Psychedelic Mariachi

By Michael Wicks

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Self-Described 

I set out on August 1st to have a good time. The week was long, the days were rough, and the people were decent. So when I got the opportunity to go see my Editor-in-Chief's band play a show, I leapt. I always hear Warren playing the drums and using the drum pad, but I never knew just how talented he, and his band, were until that night at Center Stage, where they killed it alongside Vection and The Nobody’s. The band’s name is Juxtapose, and I want to talk about how the self-described psychedelic mariachi band managed to juxtapose itself against a brooding musical scene full of indie, electronic, and hard rock. 


Terrible Gwar Cover Band
Photo by Jamie Hartnett

Photo by Jamie Hartnett

I got to sit down backstage and talk to the band, and really learn where they came from musically and how they managed to connect with each other. The powerful three-piece consists of Eric Richard on guitar/vocals, Biessenberger on bass/vocals, and the one and only Warren Bujol on drums. The music is reminiscent of Butthole Surfers, Queens of the Stone Age, Flaming lips, The Pixies, with a dash of Alice in Chains. “We are a terrible GWAR cover band,” says Warren dryly.

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An Amalgamation
From Juxtapose

From Juxtapose

Eric and Warren met when Chris Langley, long-time super-friend/original bass player, brought Eric to Warren’s house to buy a drum set. When Eric went over to check it out, he noticed a guitar in the room and they ended up jamming. “It just clicked,” tells Eric, “we were able to connect almost immediately, it was great.” After connecting with Sloane through family friends, Juxtapose was formed. When asked how they came up with their songs Eric told me, “This is how our music happens: I’ll come up with a riff on the guitar, Warren puts some nasty beat behind it, that’s sick, and Sloane, you know, puts kind of all the pieces together (Sloane is the nurturing mother of the trio).” The band was an interesting amalgamation of personality, ability, and performance. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting what happened next. They were good. Really good.


Shot of Liquor and an Introduction
From Juxtapose

From Juxtapose

The show started with a shot of liquor, and an introduction. The guitar howled, the drums thundered, and the bass quaked the room while the crowd watched the headliners entertain. I told Warren I would be watching his drumming closely, but to my dismay, he didn’t mess up once, even after 9 or 10 Sailor Jerry doubles. Eric’s gritty vocals paired with Sloane’s haunting melodies brought the soundscape to life, check out their song “Close to Midnight” (below) to see what I’m talking about. I hadn’t enjoyed a show this much since I saw Norma Jean play at Luna Live. The music synced with my post-hardcore need for simple but powerful tone, deep moving beats and breaks, and strong vocals; you could really tell the grunge influence by listening to Eric’s power driven riffs. While they couldn’t provide the mariachi I so desired, the band did deliver with a psychedelic groove section. Warren and Sloane worked in a geometric synchronization, matching time and beats with opposing signatures. It was an experience that I will be doing again; not only was the show good and all original, but the band members are down to earth, nice guys who genuinely love what they do. For more information about the band please visit facebook.com/Juxtaposetheband and if you'd like to see them in action, head over to My Place American Pub on Saturday, September 5th. 




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