Stomping Grounds: Etienne Vazquez (So Hideous) on New York City, New York

So Hideous (photo by Dean Chooch Landry

So Hideous (photo by Dean Chooch Landry)

New York City’s So Hideous is a band that is reaching new heights on their sophomore LP, which uses a 30 piece orchestra to create an intensely musical ride that is at once inspired by film scores, black metal, Mono, Envy and Godspeed You Black Emperor. Recorded by Dean Baltulonis (Lucero, Sick of It All, Modern Life Is War) and Chris Montgomery (Lily Alen, Mumford & Sons), this is a devastating apocalyptic ride that aches with both beauty and destruction.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Etienne Vazquez to discuss a city that aches of beauty and destruction, his home in New York City. This is what he had to say about Central Park, Governor’s Ball, Ritz Diner and more.
What’s your town’s nickname? 
The Big Apple? And honestly, I had to look up why this was the case.
What’s your nickname for your town?
The City. Over time, I’ve learned there is no other city like New York. It is The City.
Why do you live there?
I grew up here, specifically in the Bronx. In retrospect, it makes sense I’m here. Plenty of great friends, family and always something new to experience.
Did you grow up there? If not, what brought you there? 
See above.
What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you there?
Every day in NYC is weird. Each experience is unique in its own right.
What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)? 
Central Park is great. On a completely different side of the spectrum, Nitehawk Cinemas is doing some pretty awesome stuff. And the nerd in me still likes going to the Museum of Natural History.
What is your favorite local event or festival?
There’s always a street fair somewhere in the city with great food that’s not great for you. As for festivals, I’ve gone to Governor’s Ball the last three years. Gets more fun every year. Nothing like a major festival where you can still sleep in your own bed at night.
What is the best time of year to be there?
May – October. You get the tail end of Spring, the humidity/hell of Summer, and the cool down of Fall.
Who is your favorite local celebrity? 
Don’t have one.
Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour? 
Anywhere. I prefer dives and pubs and anywhere where I can play throwback ’80s tracks.
Do you play music there? If so, where is your favorite place to play? 
The gentlemen at St. Vitus in Brooklyn always treat us well.
Does where you live influence your music?
Probably. When you grow up with Salsa, Oldies, Freestyle/House and Hip Hop in the home – you’re bound to care about rhythm and melody.
What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
There are a lot of great venues in the city. I like Bowery Ballroom (Enslaved/Pallbearer was a great show). Music Hall of Williamsburg is great (Cannibal Corpse/Napalm Death, Trail of Dead – both good shows). Terminal 5 is a good sounding larger venue (Gojira/Mastodon and Meshuggah last 2 solid shows there).
What is your favorite local band?
Candiria. Anyone into heavy music should check these guys out. But to be honest, I’d need to get back out there in the local scene to start appreciating more good music.
What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
Ritz Diner is solid. Bacon cheeseburger: get the fries and get the milk shake. Your body needs it.
What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?
I don’t buy vinyl. But when I bought records/cds/tapes a long while back, I would typically find myself at Generation Records in the village.
If you could live anywhere else, where would that be?
So many choices. But if we narrow it down, I’d say Italy. Post up in some local village with the family, fresh wine and authentic Italian with beautiful surroundings. I think I’d be good with that.
(Visit So Hideous here: