Having spent the last couple of weeks fretting over the damage that Hurricane Isaac threatened to bring in its wake to the Gulf Coast, the idea of spending the evening in the midst of Sick/Sea may create trepidation for even the most astute fans of indie rock. However, the McAllen, Texas, duo that carries the panic inducing moniker, is making splendid waves that are sure to carry listeners who are fans of multi-genre blending in much more pleasant directions. The duo, which consists of siblings Audrey and Cameron Scott, combine moments of indie rock, jazz, and hardcore creating a distinct and succinctly mature sound – one which puts them in league with contemporaries like Copeland, Eisley and Dear and the Headlights.
As of late their music has carried them past the borders of the small town in the country’s largest states capturing the attention of Autumn+Colour Records who will release the bands Moral Compass on October 16 along the way. Ghettoblaster caught up with Audrey while the band were in the midst of their current tour to discuss some of her favorite things about her home town. Here’s what she told us about art walking and authentic Mexican food…
What’s your town’s nickname?
The Rio Grande Valley. It combines all the surrounding cities.
What’s your nickname for your town?
We just call it The Valley.
Why do you live there?
Because I’ve got it too good! My brother and I live in a nice trailer our dad owns so we just pay the lot rent. It’s super cheap, plus I have an awesome boss who supports my musical aspirations. I get to come home and manage the coffee shop between tours.
Did you grow up there? If not, what brought you there?
Yup grew up there, born and raised, but also left as quickly as possible. I basically lived out of the Valley for 5 years after high school.
What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you there?
That’s like asking what the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me!
What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?
South Padre Island is the best thing we’ve got. It’s an hour away and seeing as how the Valley is 4 hours South of civilization, being at the beach feels like you’re not trapped.
What is your favorite local event or festival?
We have an Art Walk every Friday for most of the year downtown. There’s also a lot of live music at them and it’s a nice change of pace.
What is the best time of year to be there?
We get Winter Texans every year in the Valley who are basically retired people from the North who live in the Valley during the Winter because it is guaranteed to not snow. When I get old, I’m going to be a Winter Texan! We generally have very nice Winters that are short and not too too cold.
Who is your favorite local celebrity?
Charlie Vela! He records most of the local bands and is a great guy. [we don’t really have any celebrities]
Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour?
Roosevelt’s on 7 has a bunch of beers on tap and the bartenders know their stuff. The whole place has a very cool feel if you’re looking for a place to hang out. Honestly, I don’t go out to drink much. If I’m gonna have a couple of beers, it’s at home with a few friends.
Who has the best jukebox (and what’s in it)?
Haha, I honestly don’t know. There was an Applebees with a good jukebox once.
Do you play music there? If so, where is your favorite place to play?
No, we haven’t played at Applebees yet. Our favorite place to play is the Cine el Rey. It’s an old theater that has now housed some of our most memorable shows.
Does where you live influence your music?
Every experience influences our music in some way but I don’t think our music sounds like anything that’s coming out of the Valley. We’re so close to the border of Mexico that Tejano and Norteño are the prevalent genres. Our pool of Indie, Rock, and Metal music is a small one but a tight-knit one. If a musician decides to write from our pool, they automatically have way more room to be original and generally have way more support than if they were trying to make music in a bigger city.
What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
The Cine el Rey. My favorite show there was Miniature Tigers.
What is your favorite local band?
What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
Well if you want authentic Mexican food, go to any corner but I’ve personally become a little burnt out on the stuff. I love going to Hop Tung for their Bun Vermicelli bowl.
What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?
Fallback Records because not only are they awesome, but they’re pretty much the only record store we have. And I don’t collect vinyl but Orlie the owner has special-ordered some records for me that I got for a friend.
What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?
Ouch! My Ego is a cool zine that also throws awesome events.
What is your favorite local shop?
Jitterz Coffee Bar not just because I work there but because they really do serve amazing high quality, home-roasted coffee.
If you could live anywhere else, where would that be?
I would love to live in Austin, TX. But if out of the states, I’d want to try living in Japan for a bit.
(Visit Sick/Sea at their Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/SickSea.)