In 2012 Zack Mexico had been a five piece for about a year. But Joey LaFountaine (drums), John Saturley (guitar, vocals), Jamie Brumbeloe (guitar), Matt Wentz (guitar), and TJ Harrington (bass) had grown up together in Kill Devil Hills. And whether they wanted it or not, their explorations in ambient punk were subconsciously being delivered through a skewed beachy lens. But it manifested in an infectious debut EP with Raleigh’s Diggup Tapes, Aberration of Celestial Kokomo. They even landed a spot that year at Hopscotch and threw a wild set. But they returned to the OBX obscurity that had formed them, unfazed by the attention, and quickly went to work on two new albums. The first of which was put on the shelf until LaFountaine proposed they release it this month anyway. Ephemera of Altruisms is a darker tale, a volatile study in psych shoegaze, with dueling guitars leading the tracks into unforeseen turns. It’s dirty and strange and according to the band, best enjoyed with free weed.
Last thing I ate: Marlboro lights 72 gold and a Mountain Dew. But I usually smoke Marlboro regulars. I’m just pretty broke right now.
Last book I read: I don’t read any science fiction but I do read factual science books. And I can get into religion, but not a book that someone has written about religion. I can pick up the Bible and be really into that because Jesus Christ was really awesome. But I think the last book I read was Einstein’s Universe by Nigel Calder.
Aliens? : I’ve never seen an alien. So really there could be an alien somewhere. I don’t think that they don’t exist.
Worst recent purchase: A TV. I bought like a 42 inch flat screen $700 TV with all the money I saved up from working and then I got really angry with it and took a bar stool and just swung it around in a circle and I yelled, “My life is gonna change right now.” And I smashed the TV. And this is real. I’m not fucking with you. I just did this a week ago. I had decided that the TV was taking my time away from things that I enjoyed more. It’s easier to sit around and watch TV instead of doing something productive. So I smashed up that shit. I’m gonna quote Josh from this band called the Critters, also known as the Pills, also known as Asheville’s greatest band. But he said, “Bumping my speakers, fuck your TV.”
Favorite drink: I’m gonna go with milk because I love cereal. And my favorite cereal would be Frosted Flakes.
Morning routine: Wake up, use the bathroom, smoke a cig and get some ice water or juice or whatever I have in the fridge, get dressed. And I’ll probably kick around with my roommate for a bit having talks. He’s a musician as well. His name’s Harry Harrison and he’s in the Critters. So we talk about music. And I probably get out of the house around noon. No one else in my band gets up that early. I get up really early at like 7 everyone else gets up in the afternoon. Music time is morning time for me. For most people it’s night. But for me it’s in the morning. The best time to write a song is either right before you fall asleep and you’re really tired and you’re kinda dazed out and got that dazy flow that I like or right when you wake up in the morning fresh. You get a drink and a smoke and you can have a clear thought in the morning right when you first wake up. There’s no clutter of your day, from all the relationships that you’re in with different people in your life. At night you sit and reflect on your day. In the morning time you can look to the future so that’s the best time to record music and write songs.
If I could hang out with an author … : Hunter S. Thompson. And I think what we would do together is not even worth trying to guess because it will probably be wrong.
If I could be on a reality show … : I don’t watch TV. I don’t have cable. I’ve never had cable but I know a little bit about TV and I would be on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire because that shit is easy. Every time I watch that shit I wish I was on it. I would say Jeopardy but you don’t get a payout. I want a million dollars to answer 10 questions about some bullshit.
Hang over cure: I get hang overs pretty easily. So I don’t drink much. So I don’t have a hangover cure because I don’t need one.
Senior Superlative? : I wasn’t voted for any in high school but in 6th grade I was best dressed. I was living in Kentucky then so I was probably wearing a turtleneck sweater with a stripe across it. I had a shower every morning then.
If I could be a historical figure: There’s so many cool people but I’m gonna pick Jesus because he was the coolest of them all. He wasn’t awesome in the way the surfer dudes are like, “Hey, that was an awesome day of surfing.” He was the TRUE meaning of awesome. And if I was him I’d use my power to do good for the world.
First album that I convinced my parent to buy me: Puff Daddy “Come With Me” single cd which had the Led Zeppelin sample.
Best birthday present I ever got: I haven’t had that many great birthdays but you know what, my last birthday I got a really good present. The bass player in my band gave me $40 and I thought that was pretty outrageous. It was in a card and everything. He also gave me an old sweater that was his girlfriend’s. I mean most of the clothes I wear are from my friends.
Super group : I get to make a super band? Oh my god. I fucking love this, I do this all the time. I’m a super band master I can make the fucking coolest bands. Want me to make the coolest band anybody’s ever fucking heard ever? On the drums, Michael Jordan. Michael Jackson singing. On the keytar, Jerry Garcia. And playing an instrument that he created himself out of two beer kegs and lots of wooden broomsticks and lots of string and lots of contact microphones, the leader and creator of the music for the band, Justin Timberlake. Justin Timberlake will be 65 years old, Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, and Jerry Garcia will be brought back from the dead because they all will have died at that point. The resurrection will be real because Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, and Jerry Garcia will come back to form an all-star band with Justin Timberlake. And for Michael Jordan, he’ll just attach contact mics to the basketball and the basketball hoop. That’d be a really good show. I think it would be my favorite show of all time if that happened. I hope it’ll happen one day.
Zack Mexico’s album release party for Empherma of Altruisms is tomorrow night at King’s with fellow label mates Lonnie Walker and Asheville friends the Critters. Click here for event info.