Valhalla High grad and college dropout Matt Bahamas (née Barajas) cites “babes” as a major inspiration: “Here in San Diego, they’re wearing low-cut shirts and short skirts...turning heads. The chase is the most fun, and writing music about the chase is fun. The band was going to call our new album ‘Shoulders’ — tanned shoulders are everywhere. We decided on a different name, mainly because the album’s a bit darker.”
When he’s not on barback duty at the Starlite in Mission Hills, Bahamas makes waves with Heavy Hawaii, voted “best new artist” at last year’s San Diego Music Awards, about 18 months after formation.
“Everything’s been the best: the taco truck in front of Gala. Maybe the tour [with Dom]. Derek made out with Blaque Chris. Aimee slept on the sidewalk in the rain one night. Jojo got to eat White Castle, which tasted like dog caca. Mikey bought a Wiggles guitar. I upgraded from the shittiest, most child-molester van to a not-that-shitty van. And Heavy Hawaii just finished recording a full-length. We’ll be touring in August to promote our new seven-inch, ‘Super Bowl XXIX.’”
The guitarist and frontman is also making a comic book with Wavves’ Nathan Williams.
“Nate and I made a comic strip when we were in Fantastic Magic. ‘Negative Dad’ is the first legit comic book. We have a great artist, Nicholas Gazin, bringing our ideas together. We plan on releasing 12 issues. It’s sci-fi, drama — lots of twists and weird shit: aliens, drugs, mind control. Kids getting in trouble and dealing with robots, mad scientists, and intergalactic wars. The comics will come with music, too — tapes or 45s. Nate and I will be recording music as fictional bands that exist in the ‘Neg. Dad’ universe. Maybe have some other bands do stuff.... We’ll probably have a preview by the end of summer.”
How does making a comic compare with making music?
“This is the first time I’ve sat down and written a book, panel for panel. People don’t understand how much time it takes to write out every angle and layout. Like music, Nate and I brainstormed and tossed ideas back and forth. You keep working till everything fits just right. But you get instant satisfaction from writing a sweet melody. And performing for big crowds is a rush.”
Heavy Hawaii performs at the Soda Bar on Wednesday, July 27.