Zechs Marquise: Violitionist Sessions 3 Questions, Live Tracks Free DL and Videos
ONE: What is the music climate like right now in El Paso, Texas?
Marfred Rodriguez Lopez: I guess it’s random, really.
Matthew Wilkson: It’s super random.
Marcos Smith: There’s definitely not one genre that’s huge right now in El Paso. There’s a couple of venues coming up, so that’s good, but for the most part, it’s not like it’s all rock bands or all hip hop, it’s just a bunch of different…
Marcel Rodriguez Lopez: I think for the first time in, I don’t know, five-plus years there’s two solid places to play on our side of town. We don’t know about the other side of town. We don’t ever go over there.
DJ: What side of town are you on?
Marcel: We’re Central and West Side. Yeah, within the last…I guess they’ve been open for a year, two years, something like that. Before that, it was just wherever you could play, so it was tough to get people to consistently come out. Now it’s gotten to the point where people do go to shows, but they’re still…you know, there’s still something lacking, but at least there’s a lot of bands now coming through. Everyone always stops in El Paso because it’s right where—
Marfred: It’s on the way to Austin, or on the way to LA.
Marcel: So everyone, big bands, small bands, at the very least have a rest day or something there, you know? And now there’s more bands that are starting to actually take advantage of that and play. It’s always super random. Some bands that are really big elsewhere can go there and play a bar and no one will go, and some other band will show up and play the right spot on the right night, and there’ll be three hundred kids or something like that. It’s all kind of random, but it’s definitely getting more consistent now.
Marcel: As far as musicians to play with and people that inspire us, not too many. We’ve been playing together for a good while and we don’t really play with other people in town. We love playing with each other…as weird as that sounds.
Marfred: [Laughing] Phrasing! Phrasing!!
Matthew: There’s a lot of good musicians that just play by themselves or create their own music, you know? We’re friends with some guys that do electronic stuff over there that do really, really amazing stuff. They just do it by themselves or something like that, so there’s still a thriving music scene, but not necessarily a whole lot of bands that are coming out of El Paso, like touring-wise. A lot of bands in El Paso just play El Paso, and that’s it, rather than planning tours or selling merch on the road.
DJ: Is that because it’s so far from everything else?
Marcel: I think it’s that, and some people just don’t have that mindset or that work ethic, or else they think that they can, I don’t know…
Marfred: Make it by playing every weekend, just playing El Paso all the time.
Marcel: …that by playing El Paso every week, someone’s going to stumble across them or something. They’re not ready to, you know, take the dive and be broke and not know where you’re staying or where you’re playing or be playing to nobody. That’s something that every band needs to do. There was someone just yesterday who was asking us…they were about to put out their record, and what they should do in order to get a label, management, that type of stuff. The way we did it is we put out our first record and just started touring, you know? People started coming out to shows, and that’s the way that it should be, not trying to get some song on a T-Mobile commercial.
TWO: You’ve just come from SXSW. What motivates you to participate in festivals like that?
Marfred: For a festival like that, you’re allowed to play multiple shows within the span of the festival, especially with the options to do free shows where people can go and watch the show for free, it’s initiative, at least for us a band. It’s like, ‘OK, we’re going to be there for four days. Let’s go play five or six shows—‘
Marcel: —that are almost guaranteed to be a good time, at the very least for the crowd. You’re going to get a crowd where they want to have fun, they’re there eating free food and hanging out with their friends and watching all these different bands that they want to see…At the same time, it’s kind of a downfall because, you know…
Marfred: It’s chaos.
Marcel: Yeah, chaos. Between playing and setting up, we didn’t get to see anything, really. We wanted to see a bunch of stuff. But then also, there’s so many bands that the little that we did see while walking to go load in or whatever, a lot of it just didn’t stand out, you know? There’s definitely…it makes it that much more special when you do stumble across someone you’ve never heard of that just amazes you.
THREE: Do you have a favorite episode of Gundam Wing?
Matthew: Marfred’s the Gundam fan.
Marfred: I liked the end of the series a lot just because there was more just the battles and stuff. You got to see more of the robots. The mech stuff is what I liked about the show. The mech design was really cool. I really liked the movie they put out afterwards, too, the…
DJ: Endless Waltz.
Marfred: Yeah, that one was really awesome. I just like the mech design. I like all of that action!
DJ: Do you ever perform under the name Milliardo Peacecraft?
Marcel: No, we haven’t. [Laughs]
Marfred: We should, for secret shows.
DJ: Do you guys like any other anime?
Marfred: Evangelion. That one was great.
Marcel: Evangelion was fucking crazy.
Marfred: RahXephon was cool, too. We liked that one a lot. It’s music-based, so that one was really tight.Cowboy Bebop. Of course, some of the older ones like Ninja Scroll and Akira…
Marcel: What was that one super weird one, with the vampire dude?
Marfred: Yeah! That one was super weird. That one was good, too. I liked the Samurai X movies, not so much the Rurouni Kenshin. The TV show was a little lighthearted, at least the first season that they did, but I really liked the movies, like the prequel that they did to that whole series, just because it was, I guess, dark and violent. The Guyver is another good one, too.
Marcel: Legend of the Overfiend…
Marfred: That one’s disgusting. [Laughs] But The Guyver was one of our favorites when we were growing up.
- Interview and transcription by Dale Jones