Houston Music

Artist of the Week: Wild Moccasins

Each Wednesday, Rocks Off arbitrarily appoints one lucky local performer or group "Artist of the Week," bestowing upon them all the fame and grandeur such a lofty title implies. Know a band or artist that isn't awful? Email their particulars to [email protected].

Photo by Grant Hickey

It’s clear that youthful pop-rockers The Wild Moccasins, all of whom are under 23, are possessed of clear talent and gobs of potential, a point solidified by the presence of rhythm guitarist Cody Swann’s Bronson-esque almost-mustache.

They’ve thoroughly been rockin’ tits for a little under a year now -and were even nominated for Best New Act this year by a certain good-looking, well dressed alt-weekly - so Rocks Off made sure to sign them to our Artist of the Week roster before someone else claimed them as their own.

The surprisingly cryptic Swann was polite enough to take some time to answer a few of our questions and make an obscure Power Rangers reference. He also nattered on about the effect his relationship with vocalist Zahira Gutierrez has on the band and Houston's five shittiest bands.

Houston Press: Go ahead and give us a brief rundown of how you guys all got together. Feel free to be as brief as possible, unless your story involves something interesting like a dinosaur or some type of possibly racist metaphor.

Cody Swann: Two unwitting astronauts discovered an extraterrestrial container (referred to as a Dumpster as a result of its stench) and breached the unit, inadvertently releasing the evil witch, Rita Repulsa, from 10,000 years of confinement.

When the wise sage, Zordon, became aware of the release of the evil witch he was responsible for capturing so long ago, he ordered his robotic assistant, Alpha5, to find five "teenagers with attitude," to defend the Earth from Rita's attacks. The five socially diverse teens chosen were Nicholas Cody, Andrew Lee, Zahira Gutierrez, Andrew Ortiz and Cody Swann.

Photo by Grant Hickey

HP: Dude? What the hell are you talking about?

CS: [laughs] That’s actually from the wiki page for the Power Rangers.

HP: Ah, we got you. You and Zahira have been dating for a while, or so we've heard. How's that work out within the context of the band? Like, have you guys ever had any band-related couple arguments? Have you all ever taken shots at the other one's talent level? Seems like that'd be the first jab thrown out there.

CS: It makes things a lot easier, actually. We’re able to be completely honest about how things should sound or when one or the other could be doing something better. [But] yes, we have had "band-related couple arguments."

We try to keep the band and relationship separate, but anytime you take a situation where you’re putting a ton of time and care into something, it's bound to happen. As far as taking shots at our talent levels, that has never been an issue. We just try to push each other to grow as musicians.

HP: We used to try to "push" our ex-girlfriend to grow as a cook. We'd say stuff like, "Man, you're a shitty cook," and "What's for dinner tonight? Nothing we hope." That's what you mean, right?

CS: Yeah, except we don't sugarcoat it. We’re a little more blunt.

HP: Speaking of, by all accounts, you guys are a terribly polite band. We'd like to give you a chance to change that image right here and now. It may be the catalyst that you need to get to that next level. So, kind sirs and ma'am, please list the five shittiest bands in Houston right now. If you don't, we will forever be relegated to calling you all the Mild Moccasins. We might even go so far as to refer to you all as the Artist of the Weak. We're clever like that.

CS: That’s easy: News On The March, Young Mammals, The Mathletes, Elaine Greer, and Buxton.

HP: Really? Wow. Everyone ducks that question heavy when we ask it.

CS: Wait what was the question? Oh, no, those are our best band friends. I was joking.

HP: Dammit. Whatever. Talk a little about the upcoming EP. What can people expect there?

CS: [It’s] our best efforts to capture what we were writing and playing over this past year.

HP: Well that was substantive. Your MySpace page bills you all as Chinese Pop. Care to explain exactly what that is? If we had to guess, we'd say it was friendly old man of Eastern descent, although that seems a rather odd way to classify one's music.

CS: That sounds about right.

HP: Okay, last thing: When, where, and for how much can someone see you guys perform live?

CS: You can see us live November 4th at Notsuoh with The Terrordactyls and Buxton for $3.

Feel free to hit up the Wild Moccasins on MySpace and see if you can do a better of getting them to answer questions than we did. - Shea Serrano

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Shea Serrano