Sunday, December 27, 2009
Wunami are a hardcore influenced instrumental rock band from Southern California. Not to draw comparisons, because they're never fair in these kinds of situations; but think Explosions in the Sky, Russian Circles, If These Trees Could Talk, and you'll have a very general idea.
I've been meaning to post some Wunami stuff since their first demo; but with them setting out on their first little trip (tour) of shows away from home, now seemed like a great time.
What you get here is their first demo "2034", 2 tracks from when the band was still establishing a line-up and finding their place in things. The second demo is their "Pointless" demo which is still available from them in a really nicely silk screened fold over cover of the image you see in this post (with the awesome artwork of Andrew Gomez IV). The Pointless Demo is 3 songs that feature the band starting to hit their stride. Songs that build from quiet to crashing, return to quite and then go on another direction. A typical Wunami song will cross the 10 minute barrier, giving a lot of time for the listener to travel with the band through the soundscapes that they create.
Wunami are heading out December 28th to play around the West Coast for a few days, you can get more info. from their myspace HERE. They also have their newest material posted on their profile; which is planned for an upcoming 12inch Split ep release.
Wunami - Demos (DOWNLOAD)
Additionally, I did a small interview with drummer/guitarist Matt on the eve of their departure for tour. It follows below:
Who's in Wunami?
Wunami is Matthew Gonzales, Eric Ramirez, Juan Pena, and Jordan Pappas.
How did Wunami come to be?
I'm going to try and not make this answer anymore convoluted than it has to be. For the most part, Wunami evolved out of its members long-time friendships. I've literally known Eric since before I can remember, and met Juan soon after that. Jordan I met through my old band Time For Change. I had always played music separately from them, for some odd reason, and somewhere along the line we linked up. There was never any big idea like: "I want to start a band that sounds like this!" or "I want to start a band named this!" Instead, we got together and played what we played--it all just sort of happened. And for the record, the name Wunami has no real meaning. It's an old inside joke that we chose to use because, unlike all of the other cool sounding names we were throwing around, it WAS us.
What influences the band?
Honestly, we create for the sake of creating. I don't see much difference between us writing songs and someone else writing poetry except that, for us, music is the medium. It's all a form of self-expression. It's something I think everyone should do, no matter their own personal skill level, as long as they put their heart (or whatever you want to call it) into it. And in that sense, style becomes irrelevant while Everything (with a capital E) becomes an influence. It's all very literary in both form and function. We try to present something that evokes the aspects, values, and emotions of our lives that, hopefully, others can relate to and find meaning in.
Who am I kidding? The truth is we're driven by our own lingering fears of responsibility. Up tha punx!
Releases so far? Releases in the near future?
We've done two demo's, the second of which has perfect artwork by Andy Gomez and is available on our webstore for 3$ and 1$ at our shows. wunami.bigcartel.com
Also, we've recently recorded a fifteen-minute song that we're going to try and release with the awesome local band Epicose after we get back from tour. It's streaming on our myspace right now. I'll see about getting it up somewhere with better quality. myspace.com/wunami
You guys are heading out on a small tour tomorrow, excited? Nervous? Think it will be different from touring with past bands?
I have no clue how this one is going to go. I don't tend to get very nervous about these sort of things though. We're taking a trailer so hopefully we don't hit any snow. (why did that rhyme?)
What do you guys hope to achieve with the band?
I can't speak for everyone else in the band but, for me, it's hard not to be ambitious about it. I have all the same superficial wants and dreams as everyone else about success and admiration but I try to suppress/ignore them. What I really want is to make better songs--I want a growing experience... Cheesy, I know.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Check out our tour dates and come see us. We're broke! Check out the hand-screened shirts we sell for almost no profit. Available in any size (and color) regardless of what the store says. wunami.bigcartel.com
Also, this might be out of left field but Jon you're a rad dude. The world would be better off with more like you... *high five*
Thanks to Matt & all of Wunami. Check them out on tour & download the demos: Wunami - Demos (DOWNLOAD)
Hailing from Los Angeles, California; Vagary rose out of the Southern California HC scene in 2004/05 playing heavy hardcore with social/political lyrics. Poverty, Racism, Ignorance, Hatred, & being able to better ones' self and combat these things were all themes that ran strongly through Vagary's songs & live shows. Unafraid to speak their minds, singer Cris was vocal about former band Make Move and the motives of the singer as well as outspoken & critical of different mindsets within latino (as they all were) & minority communities that led to the thought that they were always being held down or treated poorly by the ruling class. Often having something to say about still working to rise above that and not use excuses (no matter how true they were) to allow ones' self to just sit and continue to propagate the image of an ignorant, violent, or manipulative minority.
In the download you'll find their original demo consisting of 4 songs & one song, "Kill to Save", from a second & unreleased demo. The first demo is rougher than the band wanted (production wise), but you can hear where they're going and what the live shows were like. Kill to Save has a much better sound and shows the direction the band was continuing in. When someone mentions 90's Revival Hardcore, Vagary comes to mind as one of the ones that was doing it in a style I prefer and better than a lot of others. Big drums that don't sound mechanical, heavy guitars with layering that keeps it interesting, and vocals that are screamed and not barked.
Unfortunately, the band couldn't stabilize and eventually went their different ways. I remember that finding a steady drummer eventually became an issue and shows were more and more infrequent. Oscar (bass) went on to play in Time For A Change for awhile. To the best of my knowledge, the second demo sits mostly unreleased. If anyone has it/talks to any of the Vagary guys, I'd love to have it personally or to post.
Vagary - Demo + 1 (download)