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Culture Shock

Callejera talks GUTTING EP, Origins, and Growing in the Scene.

Indianapolis-based alternative punk band Callejera made their 2024 Culture Shock debut, playing an intense, blistering set with songs off their latest EP, GUTTING. This was the band’s fourth time playing in Bloomington, headlining last year’s Burning Couch Festival. The band’s current lineup consists of singer Mia Rivas (she/they), drummer Armando Tandy (he/they), guitarist Jimmy Raymundo (he/him), guitarist Tyler Eubanks (any pronouns), and bassist Alison Hristova (she/her).

I got a chance to sit down with them after their set to talk about their origins as a band, their latest EP, and growing in the Indy scene.

How long have you guys been a band?
Armando: Two years. Originally, it was just me, Jimmy, and Mia. We started practicing around March and April [of 2022]. We've had some members come and go, now look at us!
How did you guys land on the name Callejera?
Armando: My parents. When I was in high school, I was always out and about. They were like “you're never home!” and in Mexican culture, calling someone 'Callejero' basically translates to 'Person of the Street.' So, they would always call me that. When it was time to land on a name, I was like, “you know what, I think this would be a really good name.” We just added an A to it.

Your guys' latest EP GUTTING that came out April 5, what has the reception been like for that?
Armando: I think it's been pretty good! There were a lot of people who contacted the account saying they liked it. We had a release show on the same day! We're very happy with how the show went. There was so much friendship happening!

I feel like on this release, there’s a huge mix of punk and emo. Were you guys like, gunning for a specific sound on this release?
Mia: No, not really. I mean we said we wanted to be faster. We were like, “we want to make something really, really fast.”
Tyler: I think Armando, when we were writing the songs, someone was like, "we should focus on the riffs."
Armando: Yeah, because mostly it was like, vocals took the center stage and the riffs were kind of just there for, you know, structural purposes. But now I feel like here, we decided to go instrumental first and then vocals. Which I mean, it turned out really well.
Tyler: I think as far as the diversity of sound, the way we do songs usually is Armando will come with a drum track and then one of us will come up with a rough idea. Then we come up with the structure after that. So, I think whoever starts whatever song, that's kind of like how it progresses forward. We obviously have different musical influences, so that kind of makes a wide range of different sounds.
For these riffs on this EP, were any specific bands you took inspiration from?
Jimmy: There's a song I really like by Helium. Mary Timony, she's like the frontwoman of that, I like her a lot. I think it's "Trixie's Star" and I did that for “Wet Dreams."
Tyler: I listened to a lot of Vs Self and Have Heart at the time.
Mia: I think for vocals, I would say it's kind of Riot Grrl-ish for some of it. Especially “Hot Commodity." Sometimes I like either doing super serious, edgy songs with it, and sometimes I like just being like, “la, la, la!”

What was the writing process like for this album compared to the last EP?
Jimmy: It was so quick! Yeah, actually pretty fast.
Tyler: I think we wrote all the structures in a week.
Alison: And then Armando would be like "Okay, we're recording on Saturday! Ahhh!"
Mia: Mixing took way longer. Recording vocals took a bit because I just wasn't super sure of what to do for it.
Armando: I'd say the recording itself was maybe two to three weeks and then mixing it was probably a month and a half or two.

What was the most fun song to record for you guys?
Jimmy: For "Wet Dreams," that one was very time based and I do remember struggling with that. But it was very fun, especially the rhythm part is very fun to do. I remember having a blast.
Mia: My favorite was "Hot Commodity" because it was fun, and I just get to say goofy lyrics. It was the one that was most like Riot Grrl-y. I like doing that style. It's really fun.
Tyler: I think my favorite to record was probably "Big Man" because I came up with the guitar parts for it like on the spot pretty much. Armando was like, "Oh, this song should be like this song." And I was like, "Oh okay, I can fiddle around for a minute." And then we recorded the whole thing.
Alison: Honestly, recording "Intestines." It's kind of just a fun song to play.

What has been your most memorable moment playing shows in the past few months?
Jimmy: I just know the release show we had is going to be stuck in my head forever.
Mia: We took a break from playing for awhile while we were recording so the release show was super fun because it was our first time back in Indy!

What was it like starting in 2022 as a new band in Indianapolis?
Jimmy: It was so scary! We were seventeen. I was shit at guitar, like I could not keep a was bad. Those were good times!
Armando: It was fun because we were one of the first younger bands to come out in that time period. It was fun just because a lot of the bands were older. I feel like we came onto the scene at a very fortunate time.
Mia: It was right after COVID, so everyone was itching to do stuff.
Armando: Yeah, everyone was itching, and I feel like at the time, there were a lot of younger kids eager to play. So, that kind of at the time was what pushed us all.
Callejera performing live at Culture Shock 2024. From left to right, back to front: Tyler Eubanks, Armando Tandy, Alison Hristova, Jimmy Raymundo, Mia Rivas.

What has it been like growing in that scene and meeting new faces and new bands?
Armando: Good! I mean the first year was really fun. I think our second year once we were kind of well-integrated into that, you kind of begin to know everyone. That first year was just so much fun just because we kept meeting new people.
Mia: I think that the coolest part about just being in any scene is you kind of see the same people, but then it's also cool because it's like, new opportunities, because there's so many talented people in the Indianapolis scene. I think almost everyone here is in like another band from people that they've just met.

What are the other projects you guys are in?
Armando: I'm in Chickadee and so is Tyler!
Mia: I'm in a band called Halfway House and then a band called Pigmale Brains with Alison! New band!
Alison: Yeah, and April! April plays drums.

Do you guys have any local bands you want to shoutout?
Jimmy: Halfway House! I'm not a big hardcore-head or anything but I went to their first show, and I was just like "What the hell!"
Alison: Full Stride of course, and Youth in Asia is a cool new band.
Mia: One that I still think is underrated even though they're super popular is DRLN, like DRLN is so fucking good.
Jimmy: I was late to the party but Inner Peace!
Mia: Chickadee!
Tyler: Shoutout Gunmask, shoutout Nothing Club!
Armando: I think my favorite is just Inner Peace!

Anything else to add to this interview? Anything else you want to say?
Jimmy: I hope we were loud, or not loud- *laughs* I hope we weren’t too loud but sorry if we were! I started getting concerned because after the first set, which was beautiful, I was like, “Oh, we're about to ruin these people’s day.”
Mia: Rock n' roll.
Tyler: Rocking roll!
Everyone: Rocking roll! *laughter*

For more updates on future releases and shows, follow their Instagram! You can find their music on all streaming platforms!

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