Jacuzzi Boys is the Miami-bred, garage-rock band that’s known for having Iggy Pop’s coveted endorsement. The trio said he’s a “cool dude, down to earth and quite charming,” so I supposed we’ll trust their judgment. By delivering a hook-laden sound with gritty, mischievous undertones, they’ve made a name for themselves over the past eight years, and recently released a new EP, Happy Damage, that’s taken them across Europe for four separate tours. We caught up with the boys—Gabriel Alcala, Diego Monasterios and Danny Gonzales—to talk about Miami music, guilty pleasures and favorite animals.
Who came up with the name Jacuzzi Boys?
Gabriel Alcala: “I did. At first it was just me and Diego. We wrote a couple of songs, we got to play in Orlando and we just needed a name for a couple of shows. There’s not too much behind it. We didn’t take ourselves too seriously and still don’t.”
What inspires your music?
GA: “Pretty much anything. Baseball, fruits, sex, animals, turtles, scorpions. Dogs, in particular—we love dogs.”
Diego Monasteries: “Tropical animals. I had an iguana—a bunch really. I had an alligator, as well.”
Danny Gonzales: “No, it’s not. It’s really Miami a kind of thing. Many people have reptiles and weird animals.”
What music are you listening to right now?
GA: “We’ve been listening to a lot of Drake recently. Also, I got into this very weird post-punk band from the ’80s [called] Suburban Lawns. They’re from California.”
DG: “I’m listening to a lot Wu-Tang [Clan].”
What’s Miami’s indie music scene like, right now?
GA: “The underground music in Miami is Rock ‘N’ Roll—weird freaky stuff, [like] noise and punk.”
Is there any relationship to the West Coast Burger Records scene?
DG: “The West Coast indie scene is like a little world—a bubble. The Burger Records thing is like a hub for a genre of music. Bands gather around a record label. In Miami it’s different, the scene exists because bands gather around a club or a venue.”
Which venue is a pillar of Miami’s underground music scene?
DG: “Churchill’s. It’s been very important to the underground music scene since 1979. It’s not a club, it’s more like an English pub and basically allowed underground music to be eccentric. You could just go there, hit a pipe for 15 minutes and play your music—No rules, a bit dodgy [and] very punk.”
GA: “This is where the Rock ‘N’ Roll, noise, punk and heavy bands come from, and it’s pretty much the only place in Miami for this kind of music nowadays.”
You just started your own record label, Mag Mag. What do you think about DIY culture’s revival today?
DG: “I think because of technology, people have way more accessibility and visibility online. It’s easier than ever to do stuff on your own and you don’t have to rely on record labels. You can promote your music by yourself.
We didn’t have a label for the new album and we wanted to do something on our own—do what we like and how we like it.”
You’re currently touring your new EP across Europe. How’s that going?
DG: “Our shows are pretty rowdy, loud and our fans are always enthusiastic. However, we noticed a difference; we played in Brighton and London the last few days and people were definitely enjoying the show, but were a bit more like, just standing there. I remember our fist time in London people went crazy.”
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
DG: “Kid Rock, featuring Sheryl Crow. I think the title of the song is ‘Picture.’ A bit of country, a bit cheesy—it’s great.”
If you were an animal, what would you be?
DG: “I’d be a monkey, I love monkeys.”
GA: “I don’t necessarily want to be this animal, but people say I look like a llama. I mean, it could be cool, though.
DM: “I would like to be a dolphin. You know, they have sex for fun.”