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Blair Gun found their sound during the Covid pause

From Fugazi to Pixies to their own thing

Blair Gun went off on Cinco De Mayo.
Blair Gun went off on Cinco De Mayo.

Blair Gun’s Joedin Morelock and Zach Cavor started writing songs together in 2020. “We had just met up and we were jamming with some different musicians,” Morelock recalls, “but Zach and I really connected on a lot of the bands we were listening to at the time, and our songwriting styles really meshed. It was maybe a month of us meeting up and writing and recording all the time — and then Covid happened. Quarantine locked us down. Zach and I were pretty much like, ‘We’re not really doing anything else. We’re just locked in.’ So, we just buckled down and recorded a lot of songs through 2020. That’s where the band really came from.”

With Morelock singing and playing rhythm guitar and Cavor tackling lead guitar duties, the duo began to amass songs. Early on, the band tended toward a post-hardcore, grungy sound that leaned heavily into one of their biggest influences, Fugazi. But as time passed, they morphed into a brighter-sounding indie rock outfit that wasn’t too far removed from another band that had heavily influenced them — the Pixies. They self-released an EP and some singles (which Cavor says are now “hidden in our archives”) before their debut album, Blaspheme Queen, was released last spring.

The album was a full band product, with the duo of Morelock and Cavor now augmented by the rhythm section of Jake Richter (drums) and Alland Mendivil (bass). “We got connected with the label sonaBLAST! which is based out of Louisville, through Reddit,” Richter says. “We ended up signing a deal with them and went out to La La Land [studios] out in Louisville for two and a half weeks and recorded the album. It took about eight months to come out. We were lucky enough to have help from sonaBLAST! and Enabler No. 6, which was cool. Not a lot of bands get the opportunity to fly across the country and record their first album.”

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One curiosity on Blaspheme Queen is “Andrew Savage” —a tribute to the Parquet Courts frontman, not the two-time Survivor contestant. “I don’t think we would have written a whole song about Andrew Savage if we weren’t huge Parquet Courts nerds,” Morelock says. “I feel like there’s a lot of celebrity obsession. We thought it was funny to use kind of a more niche celebrity that we’re super-obsessed with, that we’re honoring with a song.”

Listeners will have to wait until this summer to determine if the quartet (now joined by new bassist Alyson Valdez) will gift them another celebrity tribute song on their second full-length. Valdez points out that the new album “has a lot more different dynamics to it,” and Cavor hints that it will include some rootsy folk songs, ballads, and even some sample-based production. “I think that Pixies-style alt-rock on the verge of punk is definitely one of our main characteristics,” he explains. “It’s still going to be present, but it will be a little bit more dressed up in some areas.”

The band was nominated for two 2024 San Diego Music Awards (Best New Artist and Best Video). The latter was for their song, “Man of the Hour.” The video is “a parody of some cheesy talk shows we had known growing up,” according to Cavor. It was shot in El Cajon with the help of some of his SDSU filmmaking program friends. “We’re kind of all in this together, so we all just kind of help each other out,” he explains. “Nobody is really getting paid, they are all just volunteering to make it happen.”

Summer will find the band undertaking a national tour in support of the new album. “Kind of just doing a big horseshoe through the south and then up north and looping back to San Diego,” is how Morelock sums it up. On the local front, the band has played bars such as Til-Two Club and The Tower, but they seem very keen on playing venues like Che Café, SOMA, house gigs, and odd spots where their underage fans can get in. They even played a rowdy Cinco De Mayo set at Folk Arts Records in City Heights. “We pulled the full Marshall half-stack acoustic set there,” Morelock explains. “Honestly, we were probably way too fucking loud. We probably shouldn’t have done that, but we did. It was fun. We kind of blew the record store out. Hopefully they will invite us back again someday.”

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Blair Gun went off on Cinco De Mayo.
Blair Gun went off on Cinco De Mayo.

Blair Gun’s Joedin Morelock and Zach Cavor started writing songs together in 2020. “We had just met up and we were jamming with some different musicians,” Morelock recalls, “but Zach and I really connected on a lot of the bands we were listening to at the time, and our songwriting styles really meshed. It was maybe a month of us meeting up and writing and recording all the time — and then Covid happened. Quarantine locked us down. Zach and I were pretty much like, ‘We’re not really doing anything else. We’re just locked in.’ So, we just buckled down and recorded a lot of songs through 2020. That’s where the band really came from.”

With Morelock singing and playing rhythm guitar and Cavor tackling lead guitar duties, the duo began to amass songs. Early on, the band tended toward a post-hardcore, grungy sound that leaned heavily into one of their biggest influences, Fugazi. But as time passed, they morphed into a brighter-sounding indie rock outfit that wasn’t too far removed from another band that had heavily influenced them — the Pixies. They self-released an EP and some singles (which Cavor says are now “hidden in our archives”) before their debut album, Blaspheme Queen, was released last spring.

The album was a full band product, with the duo of Morelock and Cavor now augmented by the rhythm section of Jake Richter (drums) and Alland Mendivil (bass). “We got connected with the label sonaBLAST! which is based out of Louisville, through Reddit,” Richter says. “We ended up signing a deal with them and went out to La La Land [studios] out in Louisville for two and a half weeks and recorded the album. It took about eight months to come out. We were lucky enough to have help from sonaBLAST! and Enabler No. 6, which was cool. Not a lot of bands get the opportunity to fly across the country and record their first album.”

Sponsored
Sponsored

One curiosity on Blaspheme Queen is “Andrew Savage” —a tribute to the Parquet Courts frontman, not the two-time Survivor contestant. “I don’t think we would have written a whole song about Andrew Savage if we weren’t huge Parquet Courts nerds,” Morelock says. “I feel like there’s a lot of celebrity obsession. We thought it was funny to use kind of a more niche celebrity that we’re super-obsessed with, that we’re honoring with a song.”

Listeners will have to wait until this summer to determine if the quartet (now joined by new bassist Alyson Valdez) will gift them another celebrity tribute song on their second full-length. Valdez points out that the new album “has a lot more different dynamics to it,” and Cavor hints that it will include some rootsy folk songs, ballads, and even some sample-based production. “I think that Pixies-style alt-rock on the verge of punk is definitely one of our main characteristics,” he explains. “It’s still going to be present, but it will be a little bit more dressed up in some areas.”

The band was nominated for two 2024 San Diego Music Awards (Best New Artist and Best Video). The latter was for their song, “Man of the Hour.” The video is “a parody of some cheesy talk shows we had known growing up,” according to Cavor. It was shot in El Cajon with the help of some of his SDSU filmmaking program friends. “We’re kind of all in this together, so we all just kind of help each other out,” he explains. “Nobody is really getting paid, they are all just volunteering to make it happen.”

Summer will find the band undertaking a national tour in support of the new album. “Kind of just doing a big horseshoe through the south and then up north and looping back to San Diego,” is how Morelock sums it up. On the local front, the band has played bars such as Til-Two Club and The Tower, but they seem very keen on playing venues like Che Café, SOMA, house gigs, and odd spots where their underage fans can get in. They even played a rowdy Cinco De Mayo set at Folk Arts Records in City Heights. “We pulled the full Marshall half-stack acoustic set there,” Morelock explains. “Honestly, we were probably way too fucking loud. We probably shouldn’t have done that, but we did. It was fun. We kind of blew the record store out. Hopefully they will invite us back again someday.”

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The latest copy of the Reader

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