Dark Room, Good Speakers: Interview with Buddha Trixie
Written and Photographed by Rick Perez
San Diego, California
After a year and a half of recording, San Diego’s Buddha Trixie have released their much anticipated LP, Stop the Space Age. A true labor of love, the band members dedicated entire weekends to meeting and recording each song despite living in separate cities. On one of the rare occasions when they are in the same city, BoC met with Dennis, Andrew, Kenzo and Daniel to discuss how they stay a band while being in different cities, what they would have for their last meal, and the type of sonic journey Stop the Space Age will take us on.
Who is Buddha Trixie and what is your music all about?
Dennis- Bass. A four piece band from San Diego that plays space or….psych rock? It’s hard to categorize a genre.
Andrew- Guitar. We try to sound as big as possible. We want people to think “this is my life happening” when they listen to us.
Daniel- Drums and lead singer. I just want to be music for people to listen to when they’re going through tough shit. Hopefully we can help in some way. I want to people to cry and mosh at the same time.
Kenzo- Keyboard, rhythm guitar. I want people to have fun while they listen to us.
Right now, each of you are living in different cities all over California. How are you making it work as a band?
Dennis- Music is therapeutic for me, so I play everyday, often in loops. Whatever I like from that I send to these guys via soundcloud. We use a collaborative soundcloud when we’re apart.
Andrew- I do the same. Since we’ve completed our record, we’ve been a little lax on songwriting. But we’re gonna write more on this break that we have together.
Daniel, you’re the lead singer as well as a the drummer. I’ve never seen a band that has the drummer as the lead singer. Do people make comments about that?
Daniel- Ya, it’s different. Sometimes venues scuffle a little “Why do you have your drum kit up front!?! Why are you standing up while playing drums?!” But as we are growing as far as our visuals, me being labeled as a ‘front man’ is taking a back seat. Our shows are moving towards the live performances of bands like Pink Floyd and Tame Impala. It’s not about us rocking out, but rather taking the audience to another world.
Tell us about your record, Stop the Space Age.
Dennis-It’s definitely a journey, a concept record. I started jamming at a studio called Rock, Inc. up in Sacramento with a couple buddies. The jams were more like odysseys that taught me so much about free expression and how to be a better musician. It was such a creative environment and I knew that we HAD to record here. It became destiny.
The guys met Ian, our producer, and we kicked off the sessions January of 2016.
Daniel-We made a decision about which specific songs we were going to do. We dedicated a weekend per song. It lasted until May of 2017.
Dennis- When I was thinking of the track list I though of two halves of a story. The story is about humanity and trajectory of where we are going. The first half I would place in a futuristic city. Eventually you escape and go out in a more natural setting. The second half is much more about the beauty of nature. It’s an arc that I encourage people to sit down and listen the whole way through. Preferably in a dark room with good speakers and see where it takes you.
What was the first show you ever played?
Andrew-The first show we ever played (Andrew, Daniel, Dennis) was maybe our middle school talent show.
Daniel- Oh yeah, ‘Little Wing’ by Jimi Hendrix
Dennis-We just like jammed and we got a standing ovation.
Daniel-Our first show with Kenzo was at Legend Records. Itwasn’t a very good turn out.
Dennis-It was an awkward local show. Everyone left before our set. The headliner asked if we wanted to switch. All of their friends and fans peaced out before us.
Daniel-It’s a growing experience, like the first time you have sex.
What was the first concert you attended?
Daniel- I think mine was the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Dennis. That was like…junior year of high school? Or maybe sophomore year.
Andrew- I saw Aerosmith and Motely Crue with my Dad and brother in middle school.
Kenzo- Mine was Green Day on the 21st Century tour. In retrospect wasn’t my favotire Green Day album, but cool nonetheless.
Dennis- When I was 7 I saw Kiss and Aerosmith, not sure if I want to count that because I was 7 and fell asleep. I saw Green Day when I was 8, they were my first favorite band in the 4th grade. The first show that made me want to go to more shows was M83 when I was 16. From then on I was like “Oh this is what live music can do to me?!”
What was the last concert you went to?
Kenzo- It was at a basement show called Turtle House in Davis. Separate Spines from Sacramento played, my band Knobby, and another guy named Elijah. The last big one was The Melvins at the observatory in Santa Ana over the summer.
Dennis- My last show was Thom Yorke in Oakland.
Daniel- Cherry Glazer. My favorite recent show, however, was Homeshake and Mild High Club. Homeshake was SO good.
Andrew- The last real show I want to was Tame Impala at Red Rocks. That was August of 2016, that was really long time ago. It was the best show I’ve seen in my entire life.
If you had to pick your last meal, what would you order?
Dennis- I’m coming back here, Mike’s Taco!
Daniel- Some iteration of a burrito, maybe a Cali B (California Burrito).
Kenzo- There’s this place called “What’s Up?” that has the best ramen I’ve ever had. I’d eat there and then die right after.
Andrew- Maybe steak and watermelon. Lots of watermelon.
What’s the one album that makes you think of 2017?
Daniel- ‘Anti-Socialites’ by Alvvays
Dennis- ‘Drunk’ by Thundercat
Kenzo- ‘Strange Peace’ by Metz
Andrew- It’s hard to think of what I listen to without looking at my Spotify. I’ve been listening to Neutral Milk Hotel. My dog passed away this year, and it’s a good record to listen to when you experience a loss.
Daniel- Ellie was a great dog. Definitely part of our friendship.
What can we expect from Buddha Trixie in 2018?
Dennis- We’re still picking up the pieces from such a life changing experience of making the album, our biggest achievement to date. It’s kinda hard to hit the reset button and have a clean slate. We gotta put the record out there more.
Andrew-We are focusing on our live shows, working on acquiring a lot of gear for that.
Kenzo-I just want to play as many shows as we can.
Daniel- Were talking about planning a tour. Trying to get backlights and projections. We want to have a visual and sonic experience. We’re playing with The Frights at Soma in February.