk in there and three hundred people are there. The band before us has got this car the size of a Volkswagen and these fills like Neil Pert. I’m like “Oh my god,” feeling smaller, and smaller and smaller like a little fish in a big pond. Then we get up there and we were kind of a punk band in those days. And I knew two beats, two beats, that’s all I knew. But we were playing that beat and we went to the first chorus and people were dancing, hopping up and down. And I remember looking up and going “Oh shit. I don’t need any of that jazz, man. I just need honesty.” I need honesty and to be fucking loud. And hell, I think that honesty is a lot more powerful than being a virtuoso these days. After bands like Rush, what else is left? That’s why punk was born. There was nowhere else to go.

Didi: Well, I used to play bass, actually, and then I picked up guitar after I moved. I had moved to New York and then I came back. Farina and I used to be in another band called Ultraviolet. So Farina ended up replacing me in that band and I picked up the guitar and I was like hey, well I guess this is my new instrument. Then Pretty Please came along. With Haochi Waves, I was actually really scared because I’ve only been just a second guitarist, backup rhythm. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to take on the role of being a lead guitarist. I’m still developing I guess. I’m still growing with the band. I’m hoping to get better with the years I guess.

Juan: Well, we all need vocal lessons that’s for sure.

Farina: I’ve always liked music, I’ve always liked art. I’ve always tried a way to express myself through painting, drawing, writing. It’s a way of expressing myself, communicating myself, my feelings, my emotions. And I happened to meet someone that played music and he taught me how to play bass and that’s it. I’ve always liked art in general, not something specific. I’ve always liked music and liked the bass because it’s simple. Nothing complicated. I’m not a musician, like a natural born musician.

Didi: I think you’re wrong there, Fari. I think we’re all…like is it in us, is it our instincts to be musicians? We never really tried to train. We’re not trained musicians but we feel it.

Farina: You’re right. I was trying to say it’s an emotion, it’s a feeling. It’s not something that I went to school for. She’s right. It’s more like everybody can do it. Everybody has that rhythm.

Didi: And I feel like watching other women have inspired us too in a way. Watching documentaries about all these women in the 90s kicking ass. It makes you feel like fuck, I have something to say too.

Juan  by Jorge Gonzalez Graupera

Juan | Photo by Jorge Gonzalez Graupera, courtesy of Haochi Waves

I’m sensing a significant relation to feminism with this band.

Farina: For sure. Look at our art on the CD.

Juan: I practically have a vagina.

Didi: Juan is the biggest feminist ever.

As female musicians, have you ever had trouble with the audience?

Juan: Actually Fari, you remember you made a point in the New Times, you said something along the lines that sometimes, some people might have a certain perception of what to expect our sound to be based off of the fact that we’re mostly women? Farina, she’s the kind of girl that she hates preconceived notions, judgments. So if anybody thinks this particular way, has certain expectations of what we’re gonna sound like. “Oh they’re girly, they’re gonna sound like this.” The idea is to kind of subconsciously punch that idea in the face. Yeah, when we’re on stage we’re not fucking girls, we’re not even fucking human. We are in some sort of expressive vibe.

In terms of performances, you’re in a very vulnerable position, putting yourself out there in hopes of the audience giving you the time of day. There’s a sense of trust that needs to be built between you and the audience. How would you describe your relationship with your audience? 

Juan: My relationship with the audience is the same relationship I’d imagine having with a bunch of strangers on a crazy, fun bender. It’s a group of strangers–some are strangers some aren’t–that you just go on a wild ride together. To me, connecting with audience is absolutely key. It’s funny, when it comes to that, I tend to be more extroverted than my band members and I’m the one behind the drums. They tend to be a little more introverted and they kind of want to hide behind their microphone a little bit. I’ll let you have it. I like making eye contact with the audience. To me, without the audience, the performance is nothing. The performance is just a dry rehearsal. To me, when I hit a little harder and I feel we give them something a little honest, they feel us and they reward us and they scream a little louder or jump a little harder. When they do that, then we play a little harder and get into it and it’s just this thing that reciprocates until the point that you feel your head is going to explode. I ask myself so many times why do I do this. It takes away all my time, all my money. It has very close to nothing chances of any kind of reward. Why do I do this to myself? It’s so masochistic. And then I play one show and then I’m like that’s why. It’s so much fucking fun when you’re on stage and this is something you share with your audience. For me personally, when I’m on stage, it’s total Zen in that whatever problems I have, whatever outstanding bills, whatever people that I’ve pissed off that I need to say I’m sorry to, all the problems that I have in my life, that one moment the minute you hit that first note, they’re gone and you’re in this mode. Life slowly starts coming back as the sweat starts drying up after the show.

To give readers an idea of what to expect this Saturday, what is the craziest thing that has happened during a performance?

Didi: I think it’s still waiting to happen I don’t think it’s gotten that crazy yet. I’m looking forward to a really crazy moment. I think the best times are still to come. I don’t know if I get nervous anymore. And I think in a way, that’s only gonna help the crazier moments happen. I feel sometimes you kind of like hold back but I feel like lately, that’s not the case at all. Sometimes, I even get teary-eyed singing. I’m like really throwing my shit out there.

Farina: Juan said the word honesty. I think that’s what we try to do. We’re just trying to play whatever we feel at that moment and show whatever we feel and just be honest. Even though we’re not playing it right or we’re fucking up, it’s more about being honest.

Juan: If they want it perfect, they can hear the fucking record. If they want an experience, they come to the show.

This Saturday, you’re playing at Churchill’s Pub for your album release. Why Churchill’s?

Juan: Because what else is there?

Farina: That’s our home.

Juan: I can take this back 10 years ago where I was in another band, my first band. We were having this dilemma of where we were going to have this big event. We wanna have this big event. Churchill’s has a great sound, Churchill’s will let us keep 100 percent of the front door, everything, so on and so forth. Everywhere we went, we didn’t have that. Churchill’s is the one place you can go and they’ll give you 100 percent of the door. If you know how to throw a show, you go to Nayra and present your case: “This is what I want, I want to have a night.”  And if you do a good job, they’ll let you have the entire night. It is yours. Churchill’s is a canvass.

Didi: This time it’s not even about that because we’re not even charging at the door. It’s more about like it’s just our home and this is where we’ve been playing for many years and all our friends go there. It’s part of our community so why take it somewhere else?

Juan: Absolutely. I proposed to Farina in Churchill’s in a cockroach-infested laundry room.

What would you say is the appeal of Churchill’s?

Juan: The appeal is that there are no rules. That is the number one appeal. The fact that you can do practically everything short of hurting somebody. Nobody gets on your case and that’s what’s awesome about it. I love Churchill’s. There was a time in my life when I took it for granted. I was like “Fucking Churchill’s, man. There’s nothing else to do but fucking Churchill’s.” Now, when Churchill’s was changing ownership and we were all freaking out about the possibility of it changing and it no longer being what it was, I was like “Oh my god no! No, we’re gonna lose it!” And it was in that moment when Churchill’s was changing hands that I was like “Holy shit” how much I value this place. Anybody who is in the South Florida music scene I think would agree in saying that’s our fucking home. That’s our home. It’s the one place that has never said no to us and has welcomed us with open arms no matter how perverted our ideas were.

Didi: No matter how fucked up we are.

Several local bands are accompanying you during this Saturday’s performance. How was this lineup determined? 

Juan: For us, it’s that our record is also a celebration of us and our friends and the people who influence us. I’d be lying to you if I said our record isn’t a little bit influenced by Humbert, by Holly Hunt, by The Jellyfish Brothers, by Bleeth, by all these people that are doing awesome work right now. I’d be lying if we weren’t influenced by that. And to us, our CD release should be a celebration of everything that is us, everything that’s our friends that have given us power to make this record, everybody who has influenced us. Ideally, we didn’t get everybody we wanted to play with us that night. People are touring, people are doing whatever. But it’s a small group of people that we believe in, that influence us, that are doing something for the music scene and that have a lot of potential.

Didi: They have a little role in the music scene. Like Landica. They’re just a bunch of 17-year-old chicks trying to play, trying to bring back that Riot Grrrl stuff.

Juan: But you know what? We were those 17 year old chicks one time.

Farina: We were all there once and we all get influenced by everybody. That’s a beautiful thing.  I think it’s kind of like a family. We all feed from each other and we all support each other at the same time. Which is awesome. I don’t think we could have done anything without them.

Juan: I’ll take this moment to just say how much I love our scene. I have been to New York. I remember when I was in The Brand and for us it was  like “Fuck Miami, lets move to New York. That’s where it’s at.” And then we moved to New York and pretty much destroyed our band because of how hard that city is to live in and we didn’t have the resources. It just destroyed us. We came back over here and I remember what we see over here, when you go to Churchill’s and you see a band play and you look at the audience, fucking A, 70 percent of that audience, whether they’re playing that night or not, they’re musicians. You don’t see that in New York. You go to New York and when a local band plays, fuck if any other local band is gonna go support them. It’s all about me and I don’t support anybody else. What we have here, we have a community. New York is totally fucking overrated when it comes to that.

Didi by Jorge Gonzalez Graupera

Didi | Photo by Jorge Gonzalez Graupera, courtesy of Haochi Waves


Miami’s music scene definitely is a special scene. Lately, I get the feeling like something big is happening, like we’re moving forward towards something really amazing. What are your perceptions of the scene and what do you anticipate?

Juan: I can tell you that none of us really know what’s going to happen but I can tell you what we hope happens. All I hope right now, because I’m so incredibly optimistic, is that we just don’t lose momentum. We’re doing something awesome. So many great bands are just producing great music right now. It gives me chills. I get fucking goosebumps thinking about so much good music that is coming out of here. And all I hope is that it doesn’t stop and that it keeps going. I’ve been in this scene for over 20 years now following different bands. I’m fucking old already. And I have seen little waves and drops and peaks and valleys. I’ve seen it go up and go down and go up and go down. And now, I see it go up and it’s going up and it’s better than I’ve ever seen it. You would have to go back to before I was hanging out, back to the Roses days in South Beach when they actually had a scene to say that there’s a better scene than now. There’s a great scene right now, it’s stronger than I’ve ever seen it and all I want is for it to not stop.

Didi: A really good thing about it is that there’s so much variety. Everybody is playing something completely different. The night of the release, you’re gonna see a lot of different things, different styles of rock. And before, I feel like it used to be more separated. Now, everybody has decided that there shouldn’t be a boundary. It’s all music.

Farina: We go to shows and you listen to pop rock to heavy metal. That’s awesome that you get to see all those types of music and you enjoy it at the same time in one night.

Some scenes are known for producing a specific sound, like Seattle and grunge. I feel like our scene is known simply for its existence. Is it better to be known for a sound or simply for having a scene?

Juan: Fuck the sound coming from here directly. Why fix it if it ain’t broke kind of thing. I do think that there is an underlying theme but I don’t think it’s something that you can directly point at. That you can directly, physically isolate it and like this is what makes you all similar. I don’t think there is that. But I think that there is some sort of underlying theme. Like I said, we’re influenced by all the people around us. We’re writing a new song and they come in on a 3/3 time and I come in with all these cymbals and I’m like “Man, I fucking like how that feels. It’s so cool.” And then I’m like “Where is that from?” And then I’m like “Holy shit, that’s totally Shark Valley Sisters.” Fuck it, I’m taking it. It doesn’t happen. It’s rare that you can actually point that out. But that actually did happen to me recently. It’s not a particular rip, it’s just like a vibe. Hell, man you go to a fucking Holly Hunt show, those goddamn chords are ringing in your fucking brain for all week. They’re gonna bleed into something that you’re making somehow.

Farina: Maybe that will happen, that somebody will make it into one sort of thing.

Juan: But you know what, I don’t want that to happen. Again, I’ll bring up New York. The Strokes came out and then within a month, you had half of the fucking city’s bands sounding like the fucking Strokes. Fuck that. Make your own sounds. Yeah, get influenced from each other, get vibes and get feelings from each other. But to directly sound like The Strokes, get out of my face with that.

Didi: Well, that was happening here. I mean, I’m sure it’s still happening everywhere. Like that band Ty Segall, there’s a lot of bands that changed their sound just to sound like them. You can hear the influence in a lot of bands and I can’t say that it hasn’t influenced me. It definitely influences the guitar and it’s not on purpose. I feel like a lot of people get influenced by people we admire. But that definitely happened a lot to bands in Miami.

Juan: It’s not a bad thing. We’re all influenced. We all grab from the scene. We all pick what we like and make our own out of it. But you don’t want the scene to be identified by a specific sound. Or else it’s like we’re gonna go to Miami just for that sound. And then what happens is an awesome band comes out that doesn’t kind of sound like that and they’re brushed under the table because they don’t sound like that Miami sound it’s expected to sound like. No, you don’t want that. I don’t want that.

How do you feel you are contributing to the scene?

Juan: I have no idea.

Didi: We’re putting out something that I feel maybe, in my opinion, will influence younger kids to start picking up instruments and just doing it. Because we’re good examples because we’re just going on pure emotions and just doing it and learning ourselves. I feel that hopefully we can influence someone to pick up a guitar and just start playing.

Farina: I think the same. I think music in general is a very awesome thing. No matter what you play, no matter what instrument you play, if you sing, if you don’t sing. I think it’s good that everybody should play something. You don’t have to be in a band or be famous or anything. It’s awesome for somebody to be able to play music.

Didi: I feel like outside of Miami, men aren’t really used to seeing women on stage and playing, doing all these things and going on tour. I feel it’s a good way of putting out there that Miami has something. It’s not just us but there are a lot of girls out there playing instruments. I would like to influence women. There are girls that have come up to me and they’re like “I started playing guitar because of you.”

Farina: I don’t like to think of it that way. To me, every girl can play everything. It doesn’t exist in my mind.

Juan: The sexist barrier shouldn’t even be there to begin with.

Farina: It should be whatever man. Girls can do whatever they want to do. If they want to play, fuck it. They want to play something, they’ll play. Sexism does not exist in my head.

Didi: I know that we don’t see it that way. Obviously we do whatever the fuck we want. But it does exist. There are still a lot of barriers for women.

Farina: I’ve had men come up to me like “You play like a guy.” He was like “Thank god you play better than a man.” You old piece of shit, what do you mean?

Tell me about Peggy. 

Didi: It’s a bunch of cut out melodies and pieces that started out really raw. Some of them developed, some of them didn’t. But that was all done on purpose. Some of it didn’t change too much over the past three years because we wanted to keep that feeling. It’s very emotional. There are some songs about power and trying to beat this other person inside you. Other songs are about total heartbreak. And then some of them are about finding the love of your life. It’s a roller-coaster.

Farina: To me, it’s a product of what we went through these past two, three years. Like Didi said, it’s very emotional, it’s something that came out of our hearts. It feels good actually to have that release. It’s a release literally, a release of all these emotions: sadness, happiness, anger. It’s kind of like saying all these things and letting them out. It was a hard time for all of us. We went through a lot of changes. Together and individually, we all went through changes, drastic changes. Somehow we put them all together in this little CD.

Juan: What you and Didi just said kind of made me realize something too. Every band, Pretty Please and The Brand, my previous two bands, I remember having an underlying kind of like want to be…I wanted to make it. I wanted to get signed. So in a way, when we were wrapping up the production, I wondered what the DJs are going to like, what people who are going to put us on tour, what they’re going to like. So I had all those things in the back of my mind when I was making these previous releases. In this record, because the lack of all of that, I feel comfortable calling it an actual art piece because we made it without any regard of what people would think about it. We were working on this one song and it’s completely obtuse. We were like “Man, we’re kind of lose people’s attention.” You know what? Fuck it. I want to hear it. All of a sudden, this has become all about me, all about us. If they like it, they like it. If they don’t, they can go fuck themselves. That’s it. It feels good. It feels liberating. Didi: There are no expectations behind it. We just wanted to do it and hope that someone will understand it, even if it’s just three people.

Juan: To us, it’s awesome. It’s a party in our pants. Woo!

Farina: We’re three people, so.


Farina and Juan | Photo by Junette Reyes


You have all been through so much as a band. Why has kept you together? 

Juan: The music, really. Farina and I at one point couldn’t even be in the same room together. “I fucking hate you, get away from me. I’m only here to rehearse.” The music was the one underlying thing that actually kept us together.

Farina: It’s a very selfish thing. That’s what we love the most before everybody.

Juan: All the chaos, all the heartbreak, Didi leaving, the different forms and permutations the band has taken. If it weren’t for all those experiences we shared together and fought with each other in the process, the sound wouldn’t be what it is. And I’m happy with the way the sound is. I wouldn’t change a damn thing.

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