Brian Blueskye
Alchemy. Credit: Brian Blueskye

La Quinta’s Alchemy has been around for several years, and has featured several different sounds. However, the band is finally coming into its own—as proven by the fact that the psychedelic-meets-indie-rock band will be on the roster for the Tachevah block party, after winning the first Tachevah showcase on Jan. 28 at The Date Shed.

During a recent interview in La Quinta, guitarist Danny Gonzalez, keyboardist Roger Chavez and vocalist Andrew Gonzalez talked about the history of the band.

“This is kind of a project we’ve had going on for about two or three years—maybe even four,” said Danny Gonzalez. “It was me and Eric (Lopez), the bass player, and Luis (Monroy), the drummer. We just started jamming and playing cover songs. We decided to play some shows and get this thing going. We went through a lot of singers. We found some who were actually willing to do it, but there wasn’t enough motivation. Finally, in the spring of 2014, we met up with Andrew. It was about a month after last year’s showcase for Tachevah.”

Chavez said the addition of Gonzalez, shortly after the band came up short in last year’s Tachevah competition, changed the group’s sound yet again. Gonzalez explained how he found his way to Alchemy.

“We were at a party, and we were talking about our bands, and I was talking to them about how things were really rough in my band, and we lost two of our guitarists,” he said. “They were talking to me about how they didn’t have a lead singer, and they couldn’t get started, and I … said I’d be down and would really like to try it out. The very next day, I went over. They said they liked my sound. Danny sent me about three songs that night, and he told me to write lyrics to them and get used to it.”

Chavez said the group once sounded like The Strokes; Danny Gonzalez said he felt the group’s sound was “more punkish and rough,” like a garage band. Today, Alchemy’s sound is a lot mellower. Danny Gonzalez said he doesn’t like to use a lot of guitar distortion, and Chavez said he uses a lot of synths and electronic drum pads.

“When we make music, we sit down and just jam out. We experiment with stuff,” Danny Gonzalez said.

The band members said they didn’t hesitate to compete again for Tachevah after missing out last year.

“With the singing and the reaction of the crowds, we knew we were going to get a better response than we did last year,” Chavez said. “We weren’t a known band last year. After last year, we played more shows in the valley; we got more familiar with people; and we made a lot of fans.”

All of this work paid off at the Tachevah pre-show competition at The Date Shed, when the band went up against Elektric Lucie, Ideation, Thr3 Strykes and The Death Merchants.

“The feeling of playing a song and looking into the crowd and seeing a handful of people singing along to the lyrics, singing along to the choruses, is amazing,” Chavez said. “We got people chanting our name and wanting an encore. I’m amazed the judges let us do one.”

Andrew Gonzalez agreed. “I said, ‘No, they’re professional about their stuff … and they’re not going to let us play an encore.’ I just remember everyone chanting for an encore, and one of the people told us to go ahead and do it.”

Danny Gonzalez said the band is using the time between now and the Tachevah concert in April wisely. They’re working on recording their first full-length album and are trying to improve their existing songs.

“Even if we don’t finish it, we’re not going to rush things,” Danny Gonzalez said about the album. “We want to see what we can do as a band, and maybe we can come up with better jams for the songs.”

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Brian Blueskye

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...