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A brief chat with Prayers


Self-proclaimed Cholo-Goths Prayers play Riot Fest at the end of August so we spoke to Rafael Reyes.S

Yellow Scene: When did the band form, and what was the mission?

Rafael Reyes: The band formed less than two years ago. We’ve only been around for about 16 months. We were just trying to honor the amazing chemistry between David [Parley] and I. It’s almost like we’re spirit brothers, and we wanted to celebrate and embrace that magic that happened when we first set foot into the studio together. When he and I got together for the very first time, you’ve got to understand that I’ve only known David for as long as the band has been around, for 16 months. The first day that I met David, I was in a band called Vampire. We had played our last show and he came to see us perform. He said, “Hey listen, I’ve never seen anyone like you on a stage before in my entire life, I think you’re an amazing performer, I would love it if you gave me the opportunity to work with you.” I loved his approach and I said sure, why don’t we work together. He came over to my house the following day, and that first day we wrote four songs that we absolutely loved. He came back for a second day, and we wrote another four songs. That was our first album, SD Killwave. That was created within two days of us knowing each other. We felt that there was this chemistry between he and I, so everything that we’ve done up until today, from SD Killwave to Gothic Summer to Young Gods, has all been created in under two weeks. Gothic Summer, we created that EP in one week. Young Gods, same thing, one week with Travis Barker. We feel that there’s something special between he and I and that’s really our statement. We just want to share that with the world.

YS: You call yourselves Cholo-Goth – what do you mean by that?

RR: Well, the thing is I’m a gang member. I’m an actual cholo from a gang called Sherman Grant Hill Park 27, here in San Diego, California. I grew up listening to bands like Christian Death, Lords of the New Church, Joy Division, Bauhaus, Pet Shop Boys, as a kid. I’ve always loved that sound and I grew up listening to that music and loving it. I loved the whole Goth culture. I love it’s elegance, and I love they carry themselves in a sense that’s like timeless and immortal. I’ve always been attracted to that culture, and wanted to be part of it. It was only natural that, when I started doing music, it would be Cholo-Goth, because I’m just staying true to my roots – Goth culture and Chicano culture. That’s who I am. I didn’t fit anywhere – I didn’t fit with the Cholos 100 percent, and I didn’t fit with the Goths 100 percent. I’ve always been this hybrid. I practice a lot of self-awareness and self-discovery, and so I was able to know exactly what I am.

YS: Are you looking forward to Riot Fest?

RR: We are. The lineup alone is insane. You can’t ask for any better lineup. And then for us to be part of it, it’s a dream come true.

YS: What can we expect from your set?

RR: We’re gonna do a little bit of all our EPs – a little bit of SD Killwave, a little bit of Gothic Summer, and a little bit of Young Gods. We’ll do a set that showcases all the favorite songs of our family. Our family is what we call our fans. We want to give them a little bit of everything, because we haven’t been to Denver, or Chicago, before so we’re just excited to be part of the lineups. We get to be on the same lineup as all these bands that we grew up listening to and admiring. It’s an honor.

YS: When Riot Fest is over, what’s next?

RR: After Riot Fest, we have our own tour in August and September. We’re touring the States, everywhere from Texas to New Orleans to New York, and everywhere in-between. More music videos too. That’s one of my favorite things. My first love is the music, and my second love is being able to create a body for the spirit. The spirit is the music, and the body is the video. I’m able to show people my interpretation of the music. Everyone listens has their own interpretation of what it means to them, but with the videos I’m able to show them what the music means to me.

Prayers plays Denver Riot Fest; August 28-30; riotfest.org/denver.


Brett Calwood
Brett Callwood is an English journalist, copy writer, editor and author, currently living and working in Los Angeles. He is the music editor with the LA Weekly. He was previously a reporter at the Longmont Times-Call and Daily Camera, the music editor at the Detroit Metro Times and editor-in-chief at Yellow Scene magazine. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brett_Callwood

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