El Paso Music Scene

Six Questions with Diego Salas of King Octopus

EPMS: 1) What is your name, and what instrument do you play?

Diego Salas: My name is Diego Salas. I am the lead guitarist.

EPMS: 2) How long has King Octopus been together? How did you get started?

Diego Salas: King Octopus first started in the summer of 2000. Joe Marin (Bass) and I put the band together after the band we were in fell apart. The original lineup had a different drummer and singer. We played the local scene for a couple of years and whenever the singer got sick we would call Beto Herrera, who was playing with his own band at the time, to fill in. Our singer left town and Joe and I started playing in different bands. Joe and I always remained in contact, we have been hanging out since the seventh grade.

At the begining of 2005, I asked Joe to play bass on some original material I had been working on. He brought along the drummer he was playing with, which was Frank Dang. Things just took off from there. Beto would go see Joe play and mentioned he was interested in playing. Joe and Frank left the band they were playing with. I left the band I was playing with, and we invited Beto to come play, and King Octopus was back. We decided to start with the covers so we could play regularly and get our sound tight. Official rehearsals began on 4/17/05 and the first gig was on 4/23/05, so we put a whole night of covers together in one week and started playing. In our current form we have been together for almost a year.

EPMS: 3) Why 'King Octopus?' Did you consider 'Brother-in-law Octopus?'

Diego Salas: Joe actually came up with the name. A few were tossed around, but King Octopus kinda stood out. It is getting harder and harder to find a name that hasn't already been used, even harder to find a cool one. We knew we didn't want to be a "The" band or a one word name either. Choosing the name has led us to endure some guy in the audience and there usually is always one out there who yells "Hey, King Octopussy", and thinks he's really funny until everyone just ignores him. Other than that, it is a pretty easy name for people to remember, and its weirdness made it possible for us to secure the .com domain.

EPMS: 4) How long have you guys known Andy Quintana of Oasis Lanes?

Diego Salas: As a band only as long as we have been playing there. He used to work with Beto(vocals) a couple of years ago. He was one of the first to book us when we started playing again last year. Great guy.

EPMS: 5) You guys have been pretty successful at getting several steady gigs around the East side. What advice would you give other bands about getting and keeping gigs?

Diego Salas: Always be professional and be careful with the rockstar attitude. Know exactly how to describe what type of music you play and what you can bring to the club/bar. Don't mislead the bar owner/manager just to get the gig then play something else, they usually know their customers pretty well and aren't likely to book somone who is going to bore or scare away their customers. Being able to give a bar owner/manager a set list is usually the best way to let them know what you are all about. Do everything within your power to NEVER cancel a gig. Owner/managers don't like having to scramble and try to find a band on Thurday night to play on Friday. Also if you show them you are reliable and stable you might just become their go-to-band, then they won't hesitate to book you more often and months in advance. Last but not least, practice and play to the best of your abilities at each show, and try to maintain a certain level of consistency in your playing and sound quality. Bar owners/managers are more forgiving if you have an off night when they know 99% of the time you put on a good show.

EPMS: 6) Would you like to play the West side and Northeast more? Why don't you?

Diego Salas: Yes, we would. Unfortunately their isn't many places for a band like us to play on the West side. The only places we have played are Bombardiers and Fiesta Lanes which are both great places to play, but I can't really think of any other venues on the west side that would like to have us play. The Northeast is virgin territory for us, we need to find time to make it out there and talk to some clubs.

EPMS: Anything else you'd like to add?

Diego Salas: Thank you Charles, for taking an interest in King Octopus. Be on the lookout for our first full-length CD, coming very soon. The CD release party and the website launch are going to happen at the same time, so King Octopus will have a lot to offer in the coming months. Thanks again.