While preparing our Top EP’s of 2010, we discovered a band that may have been our favorite discovery of the year. New Mexico combines the sonic styles of two of our favorite bands; The Strokes and Gang of Four. While some bands take their influences and create something that is derivative, New Mexico bring an energy and passion that hails the early punk movement of the late 70′s and early 80′s. Jake, Rob, and Dustin took a few moments to discuss their influences and their plans to bring their amazing music to a larger audience.
TDOA: The first time I heard Motion Sickness, I thought of Gang of Four and The Strokes. Then I heard a different version that referenced Mission of Burma. As you mix different versions of your songs, do you think about how people will listen to them and how it will remind them of certain bands?
NM: Normally, I would say specific influences are not thought about when mixing music. We kind of mix and produce our music according to what we are feeling at the moment and what sounds good to us for the purpose of serving the song. We are big fans of all of the bands you mentioned so there most likely is a subconscious effect by the influence from those bands according to how we feel while mixing/producing.
TDOA: In your bio, you mention Wire and Mission of Burma, which aren’t exactly household names for the younger generation. Do you make those references to try and catch people’s attention or is it just a genuine reflection of the music you listen to?
NM: Those bands are totally a genuine reflection, and are examples of a vast array of different musical influences we have. A lot of times we find out about groups by people telling us we sound like them. The Wire reference came from Jason Kick from the band, Maus Haus in San Francisco. He heard us when we first started doing shows as a trio and asked if we listened to Wire. Well, we did our research and totally fell in love with Wire. Then, as our sound progressed the subconscious influence of their stylings crept in.
TDOA: I did a double-take at your mention of The Police. Are we talking “Fall Out” Police or “Wrapped Around Your Finger” Police?
NM: Either “Wrapped Around You Finger” or Sting’s, “If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free”…well eventually, if we are so lucky in our refinement. (Fall Out would be a great reference, although I see most of Outlandos D’Amour being a good all over reference as well)
TDOA: Here’s what caught our attention about New Mexico. Each instrument (including vocals) is doing something that is uniquely interesting. We would happily mute the other tracks and listen to one instrument at a time. Do you write songs together or do you each bring in your own ideas and build from there?
NM: We mostly collaborate in our rehearsal space by finding songs in jams we have. Then Rob will apply words to his vocal melodies. Sometimes the melodies and song structure get rewritten over and over as the song grows and as it decides what it needs. The collaborative process may sometimes start by an idea that Rob or I may bring in as well. We then work on the song collaboratively to finish it. Being a trio, we often have more room for creativity in our individual contributions as well, even though we like to keep the music fairly straightforward. Weird is great, but we don’t want to go all schizo on ya (maybe).
TDOA: Oh yeah….. New Mexico. Why pick that as a band name?
NM: So no one could find us on Google… Well, actually we changed our name after we went from 4 members to 3 members. Our sound started to change as well so we decided it was the best thing to do since our momentum needed a reroute. We used to be known as Apes of Wrath, and we had more of a proggy dance rock vibe. Once we became a trio, the garage/post punk sides of us came out more and New Mexico was born. New Mexico represents the land of enchantment and we like to be enchanted.
TDOA: How did you get connected with the folks at Crash Avenue?
NM: We have done a bunch of shows for Larry Little of the music site/blog www.futuresounds.com. They turned Jeff at Crash Avenue onto us, who proceeded to contact us about our music and our plans.
TDOA: We’ve got the new EP and named it #1 on our Best EP’s of 2010 list. More importantly, do you have anything else out? A 7″, a handmade cassette, bootlegs of you collectively singing in the shower????
NM: Wow. Thanks. Right now we have about 6 new finished songs and at least 4 song buds in the works. Currently we are doing some home-style pre-production, and we are wanting to start recording soon (once we get some funds) so we can get at least a single and a full length album released in 2011. We also have a full length album we recorded as Apes of Wrath which was pseudo-released last April. It is more of a transitional album, but we hope to eventually re-release it under New Mexico.
TDOA: What’s next for New Mexico? SXSW? Touring? New material? Soon? Please?
NM: All of the above. We plan on working a lot in 2011. We already have a few California shows in January, and there are some SXSW shows in the works. The new material is part of our live set so until we get our new stuff recorded and released next year our shows will be the only way to experience it. We may be thinking about trying to make little homemade acoustic vids soon as well.