Trippin’ Like They Do: A Conversation with Ignacio Gonzalez of Mystic Braves

By Patrick Tsotsos
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We interviewed Ignacio Gonzalez of LA’s psych group, the Mystic Braves. The band is releasing their third LP ‘Days of Yesteryear’ this fall on Lolipop Records.

Minimal Beat: Tell us a little about the band, when did you join and how did the name change from Blackfeet Braves to Mystic Braves come about?

Ignacio Gonzalez: The band started down south. Some of the guys are from San Diego / Murrieta area. Me, I’m from Los Angeles. We met through playing shows. My old bands, Jeffertitti’s Nile, Buffalo Electric, Mr. Elevator & The Brain Hotel would play shows with those guys years ago. Eventually they moved to Echo Park and I joined the group. We had to change our name due to some stupid circumstances but I think Mystic Braves is more fitting.

Minimal Beat: What are some killer new bands that you’ve been listening to that you’d like to give a shout out to?

IG: Being a part of Lolipop and Living in LA, not to mention constantly being on the road there’s so much music out there that is great. I’ve been really into this band called the Electric Magpie. They are some sweet cats from SF. great musicians with great songs. Winter is another band i’ve been really into. Drinking Flowers, Wyatt Blair, Corners, The Turns is also another great group. the list goes on..

Minimal Beat: Explain to the reader what Lolipop Records is all about and what you and your dudes (​Daniel Quintanilla, Tomas Dolas and Wyatt Blair)​ are doing for the psychedelic/garage subculture that’s booming right now.

IG: Lolipop is a place where you can come record and have an avenue to release your music. Our shop in Echo Park has become a community space where we have in-store shows and more. It’s a place where anyone can come in and talk music. I’ve even seen bands form at Lolipop because musicians were just hangin’ about. I’d say that our focus is not only psychedelic/garage subculture but any music that is great and moving. All of us that run it are all musicians ourselves so we try to do things with the artist or band in mind. There are so many great groups around that people need to hear! We are doing everything we can to allow those bands to be heard.


Minimal Beat: What are some of your favorite/least aspects about LA?

IG: LA is a great place to be right now. A lot of really rad folks have been moving into town giving the atmosphere a sense of unity and like mindedness. Traffic blows..

Minimal Beat: Any influences in your music that come from somewhere that isn’t apparent to the listener?

IG: The universe, death, family, traveling, coyotes

Minimal Beat: Is Paul really dead?

IG: No. He plays banjo in our band.

Minimal Beat: ​If you were able to sit under the table and listen to any two people speak, who would it be?

IG: It changes but right now, Harry Nilsson & John Lennon talk about Pussy Cats.

Minimal Beat: Small Faces or The Who?

IG: The Who!

Minimal Beat: You guys just announced that you’ll be releasing your third LP ‘​Days of Yesteryear​’. Where did you guys record and with who? Are you dudes backing the album up with a another tour?

IG: Thats right. We recorded it in North Hollywood in Rob Campanella’s studio. It was such a great experience. We came in with songs and Rob knew exactly how to get them across. A tour will most likely follow the album’s release. Look out!

Minimal Beat: On “​Great Company​” a track off ‘​Days of Yesteryear​’ we can hear some sitar and 12 string arrangements. Any other new instruments played on the record?

IG: The drone instrument I played throughout the track is not a sitar but actually a Tanpura. Its commonly used along with the sitar. On this record we experimented with more sounds. There’s bells, trumpet, flute, auto harp, piano, wurlitzer, mellotron, and yes a lot of 12 string guitar.

Minimal Beat: When do you plan on releasing ‘​Days of Yesteryear​’ and how can we get a hold of the record?

IG: We plan on releasing it in the fall. And will be available on Lolipop Records.

The 2014 release Desert Island by Mystic Braves is out now on limited edition vinyl and digitally through Bandcamp.

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