LUPE FLORES

 
Photo: Aaron Brick

Photo: Aaron Brick

 

LUPE FLORES

SEATTLE, WA

MUSIC


Where are you from, where are you now, and what keeps you around?

I’m mostly from here.  When I was real young, I lived in Florida, but I moved to Woodinville when I was 6- it was still actual woods back then though, horse pastures and shit.  Now it’s like a mini-Bellevue, (insert eye roll here.) I lived in Bellingham for 13 years, and definitley consider that to be a second home- the community there is absolutely incredible.  Similar to Ballard, where I live now. The bands I play in and our friends who live here, is why we are still here.  Our friends are priceless.  I’m just trying to savor it all while we can, before we all get priced out even more than we already have. 

You are in a handful of bands right now, Can you tell us a little about them and your roll within them?

I guess I’m pretty one-dimensional in that I play drums in all of my bands.  I sing back up 2 of them. 

WILD POWWERS: This band is the one I push the most, probably because it’s the kind of music I can relate to the most often. Lara, Jojo and I share equal roles in the writing process, and we write OFTEN, which is pretty dope. I am most definitely the band mom in this band which comes with it’s ups and downs for sure.  

TACOS! : I’ve been in this band the longest, (maybe 7+ years??)  It’s a weirdo kinda stoner metal/fun time band with my buddy, Coach. We base most of our band off of having fun, shotgunning beer and eating tacos, (duh).  I’m sure we will be in Tacos! for life, regardless of where we live- even if it takes a back seat for awhile, we will always come back and pick up right where we left off.

LORBO:  This is the newest, (and most challenging), band I’m in.  I feel SUPER lucky, and flattered to play with Skerik and Brad Mowen- two very seasoned and internationally appreciated musicians. This is the band I get to just show up and be the drummer.  I don’t have to plan anything, or take a leadership role, I just get to show up and shred, and that’s fucking awesome. I love these dudes and this band, and there’s no way I could ever describe our music, other than scary.  It’s really fucking scary.

Was music something that was always around in your life?

Not at all.  I think that’s why I went so ballz deep for it later on. I was totally deprived of music growing up, so when I left my parents house, and discovered bands like, Led Zeppelin, Sabbath, etc, I was blown away and immediately addicted. 

When did you first know you wanted to Start playing the drums and what made you decide to make it part of your identity? 

I dreamt I was playing drums on stage when i was 17, (the same time I left home).  The next day, I went out and bought a djembe, cuz I was a hippie, and cuz that’s what I could afford at the time. It sounds cheesy to say I didn’t choose the drums, they chose me, but that’s kind of how it feels.  Everything in my life has taken a back seat to the drums ever since that day. Obviously I moved on from playing percussion, to bashing a drum kit with all of my might, and that feeling is incomparable.  I have never worked so hard or been so passionate about anything ever- it kind of scares me to tell the truth.  Like, I’ve always wanted to have babies, but if we get on a big tour circuit, that probably won’t happen.  Tour STILL feels more important to me, and I’m 35, sooo….you do the math.

I know you have  deep infatuation for our local football team, what was it like running into Michael Bennet of the Seattle Seahawks and what was your immediate reaction?

After, first taking in the hugeness of this man, (he is massive), I was immediately humbled.  I fucking LOVE Michael Bennett. I wanted to throw my arms around him and hug him forever.  Instead, I shook his hand and told him I love him, and that he was my favorite Seahawk, etc.. He has the most gentle handshake, and softest voice I’d ever heard.  I wanted to stay forever. 

Tell us a little about your Drum Kit?

The drums I play were “long-term borrowed” to me from my boo, Shay.  They are a late 70’s Ludwig, 14”, 18”, 24”.  I play a Keplinger snare, which is fucking amazing and loud AF. I love my 24” Istanbul dark crash, (I actually cried when I got it), and my 22” Meinl sand ride.

How do you and your bands approach song writing? Does each band approach it differently?

WP is definitely the most prolific when it comes to writing new songs.  I’ve never been in a band more prolific.  There are times when they’ll be tuning and we just end up writing a song based off that, and other times all 3 of us will have ideas of our own and send them to each other, and we create the rest of the parts together at practice.  I love writing with those two.

Tacos! is mostly based off of Coach’s riffs.  Sometimes, that will happen organically when we are just fucking around at practice, and sometimes he’ll work on a riff and show it to me, and I’ll write drums, (and lately, many of the vocals), to it.

LORBO is so new, I don’t even know how we “write” yet. Much of what we do is experimental and improvisational- even live.  Some of our improvisations turn into “songs” which are really more like placeholders, in the middle of a set of just creating on the spot, which is hugely inspiring and challenging for me. 

Are there any albums or artist that you draw inspiration from?

This is a huge question.  Pretty sure I’ve been inspired from anything I’ve even heard, whether I’ve liked it or not, know what I mean?  For example, whiny dude music inspires me to never write a song like that.  John Bonham inspires me to crush it on the drums, and bands like The Kinks, inspire me to balance simplicity with nuance in song crafting as much as possible.

What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t so involved in music?

Making WAY more time for my friends and family.  I wish I didn’t have to sleep so I had time to be a better friend/daughter/wife, etc. Also, starting a family of my own…and or a restaurant/school/hippie commune, would be nice.

You’re not a big fan of Hair cuts on other people, why is that?

I honestly don’t know what it is about people cutting their hair that bums me out so much.  I feel like they are becoming “square”, or losing something honest about themselves or something…I really don’t know where that comes from though. Just please don’t do it, or at least give me as much notice as possible, so I can try and prepare myself and not be bummed out when I see you next.

Have you found that there are perks to being a musician?

Personal “perks” I guess.  Perks as in, letting myself express myself on a regular basis so that I don’t go completely insane…that’s nice. I don’t know how people can go around acting “normal” if they don’t regularly have an outlet to express themselves.  I would start burning shit down without the drums, for sure.

Definitely not societal “perks” though. Maybe if I was as huge as Beyoncé I would, but she’s Queen Bee, so I’m not holding out for that one. Most people roll their eyes like, “oh you’re in a band…so’s fucking everyone, what’s your REAL job”.

How about frustrations?

Yep! Dealing with other musicians and their, (alcoholism, drug use, emotions, self-centeredness, lack of ambition/drive,/ability to show up on time/etc), facing constant sexism, lack of money, lack of respect, the list goes on and on and on.  Good thing it’s so therapeutic to get that shit out on the drums right?!?

Are there any projects that you are particularly proud of?

I try not to be too proud.  I love the bands I’m in, but all of my friends do rad shit all of the time.  I’m more proud of all of them.

How do you feel about the music community in Seattle, is there anything you want to praise or change about it?

It’s definitely small and tight-knit which is a good and bad thing. I love that people support each others’ bands here.  WP just played a show from 730-8 on a Tuesday, and it was packed full of our friends.  That’s amazing.  I feel very lucky for those loyal folks. 

I would love it if venues could stop shutting down though! (This is not the community’s fault as much as the rich dickholes who keep moving here and jacking up the rent’s fault). There are other things I would change, but I don’t think this is the best place to talk about them.  

What can you be found doing when you are not playing music?

I bartend at Hattie’s Hat(Ballard) and Bar house(Fremont).  I cook and party with my friends a lot, garden, workout, go to shows, have yard parties, go on adventures with my boo, but mostly, play music, by a landslide.

Are there any new projects that you are working on? if so, could you tell us a little about them?

LORBO is new and super fun/weird. Skerik, from basically every amazing band I can imagine, (Dead Kenny G’s, Critters Buggin’, Crack Sabbath, etc), asked me to play drums with him and Brad Mowen, (The Accused, Lesbian, Sweaty Nipples,) The best way I can describe it, would be “the soundtrack to your nightmares”. 

Favorite Seahawks of the past/ present?

MARSHAWN LYNCH ONCE AND FOR ALWAYS!!!

I also LOVE Michael Bennett, and ALL of our Seahawks.  I seriously love them all so much.  We have the best/greatest/most passionate team ever of all time. 

Favorite restaurant?

I don’t really wanna tell you because I don’t want anymore people going there.  I already have to wait in line behind a bunch of tech bros as it is, (sorry dudes). 

BUT! I love working at/drinking at/eating at Hattie’s Hat, because it’s fam squad 4eva <3 <3 <3 

Favorite local(Seattle)artist at the moment?

You’re talking about musical artist yah? That’s a toughie. I really love CHARMS and Helms Alee. They inspire me a lot.  Deep Sea Diver put out a great record last year too.

Favorite not so local artist?

Current artist? Fucking Tribe Called Quest, David Bowie. Honestly, most of the music I listen to on a regular basis besides hip-hop is pre-1975 Rocknroll.

Favorite place to visit?

Mexico, New York, Bali was pretty sic. I also really love visiting “Dream Store, (aka Central Market), and “Happy Feet” (aka Two Smiling Feet), as much as possible. 

Least favorite place to visit?

Driving through West Texas, and most of the mid-west, (fucking Iowa), is soul-sucking. Also, the DMV, Capitol Hill on a weekend night. 

Five favorite albums?

Exile on Main Street- Rolling Stones

Hunky Dory- Bowie

Anti -Rihanna

Led Zeppelin 1-4, (can’t choose)

Pet Sounds- Beach Boys

Favorite TV show?

Sopranos/Seinfeld

Favorite slice of pizza and the best place to get it?

Honestly don’t love Seattle Pizza, but Lonesome in Portland is fucking dope.

Favorite animal?

Cephalopods! All of them! Also, PUPPIES!!!

Favorite game?

Football, duh.

Favorite invention from the 19th century? 

Gotta be honest, had to look up what was invented when.  And obviously, need to go with Electricity on this one, (not invented, but discovered, does that count?) Electricity is v important for rocknroll, soooo…yah.

Favorite movie?

Princess Bride

last words?

Tell your people how much you love them on a regular basis. Don’t hold back. Be honest and true.