The Rorschach Rock of the Inkblots

For the past two years, Santa Ana's Inkblots have been quiet, but all that is about to change. The bluesy-rock foursome reconstituted following the return of lead singer/guitarist Samuel Muñoz. The lineup around him remains intact, with Bernie Rodriguez Jr. (bass) joining hermanos Jesus (guitar) and Irving Nuñez (drums). Together, they recorded a new EP, Trap Doors, that is distinctly less bluesy, even though Muñoz's compelling vocals hint that he is still very much a bluesman.


OC Weekly: Inkblots have been on hiatus for a couple of years. What was the reason for the time off?

Samuel Muñoz: The reason was mainly because I went to school. I went to Texas Tech to get my master's in philosophy.


And now that the band are back together, what's the plan?

Muñoz: Our main plan when I got back was to try to get our band more exposure. I decided we were going to do another recording and push the EP. We want to do some more shows and get ourselves back out there.


Speaking of recording, what was the process of making Trap Doors like?

Irving Nuñez: Writing the songs was pretty easy because Sam always comes with the ideas. We just make those ideas come true for him. We change it up a lot of times, but we always come back to the form Sam wants. Recording was a process. It was a job. [Laughs] It was definitely not fun! We like to play shows.


The first single off Trap Doors is “Our Group Won't Be the Same.” Have the Inkblots changed?

Muñoz: [Laughs] Our music back in the day was more bluesy and raunchy. I think our music is getting a little bit more—I don't know if this is a bad word—pop, I guess. All the band members have changed in terms of what they want to do with music. We still have a lot of our original influences, but we are less bluesy.


As in your self-titled full-length album, Inkblots switch to Spanish for a song on the new EP. How important do you feel it is to have a bilingual aspect?

Muñoz: At first, we always believed we had an advantage. We are bilingual; we all come from Mexican and Latin American backgrounds. In the past, people have categorized us that way. I wrote that Spanish song because I felt like writing a Spanish song. I write a blues song because I want to write a blues song. Sometimes, it can be a burden, but sometimes, it's a good thing that we can do that if we want to. When I want to do it, I do it.


With the hiatus over, what's your vision for the band's future?

Nuñez: Our main goal is to try to get the Inkblots to a point where we're not just a local band. Hopefully, by next year, we'll have another full-length album ready to go. Hopefully, we will have more recognition as a band from Santa Ana. We want to do big shows in LA, tour outside California—we are trying to get to the next level.


This column appeared in print as “Rorschach Rockers.”

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