Israel’s Arcade is Israel Pinedo’s indie-punk brainchild, with every song written and recorded by him. He melds the basics of punk rock with the structure and dreamy effects of indie bands, a style which has garnered him much success on streaming platforms. His latest release, “Car Crash,” brings a more new-wave approach to his music, with an electronic drum beat and filtered vocal blending joining his patented reverb guitar and synth lines. Pinedo is the latest to take The Lucky 13; here are his answers.
What was the first concert you attended?
Carlos Santana, when I was 8 years old. My grandpa took me, and seeing how the musicians onstage reacted to the music they were playing, and how it moved them strongly, impacted me and changed me forever.
What was the first album you owned?
A Beatles greatest-hits album when I was 7 years old.
What bands are you listening to right now?
I’m really into a lot of house music, drum and bass, a lot of ’90s dance music, and a lot of early 2000s party music like Soulja Boy, Nelly, Missy Elliott, etc.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?
I can honestly say that now as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to respect and even really enjoy a lot of the music that’s on the radio—a lot of pop music. With trends that I see going on right now, I can see the appeal of (these songs), and I can even get into them if I try to. I was a little kid when my uncle taught me that, with music, I have to learn to enjoy everything.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
It’s always been a dream to see The Doors live.
What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?
When I was in high school, I was really shy to blast my music in my earbuds when it was gay anthems like Britney Spears or ’90s house. I was afraid of people knowing that I listen to that, so I would turn the volume down. Now I don’t really care. I’m pretty proud of my taste.
What’s your favorite music venue?
As far as performing goes, I love anything that’s small, because those are the most-intimate shows. I guess the same goes for watching somebody perform; even if it’s a famous act, I want it to be intimate. Anything that makes it feel that way.
What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?
Right now, I can’t get Missy Elliott’s “Lose Control” out of my head—and frankly, I don’t want it out.
What band or artist changed your life? How?
Around 7, it was the Beatles; when I turned 8, it was Nirvana. At 12, it was Sublime, and at 13 and 14, Mac DeMarco, Black Flag, and The Drums.
You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?
I would want to sit down and have a conversation with Jonny Pierce from The Drums about his childhood. I want to know what influenced his dramatic lyrics.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
“Sleep Walk” by Santo and Johnny, then “Guillotine” by Death Grips.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
I’d probably choose Portamento by The Drums.
What song should everyone listen to right now?
“To Another Galaxy (Galaxy Mix)” by Tokyo Ghetto Pussy. (Scroll down to hear it!)