live at Launchpad on March 19, 2014.
| gig magazine issue #3 |
interview & photographs by Justin Thor Simenson
This article was originally published in April 2014. Elevator Boys have since disbanded but Pablo and Rene have joined forces with Kris Kerby to form a new band called Abandoned Mansions.
The Elevator Boys have a love and a respect for the raw power and energy that rock n’ roll was originally known for. Because they play original songs in a sound that is familiar yet rare in current music I decided to talk with Pablo about where he draws his inspiration from. “Acts like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. A lot of groups that people don’t care as much about but influenced a lot of bands that are doing shit. I don't care so much for mainstream stuff, it just doesn't move me. I feel I am more working class so that is more where I come from. My roots are in 70’s punk rock and the do it yourself style. Even when there might be potential for something better or bigger, I don’t really care for it. I really like the feeling of the home grown and intimacy feeling of things. So yeah, the 50’s original rock n’ roll stuff, the 60’s psychedelic stuff, and also the 70’s glitter rock.”
Glitter rock is a term I had heard people use once or twice instead of glam rock. So Pablo gave me a little lesson “So glam rock became glam rock in the 80’s, but in the 70’s it was known as glitter rock, with acts like Marc Bolan and T. Rex and the Stooges.” This really sparked an excitement in Pablo. “That’s my bag, that’s where I come from. I fuckin’ love that shit. I listen to records to get hyped up. I will put on a Bo Diddley record and get really excited. And then come and try to do that… almost like calling up a spirit.”
The conversation then turned toward different music scenes and different eras that had a common theme of being on the fringe of social norms and largely unknown. Pablo drew a pretty good line from 70’s punk rock scene in NYC, called the “blank generation”, and unknown hip hop artists. Since the bands are in a grey area the crowd doesn't really know what to expect and can even be uncomfortable. This tension allows band to work on a different level than the bands that have a little more money and are hyped up. The crowd shows up with a certain expectation. “What’s fun at my shows, because I've been doing it awhile, is that most of the audience are shocked at what they’re watching. They aren't sure if they like it, but then they are like ‘OK, this is cool.’”
Q: What type of venue do you like to play the most?
A: Definitely the smaller, more intimate ones. I like to connect with the crowd. Small shows are always fun. When I grew up house shows were big. You were able to get into the crowd and they would talk shit back to you. Sometimes I miss that.
“Nate’s from the bay area and he will be leaving town soon..” Pablo has been playing rock n’ roll in Albuquerque for many years in quite a few different bands such as the Chinese Love Beads and Dirty Novels. My guess is that even after Nate is back in California, Albuquerque will still be hearing Pablo’s riffs and hard lyrics.