By: Camila Álvarez
The Tremends are a big family. Literally. The band is now comprised of two brothers: Ex-Tereso’s Juan (singer/guitarist) and Alejo Rozas (drums), and Alejandra Posada (bass), who used to be Juan’s wife back in the day, and who is now something like his sister. Alex, how people call her, is really good friends with Johanna, Juan’s current wife, who used to do the backing vocals for the band at some point.
The Tremends exist in the liminal state between rock and diamond—their sound is raw, but it’s also melodic and beautiful. Their lyrics are sometimes dark, but somehow they emanate a feeling of hopefulness, of happiness. Some of their riffs remind us of the lovely sadness of band such as Radiohead. Some others, especially the ones they have preserved from the Tereso years, are more clumsy, careless, and catchy, and make you want to jump and bang your head like an angry teenager, such us Quiero ir a España (I want to go to Spain)— one of their more punkish and hilarious tunes—, which talks about a kid who desperately wants to be a Spanish kid, and who wants to go to Spain to visit his friend, at least for a couple of days.
The first version of the band was created when Juan and Alejo moved from Argentina to Miami when they were still in their teens and they met Chelo—a guy with long hair they saw for the first time one day at 3 am, while he was running and screaming like a maniac on the streets of Miami Beach. After that, the band acquired chameleonic qualities, mutating as they have seen the need to.
Many people have come and gone, but the childish, rebellious spirit of the band has remained the same— one of the reasons why they’re considered an all-time favorite for the local scene, and probably the same reason why they haven’t given in to the perks of commercializing their sound.
Exactly the reason why I love them.
The Tremends are pink punk— a fusion between the grit of Miami streets and the beauty of the palm trees dancing to the moonlight in a breezy summer night.
We chatted with Juan Rozas, guitarist and vocalist of the band about two years ago about the history of the band. Recently, we sat with him again and talked about their current projects…
CD: How did everything start?
JR: It all started in my room, at home, in Argentina. Alejo had left for a weekend with some friends who played the guitar since they were little. I remember when he came back. He took my dad’s guitar and started playing The Beatles and I was like “When the f#$% did he learn that?” He left for two days! He made me feel really old. It was weird.
So I started playing a basin with spoons [laughs] in my room, and Alejo played the guitar. I don’t know why, instead of singing, I started screaming random things. I would see a sticker on my wall, or looked at a book, it could be anything, and I then I would kind of scream these words I was seeing. My mom started calling me Mick Jagger because of that. That’s how she wanted me to realize I was screaming [laughs]. It was a total disaster, but I was looking for something. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I was looking for it…I’m still looking for it [laughs].
And then you guys moved to Miami…
Yes, when we came here I was playing some melodies in the guitar, Alejo was playing really good and he had also gotten into piano. We used to get together in the living room, and I would tell Alejo, “Hey, listen to these 3 notes I got!” And he would play a melody and I would play my three notes, and we would record our experiments on cassette tapes.
I wanted a band. I started to hang out with some people that played— Sean, the first Drummer from Tereso. He used to play stuff from Primus, Rush, Janes Addiction, Chilli Peppers. I used to tell him that some day we were going to play together, and he used to laugh. He was right, because I was still really bad. I was conscious of that, but I was obsessed with having a band. And then Chelo appeared. I saw this guy with long hair being chased by somebody else in the streets of Miami Beach. He was running and screaming like a maniac, and yeah, that was Chelo.
How did Tereso start?
JR: Then we became friends in ‘97 and somebody asked us if we played, because they needed a band to open for Los Ratones Paranóicos. And we said yes, of course. Even though we didn’t play. We practiced for three days a couple of The Doors and Rolling Stones covers, and we played. It was Sean, Chelo, Alejo, and I. Alejo was learning to play the bass. He was really good. Chelo was very original and Sean was a really good drummer too. I was still trying to learn how to play the guitar [laughs].
Tell me about Youth Divine Treasure, your first album…
In 2004, 2005, Frenchie left. He was the drummer who has replaced Sean. He left us cause we were drunk all the time. We were kind of crazy back then. Around that same time, we recorded Youth Divine Treasure. We recorded 20 something songs, some in Spanish and some in English.
I read you guys won some kind of competition and that when you were about to go on a European tour, something happened…
Yeah, we won this competition, but our manager—Julie, died right after that. We came back from an amazing concert in L.A., after having opened for Volumen Cero, and I called Julie on a Friday to tell her I needed to take my guitar to a pawn shop because I was broke, and she told me not to do that, that everything was going to be fine. The next day I called her again, but she didn’t answer. The same thing happened on Sunday. Then on Monday, they found her dead in her apartment. They think she overdosed.
Wow that’s crazy and sad. Was that the end of Tereso?
After that Chelo was back and forth from Miami to Argentina. He was having passport issues. We were about to sign with Delanuca, but Chelo wasn’t here and we were waiting for him. He came back and had to leave again. We waited for him for like a year in total and in that year,Delanuca Records closed because there were no more records. Everything had changed. Chelo couldn’t come back and Tereso died.
And then came The Tremends…
After about a year and a half, Alejo showed me some songs he had been working on and had recorded. I loved them. It was like an amazing surprise, like a cleansing after all that had happened with Tereso. That’s when The Tremends were born.
Someone, and a couple of other ones.
We’re sitting again in front of each other after about two years. What has happened in all this time?
We recorded Right Time. It’s very simple, very raw album. No paraphernalia, no weird effects, no electronic arrangements for the vocals; just bass, drums, guitar, and vocals. Also, we’re a trio now. Before we were 6, then 4, now we’re back to basics, and we feel really happy about it, we feel we’re tuned. We definitely understand each other very well. We would like to maybe add more musicians to the band when we play live—musicians that understand what we are doing as a trio—, like Soda Estéreo used to do .
And you have a new EP coming out, right?
Yes, we recorded 5 songs with Marthin Chan, who contributed to some songs with arrangements and lyrics. He came into out little world, like a crazy scientist, and mixed it all. It was a very creative and cool process. I think that if you do your homework, you get your free pass, and Martin has that. Now we are waiting for Sebastián de Pereycave to finish mixing them. We will release the songs soon. Maybe as singles, maybe together as an EP.
Working with Marthin has been good not only because he has contributed creatively to the band, but also because he’s helping us get gigs and stuff. We’re trying to organize a show in Mexico, and we’re really happy because of that.
I heard you’ll be releasing a new single called Let Me Tell You Something. What can you tell me about it?
It’s about the part of our consciousness that decides to be naïve, and to pretend that it doesn’t remember anything from our past lives. Maybe we do know what happened in those lives, but we decide to play here. Maybe we are living some other life in a parallel dimension, and we’re just playing in this one. That’s what the song is about.
You mentioned something like that two years ago, right after I first interviewed you…
Because time doesn’t exist, and we’re really here and now always. So right now we’re saying the same thing we were saying two years ago. If time doesn’t exist… Yeah, of course…I think I get it now…[laughs]. No, I’m just kidding. But time has always been one of my favorite subjects, and it had always been present in my songs.
Who are you listening to right now?
I’m listening to Sean Lennon. He has a band with this girl Charlotte Kemp Muhl called THE GOASTT (The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger). I love it. Charlotte plays the bass and she’s a really good singer, just like Alex, both are very pretty, and both sing and play the bass really well.
Awww, that’s cute. And do you like any song in particular?
*This interview was originally published on Culture Designers