Spooky Cigarette is one of the best up and coming bands in San Diego. Lead singer Frank took the time to answer some questions from Carlos V after the Burger Revolution show they played for us.
CV: You guys seemed to form this band by accident. Why do you think that a lot of successful projects start out that way?
SC: I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was by accident, but certainly without purpose. With that said, whatever success this project’s has had was most likely driven by that fact; that it had no purpose. There is no pressure to be anyone or do anything in particular when you’re doing it out of sheer passion and curiosity. Its that very act that steers artists to something fun and unusual, and it seems that its that usual factor that tends to be new and interesting new to people. Not saying that one should not have direction, but I think that the use of skill and knowledge works best as a means to make the unusual understandable to others; not as a the means to be successful.
CV: How did you guys get involved with Bleeding Gold records?
SC: Our previous rhythm guitarist/keyboardist – Ren Rogers – is nephew to the Bleeding Gold’s owner, Roger Preston. At the time, Roger had a vast catalog of bands from around the globe but not many were local. We knew that he wanted to support more local artists so we decided to reach out to him. Luckily, we impressed him enough to begin working with him.
CV: Do you think a rock band can be like Nirvana again? Meaning, can there be a rock band that totally changes the guard, at least for a few years and just have DIY rock on top of the charts and at the same time shun the main stream?
SC: I think so, yes. In fact, that seems to be the reoccurring cycle in music’s history. One can argue that the Ramones were in that position in the late seventies and brought the DIY-genre punk to the mainstream. It appears that people are disenchanted whenever things are handed and sold to them. It common for one toy rebel when it’s obvious that that’s what’s happening to them. When you’re told what to buy, you’re nothing but a consumer. When you decide what you buy, you’re supporting a cause and are a part of something.
CV: Do you plan on making any music videos? Are music videos less important because MTV doesn’t really exist any more, or are they more important because there’s Youtube and other online video platforms?
SC: Yes, we have a music video for “Oh Well” which was released May 2016. We are planning to release a video for “Normal” this summer. Music videos are an excellent platform to do art so I like to think that they’re always important regardless of how they are exhibited. But in the matter of speaking, they are particularly important for bands these days since there are so many sources to hear music online.
CV: I know you guys played MEEP in Tijuana. What was that experience like?
SC: At one point, all of the members in our band have played in Tijuana before in one band or another. But I think MEEP was the first time we saw the full magnitude of that scene. Like any scene, there were the hip clicks, bitter bartenders, and hardworking musicians. But unlike others, it was clear that people were there because their crazy about art and music, instead of it being there in order to make an appearance. Between mingling with the locals and watching some of the best bands Tijuana has to offer, it clear that people there are just passionate music lovers and that is their lifestyle.
CV: What do you think is holding back San Diego from being a bigger artistic Mecca like Tijuana, Los Angeles, or San Francisco?
SC: I think one reason may be the proximity to those cities. When bands are nearing “making it”, it’s often wiser to go to cities where the music scene is thriving. So the scene that could exist in San Diego never forms; it gets sucked up by the scenes of those that are greater. Further, I think it has to do with the demographics. San Diego is arguably best described as a suburb of retired elderly, military brats, and tourists. LA, on the other hand, is known for being a major city of the arts and entertainment so people move there to “make it”. So there’s less people in San Diego interested in doing things like going to shows and starting bands compared to a place like LA.
CV: What are your goals for this band? Do you plan on staying in San Diego?
SC: We’re just taking things one step at a time right now. We’re currently working on adding several new songs to our set, and doing another EP. We also want to connect with more bands in LA and Tijuana in attempt to unite all three cities. So our goal is to set-up/play more shows in those cities, and do the same for LA and TJ bands here.
CV: What are your favorite places to hang or drink/eat in San Diego?
SC: Most of us live in North Park so we’re often at places around there. We go to Bluefoot and Livewire pretty often. We like restaurants like Riki Sushi and Luigis. Calima’s on University has become a new favorite.
SC: When can we expect your full length album?
CV:Probably not for some time, haha. It feels like there’s definitely going to be a most appropriate time for a full-length. However, we are planning on releasing a 7″ this summer.
SC: This zine is named after a candy. What’s your favorite candy?
CV: I’m a sucker (no pun intended) for sweet and chewy candy like fruit snacks, gummy bears, licorice, etc. Lately, I’ve been into those strawberry fruit snacks by Welch’s
Catch Spooky Cigarette at a show near you and listen to them on Spotify!