Interview With Destroy Boys' Alexia Roditis and Violet Mayugba
The Sacramento, California-based punk rock trio Destroy Boys will release their third full-length album, Open Mouth, Open Heart, via Hopeless Records on October 8th. To the lead-up to the album's release, bandmates Alexia Roditis (vocals/guitar) and Violet Mayugba (guitar/backing vocals) took some time out of their busy schedules to speak with me and talk about their forthcoming album OMOH and much more!
Three albums into your career now, how would you say Open Mouth, Open Heart is an evolution for the band? How does it compare to your last two albums, Sorry, Mom and Make Room? Violet: A huge difference in this album from our past two albums is that we had time to make it. Sorry, Mom was recorded, mixed, and mastered in ten hours and released the next day. Make Room was significantly less rushed, but all the instruments were done in two days. OMOH took a month to record. This way, the songs are much more fleshed out and have more thought put into them. We also had the opportunity to add new instruments, like keys and percussion.
How was it hunkering down in the studio back in February with music producer Will Yip to get this record tracked? Violet: Working with Will in PA was one of the coolest and most educational experiences in my life so far. Him and Alexia immediately connected and were able to push the songs as far as they could go together. He was instrumental in the success of this album.
You wrote and recorded the album's lead single "Muzzle" in Los Angeles with Martin Cooke sometime before embarking to Philadelphia to work with Will Yip. Was that track intended to simply be a standalone single that just later on still fit the album's vibe to be included on it? What’s the story there? Violet: "Muzzle" was one of the first songs we had written for the album, and it was one of the easiest to execute, so we decided to have it be our debut single before we announced -or even finished- OMOH. We worked with Martin on Make Room, so the existing rapport made it super easy to work on the song together.
What was the defining moment that led you to write your first ever Spanish tracks -"Lo peor" and "Te llevo conmigo"- for the forthcoming album? Alexia: I've always wanted to write some songs in Spanish for Destroy Boys because I think it's sick! And I love when artists sing in different languages (Omar Apollo, Rico Nasty, Kali Uchis, to name a few). My dad says that every language a person speaks is a different person, and I agree! It's a whole side of me that I want to share with people. "Te llevo conmigo" is about my family, particularly on my dad's side (Argentinian side), so it made sense to me that it would be in Spanish.
Do you happen to have a profound moment from either writing or recording the new album that still resonates with you today? Alexia: Wow, there are so many to pick from! It was a challenging and magical experience. One moment that sticks out is when we were doing the pre-production of "Secrets." We were playing it live, and I remember being so engrossed in this song, I always sort of get mesmerized and mentally go somewhere else during this one. I sang the last chorus, and I started crying after singing this one-note. I started crying! Legit. You can hear it in the pre-production version. I had never sung it like that before because we added it in the studio and because we lowered the key. The song's emotionality, plus my astonishment at my own voice just... made me tear up. That was really something.
When you formed Destroy Boys in 2015, did you always know you were going to use this platform to discuss the immensely important subjects you sing about? Violet: Writing about subjects we care about has always been second nature to us. We are very honest and upfront in our songwriting, it comes straight from the heart. There was never an official decision made to write about any one subject, it just comes out naturally.
You have always been outspoken advocates for many social justice issues including, but not limited to LGBTQIA+ rights, racial equality, and inclusion for all, to name a few. Are there any others that you tackle on Open Mouth, Open Heart that you haven’t written about before?
Alexia: Haha YES! Actually, a lot of these songs have to do with new topics. But the one I'm thinking about is called "For What," and it's about police brutality and just being so fucking mad at the system and the government for not doing anything to help its people when they very well could. It's a conversation with myself too, about the ways that I -and all of us- hold up structures of oppression without knowing why. I am so stoked for this one.
As aforementioned, Open Mouth, Open Heart was written and recorded earlier this year during the ongoing pandemic. How did it impact your usual process, if in any way? What was the biggest hurdle for you? Violet: For recording, not being able to go out and celebrate after a session was a bummer, but otherwise, it almost felt like a return to normalcy. For writing the album, COVID shaped and influenced a lot of the experiences we sing about on the record, but not in obvious ways. The effects are more subtle.
Lastly, is there anything you wished people asked you during an interview but never do, and what would the answer to the said question be?
Alexia: Hmm... I can't think of a particular question off the top of my head, but I like anything out of the box. Like, I wish people asked more silly questions sometimes.
Thanks for taking the time, Violet and Alexia. Is there anything else you may want to add before you go? Violet: Thank you so much for having us! OMOH is out on Hopeless Records this October!
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