i'll remember you for the same feeling you gave me as i slept, a strong title depicting late night drive home’s even stronger musical ability. Securing their rightfully established place in the indie rock world with their salient single Stress Relief, the band has a reputation to uphold as one of the most current and prominent alternative bands – a hit with Gen Z and a hit with their one million monthly listeners. Starting in 2019, late night drive home has continued to rise with their mixture of ‘90s grunge and modern indie appealing to the yearning masses.
Comprised of Andre Portillo, Juan ‘Ockz’ Vargas, Freddy Baca and Brian Dolan, the band simultaneously synchronise producing an EP that is vibrationally vast and shifting in genre whilst still maintaining a coherent sound and meaning. An EP of metaphors, i’ll remember you for the same feeling you gave me as i slept represents what it is to be human, a being full of remorse, regret, and rebirth. The theme of death is recurrent throughout the EP, but equally so is growth. In a constant state of change, the band reflects on their development as artists and individuals, fusing themselves into their work. If anything, this EP is timeless – a representation of the ages, of feelings, and of sound.
Portillo, speaking for the band, reflects on the EP and what it means to them, even though, as the band has commented, the “lyrics [are] up for your own interpretation.” We present to you: late night drive home.
i’ll remember you for the same feeling you gave me as i slept is a pretty long title for an EP, but it obviously has meaning! What is the inspiration behind the title? What does it mean to you and what is the feeling that you are talking about?
It represents the metaphors that are scattered around the EP revolving death and the beauty of deterioration, when you’re sleeping it's the closest thing to death, to put it simply. With that being said, a sort of sweet death binds us as we sleep parallel to the deteriorating infrastructure that is our problems, worries, regrets, faults, and all things that make us human.
What would you call your aesthetic? Do you think your vibes are coherent as a band, or are you all very individual? Is this what makes you work well together? (assuming you work well together).
I would call our aesthetic neo alternative, however, I do believe we each have our own way of interpreting our sense of fashion. Each of us carries our own thought process and sometimes the vibes don’t always click as smoothly, however, I feel like this is the reason why we work so well together. We constantly challenge each other's thoughts and ideas in the studio, for this reason, I feel our music can find a comfortable spot to sit in and, in some cases, you can even feel it in our music.
This isn’t your first EP, so how do you think you’ve changed as a band both in terms of sound and, also, as people? Surely you have gained a lot of experience in and knowledge of the music industry considering you have been releasing music for a few years now.
All modern art must reconfigure and rearrange itself as a reflection of one’s current state of reality. As for us, our sound is in a constant state of morphing and fusing. Perhaps the more we grow as people the more we grow an appreciation and better understanding of the art we make.
Can you walk us through the production process for this EP? Have any memorable moments during production played a role in the making of one, or some, of the tracks?
The production process was one that went through different phases, Feeling Grey started off as an acoustic song, but after a session of listening to The 1975, electronic ambient, LCD Soundsystem and more we went for an electronic route in the song but keeping true and original to our sound. I think the memorable moment was working on Worms as Ockz and Andre worked on the song in their home and created the string section and electronic outro in four hours, an idea that came to Ockz the night before. It symbolises the entryway to newer music and a hint of what’s to come.
How did your Latin roots influence the making of this EP?
Our Latin roots influenced us in the sense of just staying true and humble to ourselves, we grew up in a very rural town outside of El Paso, TX; Having no outside help for music for the majority of our years as a band, we had to learn everything ourselves from producing to playing instruments, I feel this EP is the same way, we are still learning new ways to improve our sound which is why we self-produced it. Introducing a Spanish verse in Worms as well as a way to encapsulate the emotional tyranny of death, being spoken to in two different languages.
Compared to your other songs from previous works which are more indie-esque, (take Nostalgic Love Rock, for example) this EP felt very reminiscent of early 2000s rock to me. It’s very confessional yet presented through this gritty and punky outlet. Are you trying to echo the sounds of that time or are you aiming for your own unique spin on alternative music?
I believe in our case it’s a combination of both capturing the sound of the time while adding our own unique spin on what is traditionally gritty and punky. An interesting thought to take into consideration is that we each come from slightly different backgrounds in music in terms of what we grew up listening to. For us, it’s as if we are little kids on a playground letting our imaginations run wild. If someone comes up with a sound that sounds so out of pocket, we’ll try to find a way to incorporate that in a more cohesive sound.
Starting with the lyrics “I feel so misunderstood,” Worms Eat My Brain for Breakfast is the album's most musically and lyrically gentle track. There are also gentle moments throughout the EP like during Feeling Grey, which just goes to show the diversity of your musical talent. Why did you choose to make an EP that’s tracks are all subtly different yet familiar?
We wanted the EP to sound as coherent as possible when listening to it in its entirety. However, the EP walks you through this deteriorating pathway that ultimately ends with the death of your thoughts and your sense of self. In this case, Worms Eat My Brain for Breakfast is simply the closing of a chapter in one's life. The lyrics relate this idea in the form of a relationship, however, it’s not as black and white as things seem. At the end of this track, you hear the weird electronic noises crumbling in on themselves which is sort of a call to the last moments of one's life in the same manner that people say your life flashes right before your eyes.
The image of worms eating my brain for breakfast is pretty disturbing! What made you decide to use this imagery? Is there something to be said about brains being like compost or dirt? Or is it to do with a part of yourself being buried?
The whole intent behind the title, Worms Eat My Brain For Breakfast was to bring forward a feeling of uncomfortablility and surrealism presented through imagery and metaphorical aspects. The brain represents everything you know, your sense of self, the way you feel towards certain things, the passions carried.
The cover art for the EP is quite minimalistic apart from the three photographic squares. Could you describe what is going on in these photos? Because they’re very detailed and, slightly, chaotic.
The EP cover art is supposed to symbolise the songs in retrospect; three songs in different sounds, one sounding extremely 90s grunge, one experimental and one serene. The electronic wires and elements of the songs are what we wanted to capture in the artwork, a timeless poster someone could have or a piece of art.
You’re going to be performing at Coachella and Kilby Block party this year. Are you excited to be able to perform your new EP at such huge venues? You’re bound to get a lot more exposure from performing at these festivals which I’m sure is equally as exciting and nerve-racking.
We are beyond excited to perform these new songs to newer audiences and current audiences, hitting cities we’ve never toured this year is exciting also since it's new to us to reach these cities.
The EP is giving The All-American Rejects x Bon Iver x The Smashing Pumpkins. If you could do an album with any artist of your choice who would it be? Branching off this, is there any brand (not band) you think would be great to do a collaboration with?
We would like to collaborate with a variety of artists, one in our mind is Clairo or Julian Casablancas. Just being able to incorporate their take on one of our songs would be something that we’ve dreamed of, a brand we would love to be a part of is Doc Martens or Converse as well, since it is what we all wear 99% of the time.
Coming from the success of your last EP, Am I sinking or Am I swimming?, there are high expectations to be met. What makes this new record even better compared to the others, and why should people listen to it, demolishing your over 100mil streams for Stress Relief?
Our goal is not to top our previous work, it’s to make art that is true to us and those who resonate with our message. We feel art will reach its goal when it's supposed to, it's just to make the art we’ve been wanting to do since the start, with the newest piece of music we've been working on I believe it is there.