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Weekend music

Tucson sounds: Hitting the town with teen bands Yum and Somniac

The Tucson teen-band revolution continues. And while it might not be televised, it's definitely making its way to local recording studios.

Tucson's latest echo of the late '60s worldwide garage-band explosion is a plethora of local garage, punk, funk, pop, art rock, and straight-up rock and roll groups spearheaded by musicians who may be young, fun and lighthearted, but are nonetheless serious as a heart attack about their craft and focused on getting better and better while having a great time doing it.

This week, we meet another pair of young bands who are beginning to make their mark at local live venues, all-ages events and house-party shows in and around Tucson.

Of the two bands, Yum are the "seasoned veterans" with a ton of live gigs under their belt and a slot headlining this month's main stage at Second Saturdays Downtown. Meanwhile, Somniac are fast on their heels, honing their chops and having a blast while their friends spread the word.

Don't cry, don't raise your eye. It's only teenage wasteland...


​TucsonSentinel.com: Who is Yum! and what's the origin story of the band? Who plays what?

Maya Rizk: "Ari and Rylande had known each other for many years before they even thought to jam together. When they began to create little melodies and ideas, they realized they needed a drummer, but didn't know how to splice Rylande into a perfect bass/drum clone set! He plays both bass and drums equally well.

"When Rylande and I met in the Tucson High steel drums class, with Rylande playing bass and me playing drums, we knew we had to jam together. After jamming a little bit on our own, we finally got all together as a trio and essentially became inseparable as creative partners."

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Rylande Dodge: "To follow what Maya said; Maya Rizk on Drums, Ari Dettman on Guitar/vocals, and Rylande Dodge on Bass/vocals."

TS: How would you describe the band's sound and style?

RD: "Honestly, I don't really know the best way to describe our sound. It's enjoyable, nice on the ears, whatever is needed to get people moving. With funk as a foundation, we use its rhythm to venture out into various genres, like metal and punk, while attempting to maintain the funky feel. Overall, the sounds is pretty unique and the best way to understand it is to see us live."

MR: "Our philosophy has always been to have as much fun as possible while playing the coolest music possible. As much as we love hanging out with each other, we love playing music together even more than anything else, so if we aren't having a good time; we're doing something wrong."

Ari Dettman: "I think our band for me is really about explosive energy. We try to bring danceable grooves, but add in those elements of punk and harsher sounds to kick the energy up to eleven. That's what makes our music really fun to play for me."

TS: What other bands have you all been in?

MR: "I've been in high school bands, and in the Tucson Jazz Institute, TJI. I had never really been in a completely separate project before I met Rylande and Ari."

AD: "Rylande and I are both in this band called Air Conditioner, along with our good friend James Noriega. We play some good ol' punk, and you'll probably see us gigging with Yum in the future".

RD: "I was in a blues duo for about a year called Roman Barten Sherman and The Interstellar Blues Orchestra. From there, I played in Jovert Steel Drums with Maya for one year at Tucson High. That was a great year. And as Ari said, he and I are in another band called Air Conditioner."

TS: How did each of you fall in love with your instruments and start playing music?

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RD: "I started my listening to recordings of Primus, Rush and Red Hot Chili Peppers around seventh grade. Les Claypool, Geddy Lee, and Flea are rhythmic and melodic masterminds and the first time I heard them all I was immediately hooked. I wanted to be a bass player, but my parents weren't hot on the idea at the time. They wanted me to focus on drums because I just starting playing them and in their words, 'the bass would be another distraction and you would lose interest in a month or less.'"

"Then came the fateful day at the end of eighth grade when my grandma picked me up from school, told me to put on a blindfold, and drove me to a music store to buy my first bass guitar. I haven't stopped playing it since. Thank you so much, Grandma!"

AD: "I started on bass originally, and I was pretty much just playing in the middle school jazz band and constantly trying to slap like Flea. Eventually, I started to pick up the guitar when I was getting deep into metal, with bands like Toska, Rage Against the Machine, and Nails. I think I only really fell in love with the guitar when I started playing with Yum, which really gave me a platform to create my own style and sound".

MR: "My brother had a drumset that he played a total of two times, so I began messing around on it every now and again before asking a schoolmate if her mother, Tasha Bundy, could teach me a thing or two. She completely ignited my passion for drums, and after that, I began seeking out anybody who could possibly offer more knowledge. My current teacher of ten years is Pete Swan, who shares the same love for rhythm that I do."

TS: How did you discover rock and roll?

RD: "Tony Hawk Pro Skater on the Nintendo 64. It had songs from Rage Against the Machine, Dead Kennedys, and Primus. My six-year-old mind couldn't even begin to process what in the world was going on in 'Jerry was a Racecar Driver.'"

AD: "Honestly, Rylande. He showed me Primus one time on a bus and then it got heavier and heavier from there."

MR: "My dad would put on really cool music every now and again, and I would flip through the radio looking for something. I didn't know what, but I knew I would know it when I heard it. I started stealing my brother's IPod Classic so I could listen to exactly one song, 'Immigrant Song' by Led Zeppelin. Do the math."

TS: Favorite bands?

RD: "Without hesitation, Primus, Rush, and Vulfpeck are the main three I will always enjoy. Currently, I have been listening to a lot of afro beat/afro cuban music like Ira Kere, Fela Kuti, and Tony Allen. Locally, I've been really digging the music of bands like Carnival, Sweet Ghost, Stripes, and AM Waves."

MR: "Primus, AJJ, Funkadelic, Bob Marley, the Dodos, Rage Against The Machine, ABBA, Stripes, Air Conditioner, Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Heart, Janis Joplin, Kimbra,Yes. Just to name a few."

AD:"Rage Against The Machine, Godspeed, Toska, Clipping, Bing and Ruth, Fractalize are some of my current favs, and locally I love the Stripes."

TS: Future plans for the band?

AD: "We're looking to record another studio album in 2019, as well as continuing to play shows around Tucson for a long while."

MR: "I want to take over the world by making everyone dance in the streets. I want my music to be in every phone, car radio, and jukebox. I want to travel the world playing shows every other night, and I want Yum to be a household name. I want little girls to look at me and promptly ask their parents for sticks and a kit to practice on. But first, we should probably finish the second album."

RD: "Honestly, I would love to play at some music festivals, I think our sound would work really well in that environment. As for the far future, hoping to maintain our genuine enjoyment for the music we create and perform is a goal for me that I'm sure we'll keep."

TS: Favorite band moment so far?

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AD: "We took a trip up to Cottonwood in January. The drive up was gorgeous and we met a bunch of totally cool people up there. Being on the road together is always fun, and it got me excited for some future tours we might go on."

MR: "Basically every time we practice or have a show, I get these butterflies because I'm so completely overjoyed to be hanging out with my best friends. The Yum Sessions on YouTube are basically compilations of our goofiest moments in rehearsal, so rewatching those things is always a gas."

RD: "There are so many. Anytime we do a gig, I'm ecstatic. From locals shows at Schoolhouse of Rock to the one in Cottonwood, I enjoy them all immensely.

"One highlight that stands out to me would be the time at Schoolhouse of Rock when we started our set and a guy blew out his knee in the mosh pit. It brought the show to a grinding halt. People had to leave the venue in order for a dispatch team to take the guy away in a stretcher. I felt awful for the guy and we thought the gig was pretty much over after that. But after all of that cleared up, the people came back, they wanted more.

"While it surprised me how many people stayed after that incident, I was overall filled with a spike of adrenaline and passion to put on an amazing show with my friends. We did just that. Also, that was one of the sweatiest gigs I have ever played."

TS:Tell us about your upcoming gig!

MR: "On March 9, we will be playing at Second Saturday on the main stage on Scott Avenue. It will be loud and fun, so come dance with us!"

TS: What else should we know about the band?

AD: "Look out Tucson, Cause Yum's hittin' the town!"

MR: "We love each other, our music, and you."

RD: "The only thing I can think to say is that we want to bring something new and exciting to the table of music for everyone to enjoy."

Yum takes over the Second Saturdays main stage on Scott Avenue on Saturday night at 8 p.m.

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TucsonSentinel.com: Who is Somniac? And what do you sound like?

Avery (guitar): "We are indie alt rock, and basically a twinkly Sonic Youth. Our general philosophy is...we like making music that we like."

Toby (vocals, guitar): "It started as Ghostwriter with me on drums and Avery on lead guitar. Soon after we added Ben on bass, I moved to vocals and rhythm, and we added Fin on drums. We did not know each other during high school, and instead met at local shows."

TS: What other bands have you all been in so far?

A: "SpookySluggers, Tea Time, and Neighborsheep."

T: "VoreyHoles, SpookySluggers, and Tea Time."

Fin: "Neighborsheep."

Ben: "Back in Twenty, Sauced Up!, Sky Ants, Tone Marbles, Dog College, SpookySluggers, Happy Medium."

TS: Why did you start playing music - and how did you fall in love with rock and roll?

A: "I met an old man shredding at the local farmers market and started getting lessons from him. Turns out he's an NYU alum with classical jazz training."

T: "When I turned nine I wanted to to be in a band so I learned power chords."

B: "I didn't pay attention to music until high school. Then I picked up the bass."

F: "I really liked the movie Whiplash."

A: "I started listening to rock music after I found Death Grips. I used almost exclusively listened to hip hop, but after Death Grips I listened to every rock album I could get my hands on."

T: "In sixth grade I wanted to be cool and my scene sister showed me all her emo music."

F: "'Like Clockwork' by the Queens of the Stone Age had me hooked."

B: "I really liked all the music on my sister's old iPod."

TS: Favorite bands?

A: "Sonic Youth, The Strokes, Death Grips, Dismemberment Plan, and Jack Stauber."

T: "Swain, Title Fight, PUP, and Joyce Manor."

F: "Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and the Strokes.".

B: "Early Eyes, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, MGMT, Fever The Ghost, Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2, and Monobody. Our favorite local bands: Rough Draft, Alien Jacket, JT Rivers, B.Y.O.M., Air Conditioner, And Logan Greene."

TS: Future plans?

A: "Our current plans are to record our EP. We are also looking to play a non local venue.

TS: Favorite band moment?

T: "That time we lit off a belt of 100 fireworks at two am on the street with the touring band hotmom."

TS: When's your next gig?

A: "We have a show at Xerocraft on March 9."

TS: What else should we know about the band?

A: "Shirts coming soon."

Somniac joins Rough Draft, Hang The Bassist, Callling Upon Theory and Consider It Donw for the Honeymoon Supply benefit this Saturday night at Xerocraft Hackerspace in Downtown Tucson. Show starts at 6 p.m.

Lav Andula

Lav Andula describes herself as a transfemme dark electronic/noise musician who plays "feedback-driven harsh dance music to cry and puke roses to."

Listeners can expect a feedback manipulated atmosphere that dives into a thick, textured, synthwave-esque sound, as well as a "messy" performance art piece. Andula has been active in the Phoenix underground music scene for a little while, but the move to Tucson was a recent one.

"I didn't want to leave the Arizona scene yet, but I needed a home with affordable rent & a walkable downtown." Lav joins DJ Mijito for a live electronica and DJ set at 8 p.m. this Thursday night at R Bar.

Also happening this week...

L.A. singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers and indie rock icon Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) team up as Better Oblivion Community Center this Friday night at the Rialto Theatre, while over at 191 Toole, the Tucson Hip Hop Festival continues its rap and hip-hop-focused industry conference/showcase/concert/music festival throughout the weekend.

On Saturday night Wooden Tooth Records joins "a global Burger free for all party" as part of Burger Revolution 7, a series of indie rock shows featuring Burger Records artists and their hometown sidekicks. Tucson's edition of the show features London band Thee MVPs, Long Beach, CA's Mom and the Mailman and local heroes Golden Boots. Meanwhile, elsewhere in Downtown the kids are all right as teen bands take the stage at Xerocraft Hackerspace for a benefit by local feminist arts collective Honeymoon Supply and more youth-powered bands take over Second Saturdays Downtown, including Young MacDonald and Yum.

Sunday afternoon at 191 Toole BIPOC United Tucson hosts their first International Womxn's Day Celebration, featuring "the voices, talents, expressions, visions and dreams of liberation fostered by Black, Indigenous, Brown and Immigrant women, trans, non-binary, gender queer and gender non-conforming individuals."

This first of its kind event will include live performances from Just Najima, Maya Maldanado, Maya B, Sahar, Lxs Tigres, Alex Kemp, Erika Marquez, Ohay The Poet, Leilani Clark, and Las Trillitzas Y Dulce.

Check your local listings...

Friday, March 8

  • Thadeus Gonzalez with Animate Echos
  • Michael Hurley - 8 p.m. Exo
  • Louise LeHir, Eyelashes!, Telephone Games (Debut!), Soft Streak - 9 p.m. Sky Bar
  • Adara Rae & the Homewreckers - 7 p.m. Crooked Tooth
  • Tucson Hip Hop Festival - 8 p.m. 191 Toole
  • Better Oblivion Community Center - 8 p.m. Rialto
  • Still Life Telescope with Saint Augustine - 9 p.m. Saint Charles
  • International Women's Day w/ June West - 8 p.m. Owl's Club

Saturday, March 9

  • Michael Hurley - 8 p.m. Exo
  • Miss Olivia and the Interlopers - 10 pm Che's Lounge
  • Dustin James - 7 p.m. Crooked Tooth
  • Bailen - 7 p.m. Club Congress
  • Tucson Hip Hop Festival - 12 p.m. 191 Toole
  • Eb Eberlein at Saint Charles Tavern - 9 p.m. Saint Charles
  • Yum - 8 p.m. Second Saturday Main Stage (Downtown)
  • Burger Revolution: Thee MVPs, Mom And The Mailman, Golden Boots - 8 p.m. Wooden Tooth Records
  • Honeymoon Supply Tucson: Calling upon Theory, Hang the Bassist, Consider it Done, Somniac, Rough Draft - 6 p.m. Xerocraft Hackerspace (Downtown)

Sunday, March 10

  • Legion of Mario - 7 p.m. Crooked Tooth
  • Kate Teague, Chelsey Lee Trejo, French for for Rabbits - 8 p.m. Club Congress
  • BIPOC Presents International Women's Day - 2 p.m. 191 Toole

Monday, March 11

  • Reptaliens, Lano, Like Diamonds - 7 p.m.
  • Wild Powwers, F I N K E L, Shooda Shookit - 9 p.m. Saint Charles
  • Level Up! Open Mic - 7:30 p.m. Screening Room
  • Sarah Bethe Nelson, The Rifle, Wanda Junes - 8 p.m. Wooden Tooth Records

Tuesday, March 12

  • Pirámides, The Trees, Mesquite - 7 p.m. Club Congress
  • Bad Suns, Vista Kicks - 8 p.m. Rialto
  • Juliana Warkentin - 5:30 p.m. House of Bards

Wednesday, March 13

  • The Revivalists - 8 p.m. Rialto

Thursday, March 14

  • Lav Andula, DJ Mijito- 8 p.m. R Bar

Each week this column compiles a choice selection of live gigs in and around Tucson with the help of good venue and band event announcements and other resources. If you've got a gig coming up and you'd like your event listed in this space (or if your local band has a major announcement or a new release) drop me a line at arts@tucsonsentinel.com.

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Gemma Gomez

Maya Rizk, Ari Dettman and Rylande Dodge of Yum.

Youtube Video