Amor Amezcua and Estrella Sanchez grew up across the border from San Diego, in a small beach community in Tijuana. When they met in high school, they immediately bonded over a shared fondness for British and American indie rock music, although they didn’t have easy access to it.
When Amezcua began work on a solo project, she asked Sanchez to contribute keyboards to a track. Shortly after, the two decided to form Mint Field, creating an echoing shoegaze-inspired sound with reverb-heavy guitar and airy vocals. In the roughly three years since, they’ve released Mint Field’s 2015 debut EP, Primeras Salidas, and released their first album, Pasar De Las Luces, via Innovative Leisure on February 23. Before the start of their US and UK tour, we talked with the band about their influences, growing sonically, and the departure from their self-taught, DIY background into their first professional recordings and a lengthy US tour.
AdHoc: How did you all meet?
Amor Amezcua: We met about three years ago, when we were in high school. We lived in a really small town by the beach, where pretty much everybody knows each other. We realized that we had very similar music tastes, and we started talking a lot after that. I was working on a project, and I asked Estrella, “Maybe you should do keyboards in this song.” It didn’t really work out, but she wanted to make a band, with more instruments and stuff. I had a drum set in my house and she was playing guitar. Ever since then, we’ve [played music together]. Now, almost every day, we rehearse and write songs.
What kind of music did you initially bond over?
Amor: At that time, we listened to garage rock, indie, and alternative music. And where we live, there’s not [a lot of] people that listen to that type of music. It was special to us. It’s hard to think of specific bands, but we bonded over music.
Last Saturday March 17th, Danny L Harle brought his epic HARLECOR3 show featuring Serena Jana, Jen Mas, DJ Ocean and DJ Fuck to the Sunnyvale stage. Nick Karp got some sweet snaps of the evening – check them out below!
Jackson MacIntosh’s musical trajectory has been a seemingly haphazard one. The Montreal-based musician, who also works as the bassist in TOPS, picked up that instrument “opportunistically” so that he could go on tour with a friend. In addition to playing bass, MacIntosh worked as a producer with Homeshake, producing records on a DIY, trial and error basis. While recording with Homeshake, he admits that he would desperately Google manuals for instruments and recording processes.
Despite the musician’s professed lack of organizational skills and focus, his first record, My Dark Side, is polished nonetheless. It’s whimsical and bittersweet, with reverb-heavy guitar, chilling harmonies, and winding bass lines. MacIntosh adopts classic rock motifs as a conduit for themes of listlessness and falling out of love. My Dark Side is out now via Sinderlyn Records. You can catch Jackson MacIntosh at Union Pool on March 23.
How did the idea to produce your own solo album come about?
I suppose the first time I really thought about it was when I was out… I think I was out drinking with Dave [Carriere] and Jane [Penny] from TOPS. We were talking about album titles. You know, sometimes you’ll talk about the fictional title of your future autobiography or something? It was that kind of thing; we were just joking around. And for some reason, I thought it was really funny, the idea of having the title of my solo album be My Dark Side.
And I’ve always written songs and made demos and stuff on my own. And I have another band called Sheer Agony, and there were just some songs that didn’t really work for that project. I had demos, and I was like, “Why don’t I just do it? I can play all these instruments. Why not actually just try and put them out?”
I had this vague idea for a record called My Dark Side. And over the course of two years, [I] just chipped away at it. It was something I didn’t really expect to come to fruition. I finished a set of songs for a new Sheer Agony record that hasn’t come out yet, and realized I had a whole other record’s worth of songs. So I sent them off to the people at Captured Tracks, and they said, “Great, let’s do it!” So it’s been this nice, semi-accidental, serendipitous thing up to this point.
What inspired My Dark Side?
I was pretty influenced by this Momus record, Timelord. I don’t know if [the album] is sonically influenced by it that much, but it’s this very...it’s so clever to the point where it’s almost annoying. As much as I like a lot of [Nick Currie’s] stuff, he’s also a real strange individual. [But] that record is this kind of sad, break up record. In a way, he’s being less clever on that one. Because you really just sit down, you hit a note on the piano, and it kind of wanders along in its own way. That influenced the record in a funny, indirect way.
A lot has changed for Lindsey Jordan since she played her first show in 2015, assembling an ad hoc crew to open for Priests and Sheer Mag at a festival. Snail Mail’s jangly, introspective sound—layered with the Ellicot City, Maryland native’s carefully constructed lyrics—belies the band’s spontaneous origins. In a little under three years, they’ve released an EP on Priest’s Sister Polygon label, toured the United States, and signed to a major indie—all while Lindsey was finishing up high school. Ahead of Snail Mail’s debut studio album, which is due out on Matador this summer, she spoke to us about being a feminist musician, balancing schoolwork with touring, and growing up.
What inspired you to start playing music?
I don't know—it's just a hobby. I started playing guitar when I was five, and I didn't start writing songs until I was 12 or 13. I recorded an EP on Apple Garageband a really long time ago that's not on the internet anymore, and I formed a live band to play this one show—just for fun. Then we recorded the EP, Habit, because we had some friends that were willing to help us with it. Originally, our goal was to do these five or six songs, or whatever. I mean, I never really intended for it to go well, you know?
What's the scene like in Baltimore? Was there any particular show or band or space that was really inspiring to you?
I hung out a lot at Black Cat in DC. I saw a lot of punk bands there, and I feel like that world was pretty encouraging as far as starting your own band. I don't know about now, but there are a lot of really great record stores in Baltimore. Celebrated Summer in Hampden is where I discovered a lot of the punk music I really love now.
DC is a really big place for punk. It's a really big creative hub, with a lot of DIY spaces, and there are a lot of young people doing awesome stuff. I have some friends who play in punk bands in Baltimore. I think [Baltimore has] got a culture of people who work really hard and think outside the box.
Do you love going to see live music in NYC? Wanna spread the word about awesome AdHoc events in your neighborhood? You're in luck!
We are on the look-out for passionate volunteers to join our street team to help distribute posters, handbills, and our monthly print zine at various locations in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan. Each member must be willing to drop off promo materials at around 10 or more small local businesses aroud town.
Earn free tickets to our events including sold-out shows, parties, and events each time you help distribute promotional materials! If you are interested in joining us, apply HERE.
Australian indie outfit Big White’s “How Did You Find Out” is a humorous ode to the 80s complete with thick-framed glasses, awkward mullets, and mom jeans. The video’s grainy, VHS aesthetics are a perfect pair with the upbeat, synth-driven, New Wave-inspired track.
The band got their start after they were spotted by Burger Records scouts at a pub in Sydney. Following their debut album On + On, the band went on a nine-week tour across their native Australia, Europe, and North America. Their newest video, ”How Do You Find Out,” reflects the band’s DIY ethos. Using inexpensive materials and the help of their friends, Big White explores themes of misconception and failure.
"Our approach to everything is to do it yourself. With a little help from friends along the way, we tend to take things into our own hands,” Big White’s Jack T. Wotton tells AdHoc over email. “We are playing with the idea that it doesn't matter what you say, it's what you do. There's no truth in stories, and that's all the more reason to tell them."
AdHoc Issue 25 is here! Download a PDF of the zine at this link.
Howdy, pardners! God, we’re so sorry we said “howdy” and “pardners”; it’s SxSW time again, and we’re excited. Last year, after our yearly showcase at Cheer Up Charlies, we snuck away from the bustle of Dirty Sixth Street and hit the Broken Spoke, a legendary country dancehall with an entire room dedicated to the cowboy hats of the rich and famous. Between glugs of Lone Star, we caught a set from The Derailers, one of the greatest and loudest honky-tonk bands of our time. They covered Buck Owens, they covered The Beatles, they played songs about heartbreak and hangovers, and we tried to dance along with the regulars and failed miserably. That spirit of discovery and possibility defines the SxSW experience, no matter how many stages get sponsored by Doritos.
This year, if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, we’ll be back at Cheer Up Charlies on Red River, putting on two nights of shows on two stages, featuring sets from Snail Mail and Flasher—two artists featured in this zine—as well as HOVVDY, Sudan Archives, A Place to Bury Strangers, Sammus, and Ought. We’ll see you at HOVVDY, pardners, and we’ll try to keep the puns at a minimum.
AdHoc 25's contributors:
Taylor Mulitz is a freelance designer and the guitarist and vocalist of Flasher. He designed this issue’s cover.
Anna True is a food-motivated graphic designer and illustrator. She made the illustrations for this zine.
Jeff Rosenstock is an up-and-coming songwriter from NYC. He penned this issue’s advice column.
Look out for physical copies both at our shows and at record stores, bookstores, coffee shops, and community centers throughout the city. There will also be copies at our SxSW showcases at Cheer Up Charlies. If you happen to live outside of New York, you may order a copy as well.