The Relative Strangers are a Santa Ana rock quartet made up of two sets of brothers, Daniel and David Alcala on guitar and keys, and Chris and Craig Garcia on drums and bass. The band has been steady rocking the OC club circuit since May of last year, taking modern anthem rock and jamming it out with extended improvisations. They've been (unsuccessfully) trying to raise money to record an album, which has the group considering a hiatus after this month's run at Detroit Bar.
OC Weekly: So what's the chemistry that results from having two pairs of brothers in a band?
Chris Garcia: Well, brothers will be brothers, so at times it's awesome and the musical chemistry is on point and we get the intention of the song; at other times, well, we can just say differences of opinions arise. It works well with the backbone of our group being me and my brother, and the other two add a whole lot to the environment and flow of the music.
You guys talk about Dave Matthews being a primary influence, and aren't afraid to improvise on stage. I feel like jam bands don't a lot of love here in SoCal. Is that something you've encountered?
Yes. We enjoy music, and we enjoy displaying talent. Some people enjoy that, others don't. But a lot of our fans enjoy when we rock out, so it's worth it. But we can agree that most SoCal fans don't appreciate it.
On "What's the Weapon of Choice," I'm hearing a Muse vibe. Is that deliberate?
We love and appreciate what Muse has done in the music industry, although we do not want to sound like them. We do tend to have a similar vibe because of our musical backgrounds and our desire to have melodic movement in our songs.
How do your songs form? Does everyone bring material to the table?
Sometimes one person writes something, brings it to the group, we each pick apart at it and restructure to add our own flare. Other times, we collectively write at the same time, making sure we are all comfortable. Above all, we make sure that we have a formula to song writing and stick to it, make sure it's universal, danceable and unique.
Is it true that the Detroit residency will be your last shows for a while?
Craig might go on tour with Lucas Rossi, an old-school rock guy. I'm supposed to go on a cruise ship tour for a bit, I'm just waiting on a passport. Sometimes as a musician, you just got to do the gigs that make some moola.
If you could change one thing about the Orange County rock scene, what would it be?
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If I could change anything, it would be so there is more support for the other bands. Fans shouldn't just stick around for their friends and leave; they should stick around and support. That said, if we could make the stage set-up quicker, then everyone would have a big crowd for every band.
You have a Kickstarter program to try and raise money for your new album, but it's struggling. What's the problem?
Well, it was executed poorly. Instead of planning a few months ahead, getting people excited and willing on Facebook, or through gigs, and explaining what the deal was, it would have been better. Also, a lot of people are struggling financially right now; people need to eat more so than buy music, which is sad, but a reality.
The Relative Strangers perform at Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, www.detroitbar.com. Mondays in August, 9 p.m. Free. 21+