Jacuzzi Boys Play Dusk On March 18
When you think of Miami, garage rock probably isn’t your first thought. Musically the city is more known for hip-hop, electronic and Latin sounds, but there’s one band from there that might surprise you. They’re known as the Jacuzzi Boys and they’ll be rocking Dusk on 301 Harris Avenue in Providence on March 18. They’ll be joined by local rock ‘n’ roll shredders Party Pigs and Attleboro, Massachusetts, surf punks Neutrinos while Ty Jesso and Dr. Fuzz spin hot vinyl records between the bands. It’s going to be a bash and you’re going to want to be there.
I had a chat with bassist Danny Gonzales from Jacuzzi Boys about starting out in Miami, the band’s fourth album, Ping Pong, that came out in November 2016, straying away from their contemporaries and capturing their unique pop essence.
Rob Duguay: What’s the music scene like in Miami? Musically, the city seems to be more known for hip-hop and Latin music.
Danny Gonzales: It’s home, so it just feels normal really. It’s not like we thought twice before starting a band because of any preconceived notions someone might have of Miami. We just did it. There’s always been a rock ‘n’ roll scene there, maybe it’s a bit under the radar for most people, but it’s always been there. For us it was like starting a band in any other city.
People from outside of the city are probably more surprised by it than people who live in Miami. I think it mostly has to do with people having generalized ideas. All the stuff about Miami is true, but there’s more to it than the obvious.
RD: A lot of it has to do with what the mainstream projects.
DG: Yeah, people sometimes give certain identities to cities. Miami does have a particular identity, but it’s not entirely accurate. It’s that and more.
RD: Last November you guys put out your 4th album, Ping Pong. You guys made the album in Los Angeles while having some weird dreams while writing the songs and making the record. Do you remember what those dreams were?
DG: I don’t know about the dreams, Gabriel [Alcala] could tell you about those. He usually has some crazy dreams. Maybe they found their way to the forefront more than other times, but he would have to be the one to elaborate on those. As far as being in LA, it was really cool. It was the first time that we had sort of spent that long outside of Miami as a band while working on something in one place.
That was cool and we hadn’t really made a record that way where we got to work on stuff, then stand away from it and then go back to it. It’s always been go to the studio, record the songs, mix it and it’s done. This time around we had time to consider stuff and the guy we were working with lives in New York so he would fly in and out of L.A. so we’d work for a couple days and then he’d leave town for a week or a week and a ½ and the he’d be back. That was pretty much the process for a few months so it was kind of cool and different to work that way. I think we benefited from it for sure.
RD: I think you guys did too; I think Ping Pong is great. One thing I find with Jacuzzi Boys’ sound is that although a lot of bands that identify themselves with the garage rock genre are very edgy and loud, you guys have this ‘60s pop thing that’s reminiscent of The Zombies and even a bit of The Beatles.
DG: That’s a pretty hard one to answer because we listen to all kinds of stuff. We’re definitely fans of pop stuff for sure, super poppy and really melodic stuff. We tend to listen to more song-oriented material as opposed to crazy shred, no holds barred and all out kind of music. We also try to not stick to any particular thing and bog ourselves down to being formulaic. It’s no rules for us when we’re recording and trying to write songs.
Whatever style comes out, if we’re happy with it then that’s all that matters to us. The first record is more straight forward, but since then every record has had these little kind of oddball type of songs that in my opinion wouldn’t be classified under garage rock in any context. We leave ourselves open and we let it take its course naturally. We’re definitely fans of pop, whether it’s The Beatles or The Zombies or The Kinks.
RD: I can definitely tell. What’s great about the new album is that every song doesn’t sound the same. The band is always trying to do different things with each track, which is refreshing.
DG: I think it’s to throw some people off. I personally think that it keeps things exciting and interesting for us. From a fan’s perspective I think that it’s exciting to be a fan of a band that’s always trying new stuff. Look at The Ramones; they’re a perfect band even though they’re kind of doing the same thing over and over again. That can get kind of boring.
RD: After the show at Dusk on March 18, what’s next for the Jacuzzi Boys?
DG: We’re definitely going back on tour in the summer starting in May or June. The tour we’re on has been going through the southeast and the east coast, so over the summer we’ll be going out west and hopefully we’ll be doing some more writing and recording. I don’t think we’ll be recording a record, but we’ll definitely be working on a single or two after this tour that we’re on.