Interview with Buddha Trixie

San Diego psychedelic rock band Buddha Trixie

Back in November, we interviewed San Diego psychedelic rock band Buddha Trixie. We talked about sending astronauts to the sun, gamer rigs, and getting into a studio in Portland.

Interview with Drummer Daniel Cole, Guitarist Andrew Harris, bassist Dennis Moon, and guitarist/keyboardist Kenzo Mann.

When you’re on tour, whats your usual gas station order?

Dennis: We go to Denny’s instead. Every day.

Daniel: We went to Denny’s a lot on our last tour.

Andrew: Please sponsor us, Denny’s.

Kenzo: It was pretty much the Denny’s tour. We didn’t even play any shows.

Daniel: If I’m driving, I’ll get a Monster. Because I like hurting my body.

Kenzo: You’re supposed to get Chester’s hot fries and blue Gatorade.

Daniel: That’s actually kind of a philosophy I slightly like to abide by, if you’re at a gas station and want to get all the textures or whatever. Like if you get gummies, you get hot fries to offset that, and then the drink you get is bubbly. To account for every craving you could possibly have in a long car ride.

Andrew: Getting a Tall Boy or two is a very common thing we do, from the gas station.

Daniel: That’s just Andrew. He’s the only one in the band that drinks.

Kenzo: I don’t think we need to talk about that, Andrew.

[Laughter]

Andrew: All upfront in the interview.

Have your neighbors ever retaliated against rehearsals?

Dennis: All of my neighbors come up to me, if I’m out on a walk or something, they come up to me and say “Hey we love you band, are these out on Spotify, when are they getting released?”. I think if they don’t like it, they probably just don’t say anything. But we’ve been pretty lucky in both my house and Andrew’s family’s house. Nobody’s complained.

Andrew: We’ve had really chill neighbors. The other day I made two songs, and I played those two songs as loud as possible for the whole day. And nobody said anything the whole day.

Dennis: When Kenzo and I lived in Davis, I think our neighbors were probably pretty pissed. We thew some shows, and some big parties at our house. We were rehearsing there literally all the time, every day.

Kenzo: We had to get noise permits from the city if we were gonna have shows, so our neighbors couldn’t call the cops on us. It was stupid, but it totally worked. They’d call the cops, and we’d have the permit, and they couldn’t do anything about it. The law was on our side. Super cool.

First impressions of your bandmates when you met?

Andrew: Me and Dennis and Daniel have been best friends since first grade.

Dennis: It was so long ago, I honestly can’t remember.

Andrew: Dennis was such a pure soul. My sister always points out this time in second grade, Dennis running up to me with pink braces like “Hey Andrew can we have a playdate?”. Dennis is a very pure soul, and Daniel has always been kind of a goofy guy.

Daniel: I remember being jealous of Andrew’s blond hair, and wanting to also have blond hair. That’s my main takeaway from Andrew, personality wise.

Dennis: I have this image of Daniel walking around in elementary, but he would only walk on his toes. Everyone was walking normally, but Daniel was toes only.

Daniel: I had to look taller for the chicks. I don’t know why I did that, but I’m glad I did. Good for something.

Dennis: The first time I met Kenzo, we were both volunteering at the same radio station. KDVS, which is a student-run radio station on the UC Davis campus. They had this DJ training which required you to stay overnight in the studio, and wait while all the other DJs loaded up their songs and played ads and stuff so you could kinda learn the ropes. My roommate Thomas and I kind of hit it off with Kenzo, and we all ended up kind of hanging out until six in the morning. Basically, the Davis equivalent of Denny’s at six in the morning. My first impression was that he liked music and he was just a super chill, down to earth guy.

Kenzo: Yeah, same. I think I met you first and then I met Daniel and Andrew the same day, probably. I don’t know. We were all way older than first grade. We were all like nineteen at this time.

Daniel: That’s always a weird difference. It’s like yeah, we met some of them in first grade. And then when I was nineteen, Kenzo comes along.

Dennis: It was like that scene in Tenacious D where Jack Black has to knock. It was meant to be.

Daniel: I remember Kenzo being like, “I like your shoes.” And I was like “Haha, this guy’s chill as fuck.”

Andrew: That’s all it takes. I remember Kenzo falling in with us really fast, it was really easy.

Daniel: We just matched.

Kenzo: I remember it being really easy to become friends too, I don’t really know why.

Dennis: We had our guitars and jammed, and it was like, we could play together and sound good. Kenzo had a reputation for playing acoustic piano in the dorm room. That was when I first heard him play piano. And I knew we had to get him in the band, because he could rip all these Coldplay songs. I knew this guy had it going.

[Laughter]

What’s your favorite beer?

Andrew: Personally, I really like cheap beer like Coors or something. It’s easier to drink, and your stomach doesn’t get all heavy and stuff. I don’t know, I like cheap beer right now.

Daniel: I’m good with a nice cheap beer. Especially if it’s a show day or something. Those things that used to happen, you know. You have a bunch of IPAs, you get onstage and look like a sleepy old idiot. Beers, you get onstage and you’re ready to rock. You’re ready to have a party.  I’m a fan of a nice PBR or something cheap.

Dennis: I’m the dad of the band, so I naturally gravitate towards the IPAs. Good IPAs, that’s my pick.

Kenzo: I only drink absinthe. That’s not beer, but yeah.

Daniel: You can just cut Kenzo out every time he answers.

Recently it was the one-year anniversary of your single “Stay.” How’d you celebrate?

Kenzo: I think that might’ve been the night we all got drunk at the canyon.

Daniel: No, she said the one year anniversary. I don’t think we actually did anything special, but recently we got drunk at a canyon. And we did it without Kenzo, which made it even more fun.

Kenzo: I’m sure if circumstances were different, we’d have done a show or something, for the Stay-nniversary. A canyon is pretty much just as good as that.

What are your non-musical influences?

Dennis: I feel like we all have so many, we’re just processing like, “Oh, which one do I bring up?”. My favorite movies of all time, or I guess my favorite directors that I like, are like Stanley Kubrick. Most inspirational. Blade Runner, first two movies are pretty big for me. I like sci-fi in that way. I just watched the movie Akira, that was extremely cool. I also like children’s books. I find them creative. I love the wordplay, and it helps me think about writing lyrics, or twisting the lyrics around in a different way. It’s not so self-serious.

Andrew: I don’t know how often non-musical things inspire me musically. I’m not sure.

Kenzo: So, you haven’t written about Star Wars or anything?

Andrew: No.

Dennis: I definitely used to make songs about Lord of the Rings.

Kenzo: It’s only a matter of time. I agree with Andrew, I keep them separate. I still love movies and other mediums. I read like, Kurt Vonnegut and stuff.

Andrew: Maybe movie soundtracks. I remember watching Donnie Darko, those dope 80s songs, and being like, “I wanna make a song like that.”

Kenzo: Or the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack. That was awesome.

Dennis: All of Wes Anderson’s films for me, definitely. It’s hard to describe.

Daniel: That’s for me too.

What have you had on repeat lately?

Daniel: As I was chilling here waiting for the Zoom time to get started, I was like, “I wonder if they’re gonna ask what we listen to.” I looked at my playlist, but now it’s just gone.

Andrew: Today I’ve been listening to this one song called “Easy Baby” by Denyah. Daniel sent it to me. I like that song a lot. It’s kind of Portugese-ish.

Daniel: Great song.

Andrew: I was listening to “Kyoto” by Phoebe Bridgers a lot, that one song.

Daniel: That song is good.

Dennis: I watched her Red Rocks performance on YouTube, that’s incredible.

Daniel: I saw her doing a cover of “Iris” by The Goo-Goo Dolls on TikTok. The single cover is a meme of feeding the revolution the song or something. I heard the new EP [from her], and then I got a notification that she had another one. I was like “What? You did another one?” but it was just a string arrangement of already recorded songs. That made more sense. I thought she was just that prolific. But the strings for “Kyoto” was really fucking cool, haven’t listened to the rest though.

Have you picked up any weird habits in quarantine?

Daniel: I smoke weed a lot, but I did that before.

Kenzo: I guess like, sleeping in forever. It’s not that abnormal, I guess. You guys do that too, right?

Daniel: I’m actually up at like, 7:30 or 8 every morning. It’s crazy. The way the sun hits my room in San Diego, just glaring.

Kenzo: We gotta do something about the sun.

Daniel: Agree. We should send astronauts to land on it and settle it.

Kenzo: Put a big American flag on it.

Any hobbies that go beyond your musical ambitions?

Daniel: I like video games a lot. Making and playing.

Kenzo: Don’t undersell it. This guy’s a pro.

Daniel: I have such a setup right now honestly. I have my rainbow board over here. Mouse lights up as well. And if I’m not fully admitted to having a seizure while playing, the mousepad lights up too. Another hobby I would say is LED lights.

Dennis: Music’s most of what I do. In my time outside the studio, I try to relax and turn my mind off in any way possible. Exercise helps me do that, yoga helps me do that. Reading, watching movies, just kind of taking time to appreciate the little things. Music takes up so much time. We need a lot of energy to create, so it’s definitely worth recharging our batteries.

I think we as a society have an addiction to working. We’re workaholics. Everyone just works way too much, in my opinion. You don’t always have time to pursue multiple passions. There’s definitely sacrifice involved in trying to go straight from one thing to another. It is good to explore other mediums. I’m gonna get some art pens soon and get back into drawing and painting, I’m really excited about that.

Kenzo: I spend a lot of time in surfing in the summer. That’s my main hobby outside of music. Dennis is right, we do spend a lot of time on music.

Dennis: If you’re not playing, you’re listening, or learning some new lick or scale or whatever. It’s just always writing, compiling ideas, and collaborating.

Kenzo: We’ve been practicing so much too. A couple days a week, every week.

Upcoming plans?

Dennis: We’re trying to get into the studio early 2021 and record some new songs we’ve been demoing for a while and workshopping. I just got in contact with our producer and everything looks good. We’re gonna maybe take some time off and go up to his studio in Portland, hopefully. We might do some recording in LA as well, and he’ll meet us down here. But he’s currently based in Portland, hoping to take a trip up there. I want us to take a little Redwood retreat. Like just book an AirBnB or something, like a little shack, and just kind of make some music.

We kind of have all just been holed up inside and working at my parent’s house in San Diego. It pays to be super careful with Covid. We didn’t practice this week because cases have been going crazy. But whenever makes sense, we’re gonna get together and make some more music before we go in the studio. That’s our next upcoming thing. More writing and recording, and waiting patiently for shows to come back.

Hopefully people will wake up a little and realize their actions will impact others, and science will have a chance to catch up. We’ll see what the world looks like in a couple months.

Daniel: The world is going to be on fire, but we’re going to adapt to it and have fireproof venues or something. I’m looking forward to shows that are on fire.

Kenzo: Everyone will be in their own plastic dome. Every member of the audience.

Dennis: Like the Flaming Lips bubbles.

Daniel: Then ours will be square.

THE END

Don’t forget to check out Scrunchie on Instagram and Youtube!

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