Tequila Mockingbird - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Tequila Mockingbird. We discussed how the pandemic inspired the project, thoughts on last year’s EP ‘Waiting for a Miracle’, lyrical inspiration, the Lansing, Michigan music scene, what to expect from upcoming music and shows, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

You’re welcome, but it feels like I should be thanking you. Reaching out and giving a platform to smaller artists is an incredibly selfless task!

Can you tell me how you formed the project for those who may be unfamiliar with it? How did you initially become interested in music?

Tequila started out as a necessity during quarantine. I knew I wanted to make music for a long time. I’d been drumming since I was like 11, but being a drummer you can’t really write your own songs. After years of not knowing how to start a band and the excessive free time the pandemic presented I essentially forced myself to learn guitar on my $200 acoustic. I thought, “well maybe I can write my own songs.” I just knew I had to manifest my own positive change and start my musical journey.

I probably became interested in music originally because of Guitar Hero. A shame it isn’t really around anymore.

Your EP ‘Waiting For A Miracle’ came out last year. Have you been pleased with the response it has received so far? What are your thoughts looking back on it now?

I’m beyond pleased with the response. I honestly thought no one would care. You’re not entitled to have anyone like your music, but there have been more than enough people at shows or online reminding me they do care! Some of the things I’ve been told melted my heart. It’s still a little hard for me to comprehend that people actively listen to something I created, yet it means the world to me someone would do that.

Looking back, most of the songs on WFAM were barely complete and the lyrics were unfinished until the day I recorded them. They’re the first songs I ever wrote. They’re honest, very raw, and concise. Those qualities can make it hard for me personally to listen to, but those qualities were all intentional. Also, it’s not like those qualities are going away with any of the new stuff I write. 

WFAM accomplished what I wanted it to do and it perfectly captured a moment in time for me as a musician, a songwriter, and a person. At the very least it’s got some cool riffs and some good one liners. People really like it and it’s the first publicly released project I ever wrote. I’m proud of it for that.

What’s one of your favorite moments from recording the EP?

I was doing a take on a super noodley part, I think it was “Wonderhoy!” or “Second Act”, and Mica from Something Missing who recorded it was like, “dude what the hell.”

Turns out the metronome was off, yet my timing was dead on regardless. I can thank the years of drumming for that trait. 

I really like the song “Second Act”. Can you tell me about writing that song specifically? 

That’s actually the least popular one on the EP, however, it’ll always hold a special place in my heart because it’s the first song I ever wrote! 

Lyrically, it’s about my long-term relationship failing. The chorus is a little rudimentary, but it literally came when I was staring at my ceiling. The relationship kinda fizzled out and it left me hollow. She moved on pretty quick and I sort of lingered in a haze for a long time doubting everything about myself and how it all transpired. I knew I did things wrong, but not what I should’ve done to make it right.

Instrumentally, I had the little intro noodle and a chorus and I’m a huge sucker for like built ups or changes in dynamics. Guess that’s the Rise Against fan in me.

Have you been working on any new songs? Is there any chance that we’ll hear more new music this year?

I’ve got the 1 minute songs that I need to record at this point. 150k views on Instagram reels isn’t a joke. I’ll probably end up writing a couple more and make an EP out of them. I have a bunch of other songs in the works and whether I write them full band or keep them solo acoustic is still yet to be determined. I’ve got like 30 song ideas floating around in my head so they’ll come out somehow!

I really want this project to not only be creatively fulfilling, but have a consistent output. New stuff will come soon. I promise. 

You’re part of the Lansing scene. There has been so many great bands from that area lately. Who are some of your favorite artists or bands from the scene?

There are so many talented bands right now and since I’m good friends with most of them it’s like picking children.

Clipboards live is next level tight. Tournament had 3 of my most played songs of 2022 and the first time I heard “Crossface Chickenwing” it gave me goosebumps. We all played at a go-kart place in a mall that also had axe throwing and I guess bands occasionally play there? No one showed up, but I was sold on both of those bands that day and neither of them released their EPs yet. I’d tour the country with that lineup damnit!!

My heart will always belong to Corduroy Pants, Dad Caps and FinalBossFight!. They were the first local bands I ever saw live and they instantly welcomed me into the scene and treated me like family. We were there from the start post-pandemic and seeing the scene grow the way it has together is awesome. Every single person in those bands have made a massively positive impact on my life and I don’t know where I’d be without them. I actually don’t live in Lansing, I live an hour away, but they make it feel like home and I almost never miss their shows (I think I can count on both hands the number of FBF! shows I wasn’t in attendance for). They’re my best friends.

Those words also extend to the people in the band I drum for, Dear Heretic. Shameless plug, but we make good music too I think. 

You’ve got a show coming up with Mt. Oriander and Ben Quad. What can people expect from your set and do you have any surprises planned?

I probably won’t know my set until 15 minutes before a walk up. That’s just how I roll. I usually play a good chunk of the EP, some new songs, a cover or two, and I make sure to end with “Wonderhoy!” because it gets the best response from the crowd. Maybe I’ll bring a friend on stage to duet or try to pull a fast one and play “When All Other Lights Go Out” in front of the Quad Squad. Tequila sets are kinda spontaneous. I try to interact with and read the crowd then act accordingly. That’s what makes them so much fun I think.

Both of those bands are artists I respect and look up to and I’m honored to play with them. Come and give me a slightly early happy birthday at Mac’s Bar on 3/23! 

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Well since you’re giving me the soapbox…

Stream Saturdays At Your Place and The Casper Fight Scene! If you want to start a band it’s never too late! If you see me at a show say hi, I don’t bite! Uh… Uh… Yeah, that’s all I got.

Thank you for this interview. :) 

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