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Bob McPhail 8:30 a.m., Aug. 17
“I would love for my music to be successful so I could have the means to find my mother.” Joshua Scott hasn’t seen her, he says, since he was six years old when she up and left him one day to be raised by his father.
Scott, 19, says he’s tired. “I got off work at 11:30 last night.” He worked his usual bit at Target. He keeps the day/night job because he needs the steady coin and he likes the benefits.
“But the best part about it [Target] is you can get days off when you like.” He reserves two days a week for practice his band, the Nformals. “Informals, with no I.
“I’m not really bothered by it all anymore,” Scott says of his mother’s abandonment. He’s says he’s long past being angry. “I haven’t, like, written songs about it. I’ve only sat and thought about it. But I’d love to have lunch with her, and you know, catch up, and find out where she’s been. What she's been doing all these years.”
The Nformals are Scott on guitar and vocals, drummer Cameron Sisti, and a bassist from Texas named Mayshawn Maddox.
“He didn’t have a bass or even an amp at first.” Scott, who lives in La Mesa says they borrowed the gear from his uncle, Jef Kmak. Kmak, it turns out, is Joshua Scott’s real last name. It is a name that he chooses to distance himself from at present for reasons he’d not care to see in print. “Right now, I’m using my mom’s last name.”
But the name Kmak in and of itself represents something of an El Cajon music dynasty. Joshua's uncle Joel, who plays drums, co-founded the Penetrators. He left to join the Hitmakers; he was also a Crawdaddy. After the death of Country Dick Montana, Kmak played tribute dates with the Beat Farmers and now holds down the percussion slot in the Farmers, a Beat Farmers spin-off.
He was in Powerthud too, with his brother Jef, who sings and plays bass in Joey Harris and the Mentals and in the Seventh Day Buskers.
Johnny Kmak, Josh’s dad likewise played music but took it in a different direction. In the 1990s he formed Johnny and the Goiters, as such dedicated to becoming the worst beer bar band ever, a pursuit that some say was successful.
Joshua Scott says the Nformals are indie-alternative. “We’re sort of difficult to categorize. That comforts me.” He calls every song he writes a salute to bands he loves: “the Hives, the Strokes, and the Vines.”
Scott describes himself as a riff master. He often comes up with segments of songs, then, the rest of the band figures out what to do with his ideas. This is how they build songs. “Kind of like a puzzle. We put all the riffs together. Or, through random jamming we’ll generate some kind of songs.”
The Nformals have an eponymous demo. “They’re free. We’re passing them out.” He thinks he’d like to start leaving some at bus stops, diners, or in the public library to generate some level of buzz. “We’re not worried about the money. We’re just trying to build a fan base. We just wanna get the ‘likes’ up on Facebook, and spread the word.”
In the year of their existence the Nformals have played Brick by Brick and Lestat’s and the Queen Bee’s in North Park, he says, “and we headlined the Casbah. That was probably our best show.”
As of this writing 177 people like the Nformals on Facebook.
The Nformals perform Feb 24 Che Café