Photograph by Brenna Brock
Rightovers didn’t set out to sound like a ’90s band.
Chris Holmes and Matthew Baab grew-up going to indie and punk shows in the 1990s. The music seeped into their souls, and eventually played a major role in the songs that they contributed to the new Rightovers’ album, Die Cruisin’. They weren’t setting out to sound like a 90s band, the music was just in their blood.
“When we finished the record, we weren’t thinking it was 90s, but then everyone started saying that. And we were like, ‘Yeah, I guess they’re right.’ That’s what we sound like,” Holmes said.
He continued, “We started writing music and the music fell into that genre. People think that we’re sort-of these hipsters doing this nostalgic thing, but we actually grew up going to those shows in the 90s. We’re playing with [Pavement singer/guitarist] Spiral Stairs. We saw Pavement back in their original iteration. It’s sort-of the music that we’re inspired by and comes out of us naturally.”
The band started as a solo project for Holmes while he was attending grad school in Hawaii about five years ago. He had a collection of songs that he had recorded in a home studio, but he needed a drummer to complete them. He ended up mailing Mike Kamoo (the Loons, the Stereotypes) a drive with the songs, and he knocked out the drum parts back in the mainland. That album, Blue Blood, was released in 2015 and, according to Holmes, veered a bit more towards indie-pop.
“Sort of a bit twee,” he added.
After completing grad school, Holmes returned to San Diego and doubled the size of his band by enlisting Baab to join the Rightovers. The two set out to record an album that would be heavier than Blue Blood.
“I wanted the new stuff to be more distorted and over the top. Kind of like a My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, Guided By Voices distorted thing,” Holmes said.
The two guitarists recruited Mike Kamoo to play drums once again, while they handled bass and vocal duties on their individual songs. Once Die Cruisin’ was finished, the pair decided it was time to start playing out to spread the word. Holmes quickly realized, “Shit, we gotta get a band together.” Marcos Lizcano entered the fold playing bass guitar, and Lumpy LoPilato rounded out the rhythm section as their permanent drummer.
Besides playing local shows, the full quartet plans to record an EP sometime this year. For now, Die Cruisin’ is only available for download via Bandcamp.
“We sat on the record for about three or four months. First of all, to see if anyone wanted to put it out… and no one did.” He laughs. “So we said, ‘Screw it, we’ll just post it ourselves!’ We’re still debating doing a vinyl run for it. I’m finishing up cassette artwork as well. So, we’re gonna do a cassette. I don’t know about you, but I actually think they sound fantastic. The natural compression of the cassette is just great. I did vinyl with past bands, but by far the best sounding thing I ever did was this cassette.”
- Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 8 p.m.
3615 El Cajon Boulevard,
The Rightovers play at Soda Bar on June 5 with Spiral Stairs.