By Rick Perez
Exploring the psychedelic elements of the universe, the 60’s revival band Mystic Braves take us on a retro journey filled with dreamy west coast vibes and sun drenched surf rock. Based in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, members Cameron Gartung (drums), Tony Malacara (bass, vocals), Julian Ducatenzieler (guitar, vocals), Ignacio Gonzalez (organ), and Shane Stots (guitar, vocals) have gained popularity by opening for the Zombies and having their single “Bright Blue Day Haze” set to the Yves Saint Laurent Summer 2015 fashion show. Having completed their latest album “Days of Yesteryear”, the groovy dudes of Mystic Braves are ensured to have a pretty bitchin 2016.
Check out BoC’s interview with Mystic Braves, where they shared stories about their collaborations with Yves Saint Laurent, Rob Campanella of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and what they do in their spare time.
Who are Mystic Braves and what is your music all about?
Mystic Braves: Mystic Braves are Cameron Gartung (drums), Tony Malacara (bass, vocals), Julian Ducatenzieler (guitar, vocals), Ignacio Gonzalez (organ), & Shane Stots (guitar, vocals). Our music is about bringing the sounds of the universe alive through our experiences and influences. We are good friends making music that moves us.We play music we like and the sonic aesthetic comes from sounds that have inspired us over the years.
For each member, who was your childhood hero?
Mystic Braves: We can all agree on the Beatles and the Byrds.
Mystic Braves worked with the Brian Jonestown Massacre guitarist Rob Campanella on your new LP, Days of Yesteryear. How was that experience? What was the best advice or suggestion he gave during your time together?
Mystic Braves: Working with Rob was such a great experience. Right away, it was clear that he knew what we were trying to accomplish. It was like having a 6th member in the band. His studio, which is in the basement of his house, has the best instruments and vibes. The best advice or suggestions came from his honesty. He was very upfront and honest about things we were doing that he felt could be better.
How has Mystic Braves evolved as a group since initial debut self-titled album?
Mystic Braves: We have begun to explore a new approach to making a record. The last 2 albums were sort of a photograph and documentation of our sound at the time. They were mostly all recorded live. This new album was more a studio album in the sense that we came in to Rob’s studio with ideas and finalized them there. We have also introduced new instruments such as 12 string guitars, electric and acoustic piano, tambura, and some more. We hope to keep pushing our sonic palette and ourselves even more!
Mystic Braves composed the music for the Summer 2015 Yves Saint Laurent fashion film. How did that collaboration happen? What was the process like?
Mystic Braves: That happened after Hedi Slimane took interest in our music community based out of Lolipop Records. He had been working with other Lolipop bands such as Froth, Corners, among others. He approached us after a set at Desert Daze festival, which was followed by a collaboration. We created an extended version of “Bright Blue Day Haze” off of our second album Desert Island. We worked with our good friend and producer Joel Jerome on this. It was interesting to take apart a song and find sort of black holes in the song that can go anywhere.
Are there any other type of collaborations you hope to be apart of?
Mystic Braves: Not in particular. But we are always open for a sonic psychedelic adventure.
Other than play music, what does each member like to do in their spare time?
Mystic Braves: Shane and Ignacio have another group called The Creation Factory. Ignacio also runs Lolipop Records. He also records bands at Lolipop. Cameron keeps busy playing drums on people’s albums. He is also a record collector and is a part of transcendental disc jockey outfit The Cosmic Brotherhood which hosts a great listening experience every Sunday at Monty Bar and beyond. Tony enjoys a good time with his family back in San Diego and when the band is not playing touring or recording he is still continuously writing songs. Julian has a passion for soccer. He is a part of a soccer league in his hometown of Temecula.
For each member, if you can have any actor play yourself in your biographical film, who would it be and why?
Mystic Braves: We would like to see a biographical film where we are portrayed as apes. Kind of like a rock n roll version of Planet of the Apes.
Friday night in Los Angeles, California: Where is Mystic Braves hanging out?
Mystic Braves: Echo Park. A lot of our friends are constantly playing shows or djing somewhere. Maybe going to an instore show at Lolipop or having a midnight BBQ.
What’s next for Mystic Braves?
Mystic Braves: We are going to keep writing songs and sharing our creations with the world. We hope to tour the world sharing our sounds with whoever want in.