What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
In late 2016, Vince (guitar) and Jose (keys, vocals) were living in a house with a pretty grimy basement. Since it was rarely in use, the two decided to use the basement as a space for writing ‘fun’ music; and thus, the band was born. Vince and Jose are actually cousins, so it’s really a family band. Along the way, they found Drew (drums) and Connor (bass), and spent the next 3 years playing house shows in the Berkeley area.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Oh Baby, Baby and Ma’am, Get Off the Train are both songs from our upcoming EP, Homework Sleepover. We envisioned the EP as a sort of tribute to the ‘college experience’, and a reflection of our earlier, high school and middle school years.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Biggest musical influences are probably Foxygen, The Unicorns, and Of Montreal. When we discovered these bands, we were blown away by how many parts they could fit into their 3-minute songs. That style of songwriting made a big impression on us. Absolutely no idea on the non-music influences… possibly Gandhi?
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
We try to blend the gritty, crunchy garage-rock sound with a softer, psychedelic pop sensibility. We like to think there’s a little something for everyone in there.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Albums: Cherry Peel (Of Montreal), Al Final De Este Viaje (Silvio Rodriguez), Sunbathing Animal (Parquet Courts)
Movies: Good Will Hunting, Como Agua Para Chocolate, The Princess Bride
Books: A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens), La Tregua (Mario Benedetti), Trainspotting (Irvine Welsh)
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
The main goal of the Missionaries is to give a fun and energetic live performance that people can enjoy and feel like they’re a part of. We enjoy the adrenaline and release that comes with performing in front of people. Our bias towards playing live even comes out in our studio sound. In the studio we’ve tried our best to sound like a live band that just happened to be recorded during a practice session.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
We played at a park in Berkeley that is well known for being the home to a significant homeless population. During our set an older homeless man shouted out, “too many damn changes!” We told him there was nothing we could do about it, the songs were already written, and continued to play.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
We try to switch styles and tempos during our songs, while attempting to keep repetition to a minimum (which is part of the reason our songs tend to stay around a 2:30 run time). Mirage is the best example of this. There is a verse that is played twice and three other parts that are all pretty different in style i.e. no choruses. We believe creativity can really shine through with this style of songwriting, and not be stymied by having to fit in the standard verse, chorus, bridge song structure.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
We plan to keep playing live around the Bay Area and to hopefully venturing into other parts of the state and country (Jose would love for us to even play a few shows south of the border). We are also currently working on an EP that tells the story of a very beautiful, but not quite human, alien girl.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
If you could play with a group of a different genre what would it be?
We’ve had this long time dream of playing a three-act show that features us, a jazz combo, and a rapper. We would love to play on a bill that could give an audience a varied night of music, and maybe even expose some people to something they wouldn’t normally go out and see. It would be fun to make fans across different genres.
Photo credits: Puru Bagga (1st one), Alex Nobida (2nd one)
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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