By Dulce Balandran
CITY OF ORIGIN: Loma Linda.
KINDERED SPIRITS: Satoshi Kon, Larry David, Eddie Huang and Cantinflas.
RECENT RELEASES: The Saint Somewhere EP (2012).
FREQUENTS: Hangar 24 (Redlands) and Back to the Grind (Riverside).
Hailing from Redlands, these music nerds have a strong background in classical music and have been making stellar and professional-sounding music since high school. For five years, these guys have been performing shows all over So-Cal, from Lake Elsinore to Hollywood, and their most recent release The Saint Somewhere EP is a collection of all its musical gems since its inception. Kid Gramophone’s music is anything but nerdy now, bringing together a mix of indie, pop and rock that’s fun, well written, expertly executed and energetic. All in all, this band creates exceptional tunes, perfect for hanging out with friends or a leisurely drive through sunny Southern California.
How Kid Gramophone start up?
Israel Mendez: Kid Gramophone really had its start when Tim and I met in high school. Everyone in the band was raised in a really religious, conservative, Seventh-Day Adventist household. Tim and I were not allowed to listen to any music that wasn’t religious. This made us really seek out music we liked and this made any album we got a hold of really precious. We were also really late on a lot of great stuff; I remember Weezer’s Pinkerton album was a pretty big deal.
How would you describe your music?
Mendez: We’re like a great Thai dish or Mexican candy. We’re spicy but we’re also sweet.
Is there anything that gives you guys a unique sound?
Mendez: In high school Tim and I were in choir together. I played in the school orchestra, and Dave and Hobbs played in their school orchestra. So we’re all music nerds. This means we like to play music that challenges us, but we also try to make music that people who don’t know any music theory can sing and dance to.
Do you have any upcoming shows or new releases?
Mendez: We have a show coming up on Oct. 24th at The Talking Stick in Venice and on Oct. 26th at Chain Reaction in Anaheim. Also, we’re currently writing and preparing to record a new EP. We’ve been talking as a band about what we’re interested in writing about. We’ve come to the conclusion that we’re interested in food, language, people and city life. We’re interested in the places where people and ideas intersect. When it comes to shows, we always keep our fans updated on Facebook and on our website. You can also download our most recent EP at www.kidgramophone.bandcamp.com.
If you had one line to let the world know what you’re all about, what would you say?
Mendez: Dude, just try it, you might actually like it.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Mendez: Seriously, do you really want to live your life like that loser kid, Arnold, from the Magic School Bus?