A couple weeks back Davila 666, the Puerto Rican garage rock band, headlined Cake Shop along with a stacked bill that included Hunx and Hix Punx and Shannon and the Clams. Before the crowd packed into the narrow sloped stage area, we got to sit down with AJ Davila, bass player, and Carlitos Davila, singer and front man, at nearby bar Motor City, while their girlfriends sat next to them and Vice Record reps waited not far off.
They’d been touring the States for the past month in support of their sophomore album, Tan Bajo, which came out on In The Red records, and were getting ready to jump over to Europe for a month long stint.
You've been on tour for over a month now and still got a bit left. Have you fallen into the groove of yet?
Carlitos Davila: Yeah, I think it happens after the first two weeks or something. It’s just like a machine after that. As far as going around and traveling, and all that, it get tiring, but as far as shows go, it gets easier. You know, to have good energy and stuff.
Is it a lot to live up to every night being known as a party band?
CD: We’re not trying to put on a party show. People just party.
AJ Davila: That’s just how we are.
CD: We’re just trying to put on a show, but people seem to want to party a lot. Honestly, we just try to play the same way we’ve always played.
strong> Tonight’s line-up is crazy with Hunx and His Punx and Shannon and the Clams, two bands with a lot of energy. Have you played with them before?
CD: Yeah, we’ve played with Hunx and Shannon.
AD: We played with them at Goner Fest and we played with Shannon in SXSW
Is the Knitting Factory gonna be the first live stream the band’s been a part of?
CD: No, it’s our second! And if you wanna see a really bad show you should go see our first live stream show at the Knitting Factory. It was a really bad show, there.
AD: Yeah, our guitarist was passed out, so.
You guys were just blacked out drunk, or what?
CD: No, I think he took like hella Adderall or something.
AD: Yeah, he took like five Adderalls and drank a ton-of-shit and couldn’t play.
CD: He didn’t know when the songs were supposed to be played. Like, he didn’t know anything. But we unplugged his guitar and he kept playing. He thought he was rocking out and his guitar was unplugged.
Would you rather eat popcorn or chips?
CD: None of those. I don’t like them. Just in the movies, nowhere else.
AD: Me and the drummer, when we’re on tour, we always get the bags of popcorn. You know, the black ones, the white cheddar? That shit’s the shit.
Since doing the garage rock documentary for VBS.tv have you seen a larger audience then before?
CD: There’s been more people at the shows, but I don’t know if it has anything to do with the garage documentary. I think they just come out a little bit more each time we do a tour. Like this time around is like our third or fourth time, maybe fifth time, out playing in the States and in New York, it’s probably our fifth time. So, I think every time we play there’s more people.
AD: It’s better, every time it gets better, but I’m sure the documentary helped let people know who we are.
IM: On your MySpace it gives your website as davila666.com and when you click it, it takes you to a Japanese prostitution site. Did you guys create the site, or was this already around and just had it redirect to that site?
CD and AD in unison: It does???
CD: That’s awesome man I didn’t even know that! Is it like a bukaki site, or something? That’s funny, but I don’t really know about it.
So you guys didn’t have it redirect there for any reason?
CD: I wish we would’ve thought about that!
Using pseudonyms goes from Paul McCartney using “Paul Ramon” to The Ramones all using the same last name. Whose idea was it?
CD: I think it was all of us. Everyone was like, “We gotta make up names.” I think since Davila is a last name already we just decided that everyone would use that, and if we’re making up last names we might as well make up first names, too.
Everyone says this is a tip-of-the-hat to The Ramones.
CD: Yeah, it is kinda. It was the same idea, you know, try to unify it and make it more of a gang thing.
What American city has the best food?
CD and AD in unison (again): New Orleans!
CD: The Cajun food is the best.
AD: Memphis bar-b-q is good, too.
What's Davila 666's story? I mean before you started recording in August 2005?
CD: We were in a rap group called, CiFi. We made a lot of funny stuff with that group. Songs about selling coke, you know, totally ignorant stuff.
What was the first band you all were in before?
AD: We got together doing the rap thing, and I used to play with Johnny, our guitar player, in a post-punk band back in 95-96.
CD: And some of the other dudes in the band have been playing punk rock together since they were like 14 or something. The drummer and the rhythm guitarist have known each other since they were kids.
I heard the cover you guys did of the Stone's “She's a Rainbow”. Are there any others out there I should hear?
CD: We did the Nerves one, too, “Hanging on a Telephone”, and I just bought an Adam and the Ants’ album and there’s a song on there, “Puerto Rican”, so I think we’re gonna cover that. AD: We plan to do Brass Knuckles in Spanish.
I saw the North Face commercial. Did it not seem weird that a Puerto Rican group was rep-ing a mountain and snow gear brand?
CD: Snowboarding shit, right! Nah, it was like “Give me the money! Cha-ching!”
AD: YEAH! It’s all about, “Give me the money.”
CD: Of course we know what North Face is, and it’s not like we made a song about snowboarding, they just used one of our song.
AD: And if you hear the lyrics of the song, it’s like the trashiest shit ever!
CD: I don’t know I guess it fits well with the visuals and the EXTREME life style.
How tired are you of translating Tan Bajo for people?
CD: I’m not too tired about that, yet. I’m more tired of people asking us about the name of the band. And I’m really tired of people spelling the name of the band wrong! People spell it with two L’s and it’s with only one. You know, we already got two albums out, dude, and a bunch of singles and an EP; I mean come on man, really?
AD: And they always pronounce it wrong.
CD: Some places spell it really wrong! Some place say it like D-i-v-i-a-l-l-a or something like that.
Being that this show is at the Cake Shop, what is your favorite cake?
AD: Chocolate Cake.
[Carlitos girlfriend leans over and whispers something to him.]
CD: Ha, that’s funny. She said Strawberry Short Cake. That’s funny, cause I was making a joke about if anyone knew what a strawberry short cake was. I asked the driver if he’d ever given a girl a strawberry short cake, and he was like, “What’s that?!?” and I told him, “That’s when you’re fucking her and you cum in her face and as soon as you do you fucking clock her in the nose and break her fucking nose.” Strawberry short cake is my favorite cake.
I read Tan Bajo is dedicated to the memory of Jay Reatard, right?
CD: Yeah, we recorded the whole album with the microphone he gave us. He gave us a vocal mic, and uh… we decided to record the whole album with that vocal mic. He was actually supposed to produce the record, but he passed away five days before he was coming to Puerto Rico.
Have you thought of doing a tour with just the bands you’re friends with and the ones from San Juan?
CD: Yeah, Los Vigilantes are a band from San Juan that just put a record out, I think it just came out today, or yesterday, on Slovenly Recordings and we’d like to do stuff with them. I think we’d like to play with them cause they’re our friends. I wouldn’t say it’s cause they’re from the same scene or anything, I wouldn’t even say the scene in San Juan is very tight-knit.
AD: I think it’s more that they are our friends. And it’d be easier, cause there are a few band that we share members with, so if we wanted to tour with them it’d be really easy.
CD: Yeah, sometimes Yankee plays drums with Vigilantes and they have other bands with people and I have bands with people from Vigilantes, one called Espasmos, it’s a synth-punk sort of thing and Oil Sheik’s, which is a new one, which is really stupid punk rock, fast, like Kill By Death, sort of.
If you weren't doing music what'd you be doing?
AD: If I weren’t doing music? I’d be doing music, man.
CD: I don’t know man, being miserable?
What's next for Davila?
AD: We go home for two weeks, then a one-month tour through Europe starting with Primavera.
CD: Then hopefully more of the States in the autumn. We also gotta record stuff for some people when we get to Puerto Rico in the summer
AD: We also got another EP coming out late in summer. We recorded like 25 songs for Tan Bajo, so the other songs that didn’t make the album are coming out as a B-side through In The Red Records.
CD: And, hopefully a 7-inch with Goner, which has been a couple years in the making. I think we’re gonna be doing more with Hozac, too.