“Killwave, occultwave, shadowave are all outlets that I use to expose and celebrate fragments of who I am, may it be my vulnerability or, at times, my ego,” says Rafael Reyes, a self-described “cholo goth” musician whose numerous projects revolve around his autobiographical troika of invented genres.
Beginning with the gloomy, esoteric dance pop of performance-art band Baptism of Thieves, Reyes further defined his macabre, confessional aesthetic into occultwave trio Vampire.
“Occultwave represents my awakening, thinking for myself, and realizing that I am free to explore my life without asking for anybody’s permission — not God, not the devil, no one!” declares Reyes, who is working via internet with San Diegan–gone–Portlander Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession, Three Mile Pilot) on counterpart occultwave project Sons of the Moon.
“I prefer the chemistry that is created spontaneously and magically by having the other person present, [so] I’m planning on making a trip up to Portland to work with Pall as soon as I finish working on the Prayers album, which should be [out on vinyl] by December.”
Following the recent demise of Vampire, killwave duo Prayers sees vocalist Reyes joining forces with the gloriously bearded electronic artist Dave Parley (Latin Lovers).
“Killwave represents my past and how I am dealing with its ghosts that continue to hunt me here in the present,” Reyes says.
Meanwhile, he has been in the studio recording an album with Ermavip, a shadowave (the darker side of occultwave) duo featuring Vampire guitarist Ian Dosland. Reyes also added Amer the Gamer — “an OG white gangster rapper from Eastside San Diego” — to his solo project Nite Ritual.
“His raps [with] my beats and disparate vocals are a beautiful combination. It’s like an eclipse.”
Say your Prayers on Wednesday, November 13, at the Office in North Park.