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Dead Quixote began in the overactive brain of guitarist/vocalist Edgar Aguilasocho as a way to even out the torment from a recent breakup, as well as deal with the stress from an internship at an LA-based civil-rights organization at which he witnessed daily injustices. "I wanted to yell into a microphone," Aguilasocho recalls. "I needed to get all that off my chest."
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Aguilasocho found his Sancho Panza in drummer Adam De Leon, who was seeking meaning after struggling with the disillusionment that comes from working a nine-to-five. It followed, then, that thrashing about in small clubs around OC seemed the proper thing to do. So that's what they did. They've since added bassist Dave Virginia, who has given the band some needed thump, groove and creative momentum. Currently, they're busy recording a follow-up EP to last year's debut, Absurdity.
OC Weekly: Are you guys friends with Death Hymn Number Nine? You both have that "undead thrasher" thing happening.
Edgar Aguilasocho: Can't say I've had the pleasure, but I'd be happy to meet them for tea.
What is the significance of Dead Quixote, anyway?
Aguilasocho: Don Quixote is a character that has always resonated with me—the old bag of bones who is driven by insanity and romanticism to leave his life of leisure and venture out to do some good. "Dead" because the world can't help but laugh. Once I came up with the name, the sound came naturally: dirty guitar, driving drums and lyrics that sound serious but are actually just long-winded jokes.
And the title of your first EP?
Aguilasocho: That's one of those long-winded jokes. In formal logic, "absurdity" basically means the same thing as a contradiction. After you derive a contradiction in a logical proof, you're allowed to derive anything. This is called the "principle of explosion." So, if Dead Quixote starts with absurdity as a premise, then necessarily, we are going to blow up.
Adam and Dave, before that first rehearsal, what did you envision the sound to be?
Adam De Leon: I expected the band to be riffy, and it still is. But then the first couple of times we jammed, we played some really cryptic stuff, some of which developed into parts of songs later on, and some of it was just in that moment.
Dave Virginia: Although the songs are fast and tight, I felt like there was a lot I could contribute as a bass player; I really heard a lot of stuff going on underneath that I could add, and that was a big part of the reason I was drawn to the band.
How has your approach changed since then?
Aguilasocho: We brought Dave onstage with us this year, and everything makes a lot more sense now.
De Leon: Our songs have become much more developed and dynamic. We will always have loud and fast songs, but from what I've gathered so far, people can appreciate songs that increase and decrease in volume and speed.
You guys make a lot of noise for just three people. What's your secret?
Aguilasocho: Lots of fuzz, lots of groove and lots of thuds.
What musicians or bands might you call influential to what you're doing?
Aguilasocho: Django Reinhardt, Miles Davis, Gogol Bordello, Queens of the Stone Age, and pretty much everyone on Sargent House or Rodriguez Lopez Productions. I just try to do a crappy version of what they do.
What's been the toughest thing for you as a newish band trying to win over fans and make a name for yourself?
Aguilasocho: All of us are pretty busy dudes. Dave and Adam work a bunch, and I'm finishing law school. It's pretty hard making new friends when you're only at a show long enough to play your set. We'll have more time to hang out in a few months. I promise.
This column appeared in print as "Dawn of the Dead Quixote."