"WE WANT YOU TO KNOW WHAT YOU'VE BEEN MISSING" | THC
While attending Stay Fest there were a few bands that went on that night each with their own impressive style, however it wasn’t until the hot, little room was lit up by bright blue lights and the sound of an electric guitar being plugged into an amp that the chatter of crowd began to dissipate. The four tall guys, being completely surrounded by the crowd, had our attention.
A few minutes into their first song the energy in the room begins to shift dramatically. That’s when we knew this band was one to keep an eye on.
Fast forward to present day, It’s been a year since that performance. An entire year full of learning and progress for them as a band. Two Headed Cat is an alternative rock band that’s recently been making waves in the Los Angeles local music scene. The band, based in Downey, consists of four friends; Brendan Guitron and Diego Velarde on vocals and guitar, Matt Moreno on drums and Erick Velasquez on bass.
“A year ago our mindset was different from what it is now,” Brendan tells us.
“We were messing around back then. Just trying to find out what we wanted to be,” Diego adds.
Their musical direction has evolved into a more serious one since Brendan and Diego started the band in high school. As childhood friends they grew up jamming together, playing covers and eventually writing original material. Matt and Erick made the band official when they met them during their sophomore year of high school.
“I think we have a general direction of what we like to play now,” Brendan said while we sat in their studio.
Finding the direction of their music has been made a little easier since they seem to have full support from their parents. Diego’s family gave them a place to rehearse and even dedicated a room in their home to use as a recording studio.
When walking into their home studio I see their instruments and equipment are crammed into the left side of the room, leaving some space to fit a couch and some walking space. The best part is all the random miscellaneous they have. I spy an old radio, a poster of Bob Dylan and another of the Rolling Stones maracas, tambourines, and a lot of random CD’s. After comfortably settling in I get to the most important question I have to ask them. A question most people have also wondered –
why Two Headed Cat?
“At first we thought Two Headed Snake would be a cool name” Diego says while pointing at Brendan, “[but then] the initials THC came to mind. So, then we thought of cat and we just kind of rolled with it.”
They all laughed and then gave us a different, more PG version, of how they developed their name.
“I was in jazz band in high school, people who play jazz are jazz cats,” Brendan explains, “with that we took it in a different direction because Diego happened to play blues so it was that idea of two different things [representing] the two headed cat.”
I've got to admit their initials are pretty amusing but it's great to hear that they were inspired by their individual interests and were able to fuse them together because it has resulted in the rousing sound of Two Headed Cat. Personally, we describe them as an alternative rock band but you can also use indie rock or even psychedelic rock to describe their sound.
"We don't like to put a specific genre on [the songs] when we write," says Matt.
It's more important for them to play music that feels right to them than to fit into a specific genre.
"We kind of let everyone else decide what genre we are," Brendan says.
After spending a year figuring out who they were as a band they are ready to seriously take on the challenges of what it means to have a band because they’ve learned that doing so is no easy task.
“Compared to last year this has been more of a learning curve. We’re figuring out all the basics on how to have a band. How to get noticed,” Diego said.
So far they’re doing well thanks to their close friend and manager, Alex Lucio.
“[I] think their music is great!” says Alex, who’s managed them since the beginning. Alex books them shows, plans press releases, manages their social media and sells their merchandise at shows.
Two Headed Cat has 3,000 followers and counting on Instagram which they frequently update and make sure to interact with their fans through the comments. They’re all learning how to network in order for more opportunities to present themselves.
They released their new single “Hypnotize Me” in March and were able to secure a venue in Highland Park to perform it live for the first time. Their high-energy performance paired with an insanely cool light show and their new song equaled an even better performance than the first we witnessed a year ago. Their exciting performances definitely give people something memorable to talk about. When it comes to local bands, word of mouth is often key to gathering a fan base.
I left a CD in my friends’ car without telling her anything about them just to see what she genuinely thought. Later that night I received a text from her expressing how “collected” they sound. It’s pretty exciting that a complete stranger to their music was able to notice what they’ve worked on for the last year.
Proof that word of mouth is the best form of free marketing.
“There have been random people that come up to us saying they love our music and it’s the coolest feeling,” Brendan says with a smile on his face.
“We want people to relate to our music. To dance to it. To be excited to hear it” Matt adds.
“To feel it,” Brendan says.
“Yeah! Like, come on a journey with us.” Matt says.
This is the beginning of Two Headed Cat’s journey in the local music scene and they are more than ready to take it on.