El Paso Music Scene Interview

by Charles Hurley

EPMS: David, tell me where you came up with Cyclops Bunny (his user name for the fishhookrecords.com forum)?

David: Cyclops Bunny just came out of my imagination. It's just something I drew up one day. I was bored at work. I decided to draw some weird stuff. That's about it, and then everybody has a whole internet name thing, so I decided to use that.

EPMS: Do you have, like, a thing for bunnies?

David: I actually hate rabbits. I'm allergic to rabbits. Kind of ironic.

EPMS: What's your background like, Hector, before this band?

Hector: I've got a huge mother-fucking background; more than ten years in the music scene. I've played with Catastrophe, Blacklist, a garage band in high school, Third Order, Covenant, Fueled 2 Fire, and, of course, now, The other background I've got is, producer for the scene; producer for about ten years. Recording local bands, giving them the breaks that they really wanted, unlike the major studios around town, if you want to call them major. I'm just a no-bullshit guy, you know, down to earth, and willing to give you what you want, man.

EPMS: Well, what are the other studios doing? I notice some disapproval.

Hector: Yes. I disapprove of the other studios, just because they know that, around town, the musicians don't have the money. Even if they raise the proper money, they only have enough money for, maybe, one serious song. There are some guys that are lucky enough to have a really good job, and they can go to Rosewood or Tornillo, and pull off a five thousand dollar recording, whereas, I would say about ninety per cent of the people in El Paso can only pull off a fifteen dollar per song kind of a recording. I wasn't the fifteen dollar per song guy, but I was the guy that gave you the whole year, if you needed the whole year.

EPMS: Why did you stop recording people?

Hector: Most recently I lost my studio space, due to neighbors and what-not. You know, I just wanted to focus on my band for once. I do still kind of do it, I'm doing it right now for Crash Kennedy, but it's at their practice space. So, I'll still do it, depending on the situation and circumstance.

EPMS: David, what's your background?

David: My background comes from, mostly from the band, Sanskrit, which, a lot of people remember me as Mister Yellow from Sanskrit. Before that, me and the drummer and the guitar player had been playing for years before that in bands like Crank, Keep in Mind. I think there was one other band that we didn't have a name for yet. We did like five shows without a name. That's pretty funny. Sanskrit, we recorded with Hector. He did give us the whole year for like, minimal amount of money. Hector's just a great guy.

EPMS: Wait a second. You were Mr. Yellow, you're Cyclops Bunny, and you had a band you couldn't think of a name for?

David: That's right. That's crazy imagination. Just love for the music, doesn't matter what the name is.

Hector: Drawing a blank...

David: All we cared about was playing, when we were that young. That's all we wanted to do.

Hector: Should've called it Drawing a Blank.

David: Drawing a Blank? LOL. But this band,, I'm playing with some guys that I've known for years. Hector, I've known for a long time. These guys, Bobby and Randy, used to play with us all the time, they used to play shows with Sanskrit all the time, with their old band. He (Hector) recorded everybody. We just know everybody. So, we decided one day, let's just get together and play, and it turned out to be a really good thing.

Randy: My first real band was Mindhole, which was with Bobby, this guy right here. Like Hector said, he recorded us and stuff. We also played shows with Sanskrit, Blacklist, a lot, and I knew these guys a long time, and I guess one day, it just... They just called me up. The other singer's stuff, I didn't know what to come up with from there, but now I guess I made an impact, from lyrics, to other stuff, you know? And it's weird.

EPMS: I did see you in Amid Tyranny..

Randy: Yeah, I was in Amid Tyranny, too. Just pretty much that, and, you know, that's how we all just came together. Because, I just knew all these guys, personally, and musically. Pretty much.

Bobby: I play drums with this nice and dandy band. I've been playing for about three and a half years. It's a really great pleasure to be playing with these guys, because it's something I least expected to be starting, but at the same time, it all fell into place. It was kind of like, a chain reaction, so like now I'm, like, pretty satisfied. What we're doing and just writing good stuff and everybody's satisfied with it, and not letting anything get in the way, as far as anything out of the band goes. Just, we've all known each other, and that's pretty much it. We're just great friends, like brothers, and that's the way you've got to feel about it. I'm fifteen, so, I guess I've still got some years for my playing to go up, but to develop. It's getting there, but I don't want to show people that's not all I'm made of, and I still got stuff in the bag, so now, what we have now, it's a matter of just keeping on and not stopping, and not giving a fuck.

EPMS: Who's the craziest guy in the band?

Bobby: That's a hard question.

Randy: LOL. No, it's not!

Bobby: Hector is.

Randy: His nickname is Porno Boy. He drank piss.

Bobby: Porno Boy.

Hector: Metal Magic...

Randy: A lot of people look up to Hector. He still amazes me.

EPMS: Besides this drinking piss thing, what's the craziest thing he's ever done?

Hector: That cannot be described on tape. Let's just say I can juggle things, man. I can juggle a lot of things.

David: Metaphorically.

Hector: And physically. I'm just a no-holds-barred kind of guy. I'm pretty much the obscure guy in the band. Everybody knows the rest of the guys, especially Dave. And when it comes to me, it's like, your guitar player guy, you know? And, that's fine, but it's good that they don't know me. LOL. These guys know me, they have to fucking put up with me.

EPMS: When you started the band, did you have a clear vision of what you were going to do, or what? What kind of idea did you have about what kind of music you were going to play?

Hector: I had just finished quitting Blacklist. I had asked Ian, the drummer, to join, and right away I called Dave, because Dave and I had been trying to make a band for the longest time, For the whole four or five years that we had known each other. And then, Ian wasn't working out. We knew about Bobby, and we knew about Alex, because Alex and Bobby had been doing something. Alex was from Off-pill, and we called Bobby right away, and Bobby just stepped up and did it. He's just raw talent. Once we did that, we had the singer of Off-pill singing for us, but he was, unfortunately, very flaky. You can ask these guys, I don't deal with flakiness at all. I'm the asshole of the band, if you want to put it that way. I'll put myself and these guys in line. That's just how it works.

EPMS: Crack the whip?

Hector: Exactly. And, you've been to our performances, so if it doesn't show, then I'm not doing my job. So, then, right away, I thought of Randy, and Randy came in and just didn't have lyrics, just wanted to hear the song, he just started writing lyrics right on the spot. And singing, and that blew me away. That blew Dave away. And Bobby, we already knew him, so Bobby really knew what Randy was about, so right there at that point, even though, technically, the band had been started earlier, at that point, when Randy had opened his mouth, that was it, man. We were Definitely.

EPMS: I missed something. Where'd the come from?

Hector: Well, it was a name I had suggested earlier, but no one wanted it, because I don't come up with really good names. We were all having problems, just because of the age difference, accepting a name. Dave and I were on one page, the younger guys were on another. Well, two of us versus three, so it was pretty difficult, but one day I just said, "Well, fuck it, I'm tired of this shit," We had a song that kicks ass, it's called, 5-3-9-3 is a rhythm pattern that we have in the song, it starts, the verse sections off, (verbally demonstrates how the beat of the song goes)... So from that, right away my mind just blurted out, it's because we're all numbers. We're all just numbers to the system. We die and we're just a fucking number. When you're at the show, I have never seen a single depressed person. There's some people that claim to be depressed that come to our shows, but they're fucking pumped and ready to go, man.

EPMS: Tell me about your lyrics. What do you write about?

Randy: People. Government. I think my main subject is like, saying just straight up, "Fuck you," to the President. That's just how I am. I hate government, I hate the way it's run. That's where we came up with, you know, we're all just numbers. Technically we are, we die a number, we're not labelled as names.

EPMS: If they made you king, tell me what you would change, in two sentences.

Randy: Let us live our lives and not be booked by something else. Not be labelled, because in my opinion, I think that has taken over. People are labelled in other ways, that's practically what my lyrics are about.

EPMS: The lyrics you're most proud of, what are they about?

Randy: My best lyrics? I would have to say, "Inside." There's a song that we have, "Inside," that, I just go all out. Straight up, into like, proving my point. What they're doing behind our backs, you know? Government-wise. President-wise. The system-wise. How it's run. I have done research on this kind of crap, and I found out a lot of shit. Documentaries, all this shit. I feel people need to be informed about whatever's going on. Not a lot of people are being informed about it.

David: One thing I'd like to mention, yes, Randy is... Well, we all pretty much we all have our complaints about the government, but one thing that we don't do, that a lot of bands do, that I hate, we don't enforce our belief on you, you know, like System of a Down. Every single song is about the same thing, just about. Every single video they have is about the same thing. I like System of a Down, they're a great band, but it gets annoying. Rage against the Machine, another great band, but it gets annoying. It's like, I want to hear the music, just, sometimes. I want to hear the music, you hear all the political crap. I know about it already, you know? If you want to do a couple songs about it, great, but if it's going to keep pushing on me, I'm not going to listen to it any more. It's just like anything else. You get the greatest band in the world, play the same three songs over and over again, it's the same difference. It's not the greatest band in the world any more.

Randy: We're not trying to like, write down the pages, write down exactly what we're trying to prove, stuff it down your throat, you know. If you want to listen to it, well, OK. It's your choice, whether you listen to it or not.

EPMS: Where do you really think you're going to be in a year?

Hector: We're going to be in Austin, and just trying to further our career. I mean, we've got some young guys, obviously, but, like I said, I've been doing this for about twenty years. Well, ten years in the scene, but I've been playing for twenty. I think it's just about time that... I'm going to talk about myself: I want to just get out of this rut. OK, and I'm including friends, brothers, that share the same passion as I do. I've never played with such passionate people in my life. And, yeah, I've played with some good people. Good players, but not as passionate. Shit, I'll go as far as to say, not even as technical. And you know, I'm not going to talk about record deal, we'll deal with that as it comes. But, definitely out of here, this cess pool of a nothing, and just further our creativity. Because, we need something else to fuel our fire, no pun intended. We definitely do, and these guys are just, ever since I brought it up, they've been down. I brought it up about a year ago, and that was barely when the band formed. So, for the band to just barely form, and start talking about moving, that's an obvious sign, that we need to get out of here.

EPMS: Are you serious about moving?

Hector: Yeah, we're moving in July.

Bobby: Target date.

Hector: Yours and Randy's. But, on a serious note, we've got all the resources within the band to do the DIY. I have my recording studio, Dave has his knowledge of movies and...

David: Useless crap.

Hector: He's the one that does our flyers and our movies. Bobby and Randy obviously are our other members, just put in one hundred per cent, so...

EPMS: Are you ready for all the competition?

Hector: It's more like, are they ready for us?

EPMS: All right!

Hector: Seriously, I say it with conviction because I believe it. There's so much product out there, and by product, I'm talking about mass production, that it's just getting stupid. It's not to say that I don't listen to any of that stuff, that has its influence on me in different ways, but they need to be ready for us. And they're not going to be ready for us. I already know that. I've heard a good amount of bands from Austin already over the internet, through my ex-singer from Blacklist, because he lives in Austin, and it's just, to me, it's child's play. I'll throw that little attitude out there, because it's a competition, it's survival of the fittest, and I think we're the most fit.

David: A lot of what Hector said, I want to throw it out there, too, because it's not that we're playing, like he said earlier, very technical... I've never heard any local bands play anything like what we're playing. People already, when we were first starting, were like they sound like this, oh, they sound like this... Everybody's going to sound like somebody, obviously. I mean, who doesn't sound like anybody? I was surprised, is that our biggest influence in the band, that our sound comes from, is probably Meshuggah, yet nobody's ever, ever mentioned that we sound like Meshuggah, because they're not a mainstream band. I think it's funny that people say that we sound like Slipknot, who's a mainstream band. I love Slipknot, but I have no idea where they're getting that. What I want to throw my attitude out there is that, well, if you think you can do better, do it. What's stopping you from doing it, you know? Is it your style? Doesn't matter what style you play. If you can be as technical and as hard-playing as we are, play your heart out on stage to the point where I can't even walk the next morning, and there's five people in the crowd, do it. I've been to too many shows where I've spent five bucks for people to stand on stage and play out of tune, then tell me that I suck. It doesn't make sense to me. Which is why, it's kind of hard to love the scene and support it at the same time that I'm trying to be in it. You know what I mean? You know, you're going to be that negative about it, how am I supposed to be positive? They'll tell you as much as I'll tell you, I'm the most positive person you'll ever meet in the world. You'll never see me get mad, and I'll be the most supportive person you'll ever meet, but it's hard, it really is. That's just what I had to say.

Bobby: I just want to say, I guess, to anybody, like, with envy or any of that crap, just like, I just want to let everybody know, we're just going to keep on keeping on, we're going to rock your town, we're going to pull through together, you know, as brothers, you know, as one. We just want to create something great and just beautiful, you know. It's like magic.

EPMS: Let me ask one more quick question. How you want to die?

Bobby: I want to die, like, sitting, at the beach, drinking some lemonade. Ice cold lemonade, sunset, you know, with the beautiful woman I love, and maybe a pair of drumsticks in my hand.

EPMS: Die of lemonade poisoning?

Bobby: Lemonade poisoning, with drumsticks in my hand, and I hope, like one day, everybody in this world can die in a comfortable position. Die the way they have to die in this world, you know.

Hector: I want to die in my sleep, and, before I die in my sleep, I want to pass on, knowing that my family members and my children were happy in their lives, regardless of what they did, and, hopefully when I pass away in my sleep, that I have my significant other close by, so that it's final.

Randy: I want to die happy. I don't want to die fucking sad, anyway. Probably like, sitting at home, with a guitar in my hand, you know, like something I've always wanted, like a recording studio. I always wanted that, and that's pretty much it. I don't think anybody wants to die a horrible death.

EPMS: I think I picked the wrong question. I want to be eaten by sharks, or jump off a ten-story building.

David: I really honestly don't care how I die, I hope I die with one foot in the blender, the other foot in the fucking sink,

EPMS: My hero!

David: ...Holding a toaster with my hair all fricking... I don't care how I die. What matters to me, is, am I going to be remembered? Not for who I've done what to, but for who I am. Which is why I have the attitude that I have. That's why I'm nice to people I know that aren't nice to me. Because, in the end, the one person that you're going to remember is the person that was there for you. And, I want that person to be me. So, no matter how I die, everyone I know I've helped in life, or done something with in life, or I've touched emotionally, or in their heart or whatever, I know they'll be at my funeral, because that's how I am. If you don't like it, then, I love you anyway. You're going to go to my funeral, because somebody you know likes me. It's as simple as that.