The Local 913: Los Vampiros Amarillos
Jesse Baldoni used to be in a band called The Me Toos. They didn’t break up, but they did decide that calling themselves The Me Toos in 2019 was probably not the best idea. Luckily for us, they were able to rebrand themselves, taking inspiration from a different era. According to Baldoni, "Kevin, our drummer, his father in law was in a band in the 60s in Mexico City and a lot of the big acts didn’t come around Mexico at the time, so each little neighborhood had their own cover band and they were playing garage tunes then. His wife misremembered the name. She remembered it as The Yellow Vampires or Los Vampiros Amarillos. It was actually The Orange Vampires which I don’t know how to say in Spanish."
The band’s new album – Man The Manipulator – was named for a line in a Suburban Lawns song and the image that graces the front of the record – a photo taken by bassist Ben Vivio - shows our tendency to manipulate our surroundings. "He was driving down the street," Baldoni says, "And just happened to see a chair set up on the side of a highway, in nature, with this television set up as if someone was sitting there."
Los Vampiros Amarillos are master manipulators themselves – in a good way. Their sound incorporates elements of garage rock, power pop, and 60s grit. "We all have sort of unique interests in music," explains Baldoni, "When I was recording the album, as reference tracks, I was using The Posies’ “Frosting On The Beater” as a reference track and Ty Segall’s first album. So, throw those two things together and figure out how to make that happen."
Man The Manipulator opens with a song called “I Don’t Mind” which Baldoni describes as essentially a love song, "I think at its root, it’s a love song. It’s about relationships, generally. Not just with significant others, but friends and family and all the contradictions that come with that."