The members of local band Pssstols are serious about their music. But that doesn’t mean they don’t love to party—and they’re bringing the party to the Date Shed with a free show on Saturday, Sept. 7.
When the band showed up for a recent interview in Rancho Mirage, they had plenty of stories to tell. Among the topics of discussion: a tale of two of the members partying with DJ Day some years ago, with one of the band members winding up in a children’s car seat; a recent radio interview they did in Los Angeles while intoxicated; and various hijinks with other local bands.
Victor Aguirre (vocals), Joel Guerrero (drums), Jesus Escarrega (guitar), Salvador Gutierrez (guitar) and Nicholas Hernandez (bass) are longtime friends. Inspired by bands such as The Clash, Joy Division, Gang of Four, Foals and the Arctic Monkeys, Pssstols is a relatively new band that has found success after playing shows at The Hood in Palm Desert, Bar in Palm Springs, and the AMFM Fest.
They jokingly refer to their sound as “post-desert rock.” They started playing music together in late 2011, and they officially came together as Pssstols in January.
“It was back in summer 2011, and I asked Sal if he just wanted to jam,” said Guerrero. “At the time, I was living in L.A. and going to UCLA; we didn’t think it was really going to go anywhere. I started driving down every weekend, and we just started finishing stuff that Sal had written before. After that, we got Jesus in September 2012, and we were just a three-piece. We just kept at it, and eventually, we got Victor.”
They are still riding high following their show at AMFM Festival, which the group believes was their best show to date.
“I didn’t know what to expect from it,” said Aguirre about the June event. “We thought the festival was going to be a lot bigger than it was, and it ended up being really good for us, personally. A lot of the other bands didn’t have a good draw or big crowd, but we had the biggest crowd there, and we were blown away. We had really good live energy. The band was giving the energy and the crowd was giving it right back.”
The band is also getting ready to enter the recording studio to make their first album; Escarrega said they have nine songs ready to record.
“I think given the opportunity and given the chance, we can approach it to where we’ll come up with things that are completely original,” said Escarrega. “There’s this comedian named Reggie Watts, and he said something about how if you gave him the same instrument as another person … he could guarantee if they both took the same approach, they (still) wouldn’t play the same thing, and it would sound completely different.”
Said Gutierrez: “All I know is that you have to keep moving forward. You have to keep moving until you find that sound that makes the band and the people who hear it go ‘WHOA!’ and then it works.”
Guerrero said that while all the members of the band are Latino, they enjoy playing their music.
“We’re all Mexicans, but this is what we love to play,” said Guerrero. “I grew up listening to Spanish music. The first music I heard was Spanish music. Anything that was from the early ’90s, that’s what I grew up listening to. We have a song called ‘Eyes Like Rain’ where we tried to incorporate our roots, to some extent.”
While the band loves a good live performance, they also love the partying that comes with being in a band.
“I’ve always said the performance doesn’t end when you get off the stage; you still have to perform for the people who want you to go to parties with them,” said Escarrega. “They want to be like ‘PSSSTOLS ARE HERE MAN! THOSE GUYS ARE FUCKING COOL!’ Partying is about 50 percent of the business—seriously. It’s cool to kick it with your mates, but meeting the girls is awesome”
When asked about their favorite alcoholic beverages, they all agree on Rumple Minze and Patron.
And then there’s their wine of choice: “Space wine,” Gutierrez said, referring to the grape goodness of Franzia or Carlo Rossi boxed wine—minus the box. “It comes in a bag, and it’s like what the astronauts would drink.”
Added Aguirre: “We don’t hang out with people who are too sophisticated to tell us it’s cheap wine.”
The band said they’re excited to be returning to The Date Shed.
“Kids out there are more passionate about finding things to do,” Aguirre said. “The east valley is more boring than anywhere else in the valley. When there’s a show, those kids are fired up for it. When it’s a free 18-and-over show, there’s no excuse for not showing up.”
The Pssstols will join Machin, Giselle Woo and the Night Owls, Tribesmen and the Desert DJ Entertainment Group for a show at 9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7, at The Date Shed, 50725 Monroe St., in Indio. Admission is free. For more information, call 760-775-6699, or visit www.dateshedmusic.com.