The group Mystic Braves has become one of Los Angeles’ most famous bands.
The group has enjoyed national tours, the release of three albums, and some recent shows with the Brian Jonestown Massacre. The group will bring its brand of psychedelic rock ’n’ roll to Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace on Saturday, June 18.
During a recent phone interview with Ignacio Gonzalez (organ) and Julian Ducatenzeiler (guitar, vocals), they talked about Mystic Braves’ formation in 2011. Also in the group are Tony Malacara (bass, vocals), Shane Stotsenberg (guitar, vocals) and Cameron Gartung (drums).
“I had the intention of playing a more groovy kind of music,” Ducatenzeiler said. “I hooked up with an old friend, and he had two other guys in mind. Tony (Malacara) was one of those guys. We just starting jamming, and there were no real goals in mind.”
Gonzalez had previously played in several Los Angeles bands, including the now defunct psych-rock band Jeffertitti’s Nile. Gonzalez said he feels that psych rock today is becoming something of a fad.
“I think a lot of bands focus too much on the culture of it,” Gonzalez said about psychedelic rock. “… It’s like a hip thing to do these days. When I was playing in Jeffertitti’s Nile, we were wearing dresses and wearing makeup, and trying to take it to that next level playing psychedelic and fuzz music. We were doing it because it was our thing, and there weren’t that many psychedelic rock bands in Los Angeles at the time. The term ‘psychedelic’ wasn’t really genre-specific; it was more of a state of mind. Over time, it became this popular genre-specific thing. There are a lot of psych bands out there now. … We didn’t call ourselves a psychedelic band; we were like retro-future space punk or something.”
The shows the group recently played with Brian Jonestown Massacre were a positive experience for Mystic Braves.
“We actually did two shows back-to-back with them in Los Angeles,” Ducatenzeiler said. “It was really cool. Rob Campanella, who plays in Brian Jonestown Massacre, recorded our most recent album. He was able to get us those shows, and they were both sold out way in advance. Their live shows are amazing. They played for something like three hours, and it was pretty crazy.”
Gonzalez praised the work ethic of the members of Brian Jonestown Massacre.
“Anton Newcombe is a very projective dude. He’s constantly doing stuff and putting stuff together,” he said. “… They have a big catalog of songs to choose from. It was cool for me, because I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time.”
While the members of Mystic Braves have enjoyed their success, including accolades as one of the best bands in Los Angeles, Gonzalez said the main goal of the group is to have fun.
“It’s been an insane journey,” he said. “We just want to play music with each other as friends playing music, and if people like it, it’s cool.”
Gonzalez said they are currently focusing on their upcoming concerts in support their most recent record, Days of Yesteryear. However, the members also have other projects up their collective sleeves.
“We’re scoring movies right now,” Gonzalez said. “We all have individual projects that we do on our downtime. We’re getting ready for the national tour coming up in September, and our show at Pappy and Harriet’s, which should be a fun one, given we love playing up there. Then we’re going to do a little run up north the week after.”
Ducatenzeiler said an overseas tour may also be in store in the future.
“People from different countries have been asking us for a while, ‘When you coming out here?’” he said. “We’ve been dying to go and we’re just waiting for the right opportunity.”
Gonzalez is one of the four partners in Lolipop Records, an independent label out of Los Angeles that’s been receiving a lot of buzz.
“For me, I’m pretty much there all the time when I’m not rehearsing,” Gonzalez said. “I do a lot of recording in our studio in our little tiny hole under a bridge in Echo Park. I’ll be there recording, working on the label, and trying to show the world these bands that we want them to hear. There’s so much music that will never get heard, and we just want to make sure people get the cool stuff that comes our way.”
Mystic Braves will perform with Levitation Room and The Creation Factory at 9 p.m., Saturday, June 18, at Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, 53688 Pioneertown Road, in Pioneertown. Tickets are $15. For tickets or more information, call 760-365-5956, or visit www.pappyandharriets.com.