Singer/guitarist Jonny Cuz is not only celebrating Se Vende’s new release, Poor Me…Some Coffee, he’s also celebrating his own release. “We just played our first show in two years, due to two of us being jailed in George F. Bailey [Detention Facility] and going through and completing C.R.A.S.H., a residential drug-treatment program,” Cuz tells the Reader.
Cuz (aka Jonathan Espich, formerly of the Wastrels and Revenge Death Ball) and bassist Collin Smith were jailed shortly after the late-2011 release of their debut EP F# Yeah. “I was convicted of auto theft and was sentenced to six months at Bailey. When I got arrested, it was in Ocean Beach, in the parking lot at Dog Beach. A rookie ran my plates after seeing me get out of the car and, before I could even light my cigarette to play cool, he had his weapon out and pointed at me. In less than a minute, every cop in O.B. was there, with me on my stomach saying ‘I didn’t do anything.’
“I got to Otay Mesa [jail] on December 10 , and Collin showed up two weeks later. I was always looking to see when he would show up, ’cause we weren’t even playing shows that often. Drugs and crime were killing our band. Collin did a whole year. His charges were grand theft and possession and, like, seven probation violations, that’s why he did that long. They caught him crossing the border...he was living in Tijuana.”
According to Cuz, “Myself and the other two members of Se Vende are recovering addicts, and we do indirect amends by giving away our CD and shirt to anyone who wants one for free.”
Specializing in a mix of power-pop and punk, the tattooed trio — which also includes Ronald “Woogie” Maggard (Downspell, Revenge Death Ball) — cites Jawbreaker, Foxboro Hot Tubs, and Leftover Crack as influences. Their new seven-song EP was recorded by Brandon Jensen at American Sound Studios.
“I came up with the title after thinking about the best way to describe the songs. They’re catchy and poppy sounding, with dirty vocals and lyrics that tell a story.
“Mostly sad and fucked up stories.”