Jacuzzi Boys

Video Credit: Hardly Art Official YouTube Channel

They sound how a warm summer night feels.

Maybe that’s because the Jacuzzi Boys are a trio from Miami. Or maybe its because when Gabriel Alcala, Diego Monasterios, and Danny Gonzales get together, its all fuzzy, pop/synth and good vibes. Whatever it is, the guys have bottled the magic of partying until the sun comes up, good friends and good times with their sound. Having come together in 2007, the boys Jacuzzi have been creating, touring, partying, (repeat) for the better part of the last six years.

Their debut full length No Seasons was released via Orlando’s indie punk label Florida’s Dying in 2009, followed by their sophomore effort in 2011, Glazin’, which was released through their current label Hardly Art.

This year, they are stoked about the release of their third album, a self-titled full-length collection of smooth, stoner haze, garage rock, is due out in September.

We recently caught up with the Jacuzzi Boys to talk about their recording process, their inspirations, and what it means to come from Miami.

 

How did the three of you get started?

Diego and I went to high school together and started getting into punk rock. The first band that made us want to buy instruments and start a band ourselves was when we started to get into the New York Dolls. So we both bought instruments. He bought a drum kit, and I bought a guitar, and we went into this room and covered rock and roll songs. Then we met Danny through our friend, who is our driver now. We put out our first 7” through [indie label] Florida’s Dying, and our first LP came out through them too.

How did the name come about?

It was thrown out as a joke. And then it just sort of stuck.

How does Miami influence your music?

Miami is really isolated. Its like… we don’t get as many touring bands coming through. But I think the climate and the culture influence the songs.

Does that isolation help or hinder you?

I think it does both. I think people are really excited down there, for us. There are a handful of rock and roll bands. I think they get excited, maybe more so [than other places]. But it definitely hinders in the sense that, we don’t have bands coming in every week like other cities.

What musical influences do the three of you share?

We listen to a wide range of stuff. We play a lot of country in the van…a lot of punk stuff, and a lot of old Miami hip-hop.

Can you talk about your song writing process?

Every time we write a song, it can come from a different place. There are some times when we say, like, ‘lets write a really up tempo, rocker, or something.’ But usually it just comes naturally from a cool song title or a bass part or a drumbeat, or a guitar part. It can come from anywhere. Sometimes its conscious, and sometimes we just go with the flow.

How would you describe your sound?

I think the second album, that statement is more accurate. I think that on Glazin, a lot of the songs were more surface, like love songs or pop ballads. I think it was really sugary, on the surface. But I don’t think that’s the vibe on the new album. The new album has thug-er stuff in it. Like, they are all pop songs, but the new album has harder stuff to it. The newer album has a different vibe to it. It has like a nighttime vibe. Like a 5 in the morning, still partying, kind of vibe.

You travel to Key Club Recording Company in Michigan for your studio time. Why do you travel so far?

Yeah, we basically drove up there in one go. It’s pretty far. It’s an amazing studio. It’s owned by this couple, Bill and Jessica. And the place is super, super cool. Walking in there, its just like, ‘holy shit’. We stayed there for a month this time, which is the longest we’ve gone in the studio. Upstairs there’s bunk beds, and we are able to work all day. We sleep there and it’s like a summer camp. So we will wake up, and have lunch. Then we will basically work all day, and at night we’ll start drinking or whatever, and basically we work until like 3am.

What instrument, effect, or production element have you guys come to really like?

On this new album, we used a synth for the different textures. And we sort of harmonized guitars a lot. They make this really cool, weird sound. Like instead of playing chords and harmonizing chords, we would harmonize the notes. It makes this really weird sound that’s cool. You can hear it on a couple of the songs on the new album.

What is your favorite song to play live?

To play live, I think ‘Double Vision’ is really fun. And I think one of my favorite songs on the album is ‘UltraGlide’

Is there a highlight moment on tour? Or is there something you’re looking forward to?

I think Nashville is always so amazing to us. We have a lot of friends there. The scene in Nashville is super cool. Its one of the coolest places to play. And the show we did, was like 2 or 3 days ago…it was super fun. But things we are looking forward to, I am really looking forward to playing Chicago. Its two nights in a row at the Empty Bottle. The Empty Bottle is like, an amazing place. We’ve played there, I think, once or twice before. And its just super cool. And we are meeting up with the band we are going to be touring with, Man or Astroman.

What was it like to play at SXSW?

No, we went the year before, and played like three shows. And this year was like 10. In a weird way, the year before, and only playing three shows, was way more exhausting. Because when you only play three shows, the rest of the time, you’re just walking around, looking for stuff to do, drinking. And you just end up feeling exhausted. But when you play shows back-to-back, you have something to do. You just go on autopilot.

Having been around for 6 years, have you noticed any personal change within the band? What about within the industry?

I think a lot has changed, and I think a lot hasn’t. But I think we are the same band. We are having as much fun as we did on our first tour. We still want the same things; we still want to play, and get our music out there, put out good records. As far as our music, I think…it’s hard to describe. When we first started out, we definitely knew how to play less. Like, our instruments. And we have just gotten better. And song writing has gotten better. With each new song we write, we learn something else. I think we are just better songwriters in general. As far as the industry…I don’t know. We’ve put out vinyl, and now we have stuff on iTunes and CDs and stuff. But I think it hasn’t changed much since we started…At least in my head…

How are the Jacuzzi Boys different from other groups?
I think all of it. I think we have unique personalities. We take the music seriously, like, the band. But we don’t take ourselves seriously. I think in our live shows, our personality comes out, individually. And our personality definitely comes out through our records. I don’t know how else to describe it, but I think its unique from other bands.

What is it like to be with Hardly Art?

They are great. Really great. They support us a lot. We’ll come to them with an idea, and if they can manage to pull it off, they’ll do it. And if not, they still try to help us accomplish whatever vision we have. They have just been supportive. They’re cool, they’re funny. We really like dealing with them.

What are your future plans?

I want to tour a lot for sure. But at the same time, we haven’t put out a 7” in a long time. So after this tour I want to come back and record like six songs and put out three 7”, and just keep putting out records. As far as touring, I really want to go to other countries that I haven’t gone to yet. I’m excited for the possibility of going to Australia, or Japan. We’re going to tour the US again in September, and I think, Europe in November. Then hopefully after that, record another LP, tour some more. Just continue to have fun, you know? Because we are having a blast.

**A version of this article was published by Performer Magazine in September 2013, which can be found here

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