Otro Mundo is a rad new band from Arizona. They like fuzzy guitars, have released an awesome five-song tape called Jellied, play noisy pop music and seem to be pretty fond of drugs. Jason from Otro Mundo answered a few questions about the forthcoming and first album and about what’s going on in their neighborhood.
Q: Can you tell you a bit about who Otro Mundo is?
A: Yeah, we’re a band from Arizona. There’s not much else to it.
Q: Your EP Jellied is pretty rad. Tells us a bit about that EP and the process making it.
A: Thanks, man. It was kind of weird. My last band Naïve broke up, so I knew I wanted to do something else, but I couldn’t really put my finger on it and I couldn’t really play any instruments, so I was kind of stuck. I got a guitar eventually and just learned like four chords and wrote four songs. Just like four easy punk songs. I had some epiphany, probably while I was on acid or something because I was doing a lot back then, that easy was good, maybe even better. It was real stupid, but my brother had this one song he had been jamming on that he called Jellied Eyes that was a really good, shoegazer-punk jam. He had been playing with Steve (drums), so we formed a band and practiced those five songs. My brother has the means to record, so we just kind of hung out, snorted a bunch of Ketamine, and created a cool tape. It was really simple and easy. I’ll always remember it because it was on May 20, 2011 which was like supposed to be the end of the world according to these nutball pseudo-Christians, so a lot of the lyrics fit with that theme.
Q: Is there a certain sound or scene you are inspired by?
A: Any underground scene is inspiring. I think at the time I was really into grunge, drone, dark wave, 60’s rock and pop, and industrial so maybe the influence bleeds into the tape, but I don’t really know. There was this house here called The Manor that was cool. All these kids would go there and everything was fresh, like kids didn’t really know each other yet so everyone was just really excited and making all this music and partying all of the time. Everyone was all taking acid and experimenting and making all of this different music, you know, like different from everything I had ever heard. I think that was probably the most inspiring thing, like seeing bands like Pigeon Religion and being friends with those freaks, that probably pushed me most to do what I’m doing today.
Q: You chose to release Jellied on tape and digital. Was there a certain philosophy behind that choice or was it just the cheapest?
A: We try to keep it easy. And cheap, ha-ha. We don’t have people giving us money to put things out. We’re not cool and we don’t have any hype so the easiest format seems to be the tape. We could always find money…you can sell a pound of weed and make the money to produce a record, but sometimes you need to keep it simple. The tape feels timeless and classic to me, similar to a record but more recent and somewhat awkward, so it attracted me quite a bit.
Q: Jellied caught some attention on various blogs such as Styrofoamdrone, Pagan-punx and Milk Music recommend you guys as “a band to watch in 2012” in the January edition of NME. Has that opened any doors for you so far?
It’s been really cool so far and a lot of these blogs and magazines have been really great to us. Milk Music told NME about us so that was really cool. Those guys are the best, really humble and making some honest music. As far as doors opening, I think it’s all really a process that is building on itself and as time passes things start to become easier for us. Who knows though, a lot of it is so unconscious. Our tour with Acid Dawgz and Sewn Leather up to Washington went really well, kids seem to be very receptive to what we’re about, and our tape sold out, so maybe it’s catching on.
Q: Is there an album on its way and if so can you tell us a bit about it?
A: Yea there actually is. We recorded like two months ago. It’s a little too early to say too much about it, but if I had to guess it’ll probably be out by September (maybe even earlier) on Ascetic House, this very weird label/publisher/art house, run by these two hermits on the east and west side of town. Most of everything they do is out of a shack, which is kind of weird and cool—every time I walk into that place, it’s like entering some Buddhist palace, I always have to look away from all the gold and brilliance. Anyway, we’ve been talking about vinyl, but it could just be another tape. We’re definitely going to release a live cassette from our first tour too. That’s coming out on May 9, 2012 (you’ll be able to get it from our website: www.theotro.blogspot.com) In terms of music, we’re trying to redefine what’s been done by us and make something very new, but also keep it simple. There’s a post-punk feel to the songs we’ve been writing, but there’s also like funk riffs over noise rock…I don’t know. It’s got a real classic vibe to it. We’re just trying to take it back to something pure.
Q: Being from Arizona are there any local bands worth keeping an eye on? Or just new bands in general…
A: Yeah, there’s a ton, and I’m sure I’ll miss some here but every kid in Denmark should keep an eye on these bands. There’s Lovin’ Vein, Acid Dawgz, Sleep Money, Nihilism, Destruction Unit, Desert Vibrations, Avon Ladies, Gay Kiss, Vegetable, Marshstepper, (these teaheads are coming out to Europe soon, so Google the name or something) and there’s Mangled Men. Really, there’s a lot going on. I mentioned Ascetic House earlier. They don’t only release music. They release art, publish books, films, video art…they basically do it all, but they might be a little hard to get ahold of because they don’t have a website or anything. It’s sort of low-key. But they’ve got a bunch of stuff for sale by some really awesome artists such as John Cage and NON, and some local artists. The only way to get your hands on that stuff though is to write a letter to them at:
Ascetic House,1111 W. University Dr. Unit 2026, Tempe, Arizona 85281
Ascetic House, 725 W. Brown #21, Tempe, Arizona 85281
Read more about Otro Mundo and the Jellied tape here – Otro Mundo – Jellied – or listen to the song Jellied underneath.