))f**k da police!!  interview with Viernes 13

 

so it's friday but it's not 13th, so why did we have bad luck? was it the police that simply loves to ruin gigs? was the fact that on friday june 2nd Viernes 13 would be interviewed? was it the name of the band that brought bad luck? or was it the gig organizers that did not start the gig on time and didn't let the people in as they got to salon south gate, which in turn gave police an excuse to call the whole ska and punk night off? too many people and not enough room the pd said, oh well. we certainly shouldn't blame Juan and Güero from the band on the bad luck or the name of the band, after all being supersticious is bad habit...

fixcat How long have you been playing?

Juan: we've been together almost for a year, there used to be a Viernes 13 but they broke up, so then the guitarrist and the bassist of the old band asked me if I wanted to be in band one day when I was playing pool and I said allright so then I got Güero I got Mikey the drummer and Melvin and we started playing since August 13th.

fixcat Is that why you're called Viernes 13?

Juan: No, that was just a coincidence, the name came from Mario the guitarrist, he was actually trying to come up with a name for his friend's band, so it was like Octopus 13 something like that, but then he thought of Viernes 13 and kept it to himself.

fixcat So it has nothing to do with the movie or the luck thing?

Juan: People thought it was something like cholo but now people understand it more, our music is jumpy but it still has a little darknes to it I guess.

fixcat So that's the creepy stuff?

Güero: Yeah, it's Viernes 13, spanish ska with rockabilly influence

Juan: We even throw salsa and banda style like in "Johnny Pistolero" just a mixture of everything, un pozole un menudo.

fixcat Where are you guys from?

Juan: Güero is from HP, also Melvin the trombon player,

Güero: HP adopted in South Gate

Juan: I'm from South Gate, Mikey from South Gate, Mario and Jose are from Whittier and little Mario the other trombon player is from Norwalk

fixcat what influences do you feel that you have?

Juan: Actually we don't listen to anybody and say that we are going to make a song that sounds like them, we just like sit in the garage, fight with each other and at the end we have a song. Theres days when we do two songs, even three songs but we try to concentrate on one. There's rough times and happy times when we just shoot them up quick.

fixcat What musical genre do you consider Viernes 13 in?

Juan: It can't be labeled... we have a lot of ska rifs in it but then again we have rockabilly, everything mixed, just Viernes 13.

fixcat Do you feel there is a ska scene or movement in California?

Juan: Yes, I feel it's more with the latinos, the raza. With the white boys it's already died out and their music is a little bit different, ours is a little faster, darker.

fixcat Would you be bothered if Viernes 13 would be clasified later in the future as a comercial band?

Juan: If that means making lots of money than no, I mean if you see me on Ricky Lake then there's a problem but if we just play little shows and later on we get bigger and bigger that would be nice.

fixcat What do you think about the Mexican ska groups?

Juan: I like them, a lot.

Güero: I like it, it's a different type of ska than english ska.

fixcat For example:

Güero: Panteón Rococó, Sekta Core, I like those guys, to me it's way different than Reel Big Fish. Don't get me wrong, I like english ska, but spanish ska is more of a get-you-moving type, like all our music.

Juan: The rythm always takes you, that guitar riff, that horn section just gets you in the pit, like Skarnales, we give them props.

fixcat In FIxcAT we look at latin ska as a global movement, do you feel part of the latin ska movement?

Juan: I don't know if these kind of bands will ever get as big as, say Metallica unless we're a great part of the population, because we're still a minority, we can't go play in Ohio and have people who understands us. I don't know if I'm moving anybody, hopefully I am, that's why we're out there for, actually it's for fun too, but I hope we are part of the movement. I can't put us up that high, we don't think we're rock stars we're just people that go the garage and play.

fixcat What message do you feel that you send to the people that listen to you?

Güero: Get your ass up and dance

Juan: Exactly, get in the pit. If you've never been in the pit, with us is a good time to jump in.

fixcat Are there any groups that you play with that you like the way they sound?

Juan: Yeah, Tokadiscos I like them they have have a lot of energy I wish we had that much energy damn it! I like Left Out they're our homeboys.

Güero: Schizm, they play good not because they're homies but they have good sound.

Juan: I like Skarnales even though I've never seen them, just heard the tapes. Calavera is bad, we've only played with them once though.

fixcat What are the future plans for Viernes 13?

Juan: Well hopefully, instead of being so tight with our money, we get a cd out there in the studio of our homie. The only ones that have good jobs are the guitarist and the bassist, all the rest of us sell clothes, work in warehouses, stuff like that.

fixcat Any last thing to say to your fans?

Juan: If we have any fans, thanks for getting in the pit, thanks for making us feel good, because we do it all to see people's reactions.

the interview was almost interrupted by the cops choppers, demanding to "disperse"... even though we had already fled the scene and were standing at jack in the box's parking lot right beside Juan's classic white car... oh well....such are the nights lived in south gate. let's hope Viernes 13 will play somewhere to let us rinse out the frustration in the pit.

if you want to know more about viernes 13, write to viernes013@hotmail.com and check out fixcat's eventos y noticias for gigs where Viernes 13 will play.

interview done by excA and Nerina

 

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