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A fairytale sci-fi concept EP full of Nefarious Creatures

“I play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons and I like twisting stories”

Nefarious Creatures do the monster mash-up on their first EP.
Nefarious Creatures do the monster mash-up on their first EP.

Nefarious Creatures — a band of four San Diego-bred horror-lovin’ fiends — had the will, the music, and the over-arching deep concept for their debut EP Fables For the Wicked. What they didn’t quite have was a place to record. “We definitely didn’t have the budget for going to a proper studio,” says singer Dani Valentine, “so I built my own acoustic panels out of wall insulation and duck canvas. We recorded everything in my bedroom in Santee. I mixed and mastered everything the best I could in this tiny bedroom.”

About that overarching concept: “Me and Duck [guitarist Dustin Sesma] decided to go balls-to-the-wall and make a concept EP for our first one, and we made one giant story about The Evil Queen from Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Dr. Frankenstein, and Pinocchio. We’re weird. I play a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, and I like twisting stories, so that’s what we did. We all play a ton of video games and watch way too many horror movies, and we decided to take stories the Brothers Grimm compiled and make our own version. The guys were all on board, and we went a little crazy with it.”

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Nefarious Creatures’ Fables For the Wicked EP

The fellows grew up not far from each other. “I’ve mainly lived in El Cajon most of my life,” says Sesma, “but I’ve lived in Lakeside and Scripps Ranch for a little bit. Scripps Ranch was alright, it was a nicer, kind of richer area, so I felt pretty out of place there. I preferred Lakeside, ‘cause where I lived, it was more secluded and quiet, so we could play music and be loud and rowdy.” Valentine (who also sang with The Best Grotesque) has hung his hat in El Cajon, La Mesa, Serra Mesa, Linda Vista, and Santee. “El Cajon reminds me of the dirty dishrag you keep under your kitchen sink. I’d give you a tour of the house, but not under the sink, you know? Granted, I lived near Greenfield, though — not the nice parts of El Cajon. La Mesa was my favorite, there was so much to do whenever. Santee is too quiet for me, but it’s where I’m at now. I’d live in North Park if I could, though. I’m a night owl, and anywhere that has nightlife is more my style.”

The quartet is no stranger to the real-deal danse macabre: two of them share a deceased former bandmate. According to Sesma, “My first band was Psychosally. That was a band my dad [Trevor Sesma] started in the ‘90s and when I was 13. It started off as just us jamming and messing around with an 8-track, but that turned into us taking it more seriously. My dad could pretty much play anything and everything you handed him, so he taught my friend Cody Knight, who is my drummer for my new band as well, to play drums in, like, two months for our first show.” But Psychosally splintered after the death of Trevor Sesma in November 2018.

Losing his father hit Sesma hard. But the urge to honor him kept the guitarist involved with music. “He had always said we should start a new band and call it Nefarious Characters, so I looked that up and found another band had been using that name. I’ve always been into horror, so I thought Nefarious Creatures would be a good fit. I had been friends with Dani since we were 12, and we always kind of had a mutual respect for each other’s music and had seen what the other was working on. I always thought he was a killer vocalist and really wanted to work with him on something, so after some back and forth and both of us dipping our toes in working together, we really just clicked. We just feed off each other’s energy, and it snowballs into these great ideas.”

The rhythm section happened along casually enough. “Me and Cody hang out every day, so I told him that I was starting up a new band with Dani and told him I’d really like him to play with me again. Dani knew this guy [Eric Arispe] who he taught bass to, so he asked him to hang out with us, and he just fit right in and we all clicked.”

Though the EP dropped last Halloween, Valentine says they declined to play a record release show, at least in the traditional sense. “I drank a lot and watched horror movies, does that count?”

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Nefarious Creatures do the monster mash-up on their first EP.
Nefarious Creatures do the monster mash-up on their first EP.

Nefarious Creatures — a band of four San Diego-bred horror-lovin’ fiends — had the will, the music, and the over-arching deep concept for their debut EP Fables For the Wicked. What they didn’t quite have was a place to record. “We definitely didn’t have the budget for going to a proper studio,” says singer Dani Valentine, “so I built my own acoustic panels out of wall insulation and duck canvas. We recorded everything in my bedroom in Santee. I mixed and mastered everything the best I could in this tiny bedroom.”

About that overarching concept: “Me and Duck [guitarist Dustin Sesma] decided to go balls-to-the-wall and make a concept EP for our first one, and we made one giant story about The Evil Queen from Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Dr. Frankenstein, and Pinocchio. We’re weird. I play a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, and I like twisting stories, so that’s what we did. We all play a ton of video games and watch way too many horror movies, and we decided to take stories the Brothers Grimm compiled and make our own version. The guys were all on board, and we went a little crazy with it.”

Sponsored
Sponsored
Nefarious Creatures’ Fables For the Wicked EP

The fellows grew up not far from each other. “I’ve mainly lived in El Cajon most of my life,” says Sesma, “but I’ve lived in Lakeside and Scripps Ranch for a little bit. Scripps Ranch was alright, it was a nicer, kind of richer area, so I felt pretty out of place there. I preferred Lakeside, ‘cause where I lived, it was more secluded and quiet, so we could play music and be loud and rowdy.” Valentine (who also sang with The Best Grotesque) has hung his hat in El Cajon, La Mesa, Serra Mesa, Linda Vista, and Santee. “El Cajon reminds me of the dirty dishrag you keep under your kitchen sink. I’d give you a tour of the house, but not under the sink, you know? Granted, I lived near Greenfield, though — not the nice parts of El Cajon. La Mesa was my favorite, there was so much to do whenever. Santee is too quiet for me, but it’s where I’m at now. I’d live in North Park if I could, though. I’m a night owl, and anywhere that has nightlife is more my style.”

The quartet is no stranger to the real-deal danse macabre: two of them share a deceased former bandmate. According to Sesma, “My first band was Psychosally. That was a band my dad [Trevor Sesma] started in the ‘90s and when I was 13. It started off as just us jamming and messing around with an 8-track, but that turned into us taking it more seriously. My dad could pretty much play anything and everything you handed him, so he taught my friend Cody Knight, who is my drummer for my new band as well, to play drums in, like, two months for our first show.” But Psychosally splintered after the death of Trevor Sesma in November 2018.

Losing his father hit Sesma hard. But the urge to honor him kept the guitarist involved with music. “He had always said we should start a new band and call it Nefarious Characters, so I looked that up and found another band had been using that name. I’ve always been into horror, so I thought Nefarious Creatures would be a good fit. I had been friends with Dani since we were 12, and we always kind of had a mutual respect for each other’s music and had seen what the other was working on. I always thought he was a killer vocalist and really wanted to work with him on something, so after some back and forth and both of us dipping our toes in working together, we really just clicked. We just feed off each other’s energy, and it snowballs into these great ideas.”

The rhythm section happened along casually enough. “Me and Cody hang out every day, so I told him that I was starting up a new band with Dani and told him I’d really like him to play with me again. Dani knew this guy [Eric Arispe] who he taught bass to, so he asked him to hang out with us, and he just fit right in and we all clicked.”

Though the EP dropped last Halloween, Valentine says they declined to play a record release show, at least in the traditional sense. “I drank a lot and watched horror movies, does that count?”

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