Bang Bangz
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Bang Bangz

Mexico City, The Federal District, Mexico | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Mexico City, The Federal District, Mexico | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Dream Pop

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Jan
29
Bang Bangz @ Aloft Houston

Houston, Texas, United States

Houston, Texas, United States

Nov
22
Bang Bangz @ Houston Whatever Fest

Houston, Texas, United States

Houston, Texas, United States

Dec
20
Bang Bangz @ Walters Downtown

Houston, Texas, United States

Houston, Texas, United States

Music

Press


"Bang Bangz: rock-pop onírico de Houston a México"

HOUSTON - El cuarteto Bang Bangz es la nueva joya de la música hecha por hispanos en Houston gracias a su delicado y complejo rock-pop de letras simbólicas que recrean los sueños de sus creadores.

El grupo de jóvenes méxico-estadounidenses, con apenas poco más de un año de haberse formado y con sólo un disco a sus espaldas, ya ha ganado reconocimientos, como el estar nominado por el semanario Houston Press en la categoría de Mejor Banda Según los Lectores para sus premios Houston Press Awards 2014, que serán entregados la próxima semana.

Además, el cuarteto ha sido contratado para actuar por primera vez en México, en una gira de una semana por la capital de ese país y algunas ciudades aledañas. Se trata de una aventura de la que muy pocos grupos de Houston pueden presumir.

En Bang Bangz convergen tres jóvenes veteranos del rock houstoniano: Mario A. Rodríguez (guitarra, voz y teclados), Adrián Graniel (bajo y batería) quienes también son parte del grupo de rock experimental Tax The Wolf (Tax The Wolf, aullidos de rock psicodélico desde Houston, La Voz 1/6/2013), entre otros proyectos alternos, y el virtuoso metrónomo humano Vik Montemayor (batería), quien es muy conocido en Houston por su paso por la gran banda de rock en español Cuervo, que ya no existe. A ellos se une la joven Elizabeth Salazar (teclados y voz), en la que es su primera experiencia profesional en la música.

Taller musical

“Bang Bangz nació realmente como un proyecto para hacer canciones, música electrónica en la computadora, entre yo y Elizabeth nada más... sin nada preconcebido o planeado... ella y yo en los teclados... como un taller musical”, dice Rodríguez.

Conforme creaban las canciones, los dos músicos fueron necesitando más instrumentación para afinar lo que estaban haciendo y en esa búsqueda sonora se unieron, primero Montemayor y finalmente Graniel.

El nombre de la banda fue una ocurrencia de Salazar en una noche de juerga. “Estábamos una noche en el estudio, componiendo, salimos tarde y fuimos a un bar y ahí le pregunté a Mario: ‘¿Por qué no nos llamamos Bang Bangz?’ Fue una idea, que tuve de repente, y pegó”, rememora Salazar entre risas.

Aunque la música de Bang Bangz es responsabilidad de todos, la lírica es territorio de Salazar y Rodríguez, lo que crea un contraste interesante.

El ying y el yang

Las letras de Salazar se caracterizan por ser más joviales y luminosas, sobre fantasías oníricas, mientras que las de Rodríguez, aunque también son fantasías, suelen ser más oscuras e introspectivas.

“Creo que eso está muy bien que sea así... Elizabeth es muy optimista y así compone y yo, no es que sea pesimista, pero veo las cosas de un modo más gris, dark (oscuro), como el ying y el yang”, dice Rodríguez en referencia a la dualidad de sus letras comparándolas con el precepto de la dualidad en el universo que predica la filosofía taoísta.

“Todas nuestras canciones son sueños, ideas sueltas, no tienen una narrativa, no son una historia, mis sueños son más divertidos que los de Mario”, completa Salazar.
- See more at: http://lavoztx.com/news/2014/aug/03/bang-bangz-rock-pop-de-houston-mexico/?page=1#sthash.jldS2YhR.dpuf - La Voz TX


"Bang Bangz Comparte El Soundtrack Perfecto Para Este Verano."

Hablar de dream-pop es hablar de un género musical que gracias a su estructura y ejecución, nos es posible adentrarnos en un mundo totalmente desconocido, y que conforme pasan los segundos, nos envuelve en un cosmos lleno de magia y balance.

Claro ejemplo de esta descripción es Bang Bangz, banda originaria de Houston, Texas, que desde hace aproximadamente dos años y medio ha venido creando un sonido tan agradable que indiscutiblemente nos remonta a lugares tan bellos como los que se adentran en nuestra mente.

Escucha lo que Bang Bangz trae para ti. - Url Magazine


"Red City Album Review"

Synths are coming back. Maybe they never left, but for now, they are here, and dominating the new wave of music. Analog synths, digital synths, polyphonic, monophonic, vintage, modern, the works. Sometimes, synths can be cheesier than an olympic size fondue pot, but in a lot of cases, synths work. One thing is certain, the Bang Bangz know how to make synths work to their advantage.
The first track on the album, Voltron, starts off with some layered synth and keys, which I assume are sampled and given life with Elizabeth Salazar’s (keyboards and vocals) Akai MPK45. I am a fan of the Akai MPK series, and I am glad to see someone else using them. Salazar’s vocals are a bit buried in the mix, but that doesn’t feel inappropriate considering she is sharing the space with the textures provided by the synths. The second track, The Last Day on Earth, is more of a guitar track, with a clean guitar strumming along on single string notes in what an unlearned critic would consider to be “surf” like. The vocals are shared between Mario Rodriguez (guitars and vocals), and Salazar. It’s short, quick, and to the point.
Lions has a really soft and nostalgic feel to it. The synths are dreamy, layered, and the drums keep the pulse in between variations and fills on beats. The vocals are handled by Rodriguez on this track, and he does a fantastic job. Nothing feels forced, and the melody is worthy of repeated listenings. Salazar does some dreamy, ambient back ups that are buried beneath the collage of sounds, and these are effective in conveying the emotional tone of the song.
Each song has a clear place on the album, the record flows well and effortlessly. All I Want has a more impactful duet between Rodriguez and Salazar. The chorus “All I want is your light/fight/what’s right” is repeated until you believe it.
No One Speaks feels a bit different from the rest of the album, although it still has all of the trappings that make it a Bang Bangz song. It feels more playful, with what I imagine is a major chord change, and Salazar’s vocals are approached a bit differently, they seem calmer here. I can’t stress enough how great the synth work is here. I don’t get the chance to listen to a lot of electro pop music, but I am feeling like more and more of a convert as the album rolls on.
Otherside has a nice disco/dance beat that grooves really pleasantly. The music doesn’t feel like it’s forcing you to dance, but more that it’s giving you the option, which I enjoy. The BPM is slow enough that you really could get away with just chilling your way through the song, but it’s fast enough that you could shuffle around and enjoy it equally either way. The guitar riff that ends the song is pretty great, too, due to the moderation.
This music really makes me want to go out and buy an old Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 or an Oberheim ObXa. I’m very curious to know how they went about layering and choosing synth samples, because it’s really interesting how much music you can create that way. Not just anybody can do it, either, which makes it that much more compelling.
I really enjoy the way Waiting starts out, the synths phase and flange, with some sort of filter effect washing over them, and the bass line is fat and round, and settles nicely in the mix, moving things forward. Beach Life is probably close to being my favorite song on the album, if I had to pick. The synth riffs are great, a little pitch shifting here and there, and perhaps a looped sequence. I’m into that. Vik Montemayor’s drumming is solid as a rock on these tracks, and that solidity is a necessary foundation for the textural exploration that Salazar and Rodriguez embark on throughout the album.
There is certainly a nostalgic feel to this record, which I strongly feel has a lot to do with their selection of synths. Whether it be the square or syn waves, the distorted deep bass, or the polyphonic chords, there is something analog and warm and dare I say 80's about their approach. The mood of their album is dark and dreamy, but warm and welcoming. I am proud to know that this group is from Houston, and I look forward to what they’ll be bringing to the table the next time around. - Free Press Houston


"Show Preview Swan Dive"

Friday night’s eclectic lineup at Swan Dive has a little something for everyone. You’re into radio-friendly alt-pop? It’s got it. Indie rock? Yup! You want some good, ol’ fashioned garage rock ‘n’ roll? Friday night at the Swan Dive’s got you covered.
Starting with the headliner, here’s a little rundown to give you a taste of what’s in store.
Headliner Mobley is a local group, yes. But give ‘em a listen, and you’ll find that they have bigger dreams than this little town on the Colorado. The sheer number of bands here in Austin ensures that there’s always a good mix of styles and acts in the clubs. But at the end of the day, we’re still a pretty folk-and-rock-n-roll kinda town, and Mobley’s lush, jittery rock and dancey rhythms set them apart. And that’s a good thing. Mobley’s tunes are great whether you’re in Austin, Chicago, Des Moines or Honolulu. There’s none of the regional baggage associated with being an “Austin” band, and they are certainly one to keep an eye on.
Houston electro-pop trio Bang Bangz also benefit from an non-regional sound. Their sound is a little dreamier and a little more electronic than Mobley’s, but no less polished. On “Waiting,” (from their most recent disc Red City) synthy swirls and chilled-out tempo ooze 80s downtown, post-punk-club cool. There are moments in the tune where singer Elizabeth Salazar’s voice is a dead-ringer for Madonna. It may not get you dancing, but it’ll get you swaying nicely.
Local garage-power-pop duo Major Major Major move things in a bit more of a traditional direction, but only in that they’re a guitar ‘n’ drum band without a whole lot of contemporary touches. Their tunes are jangly and sweet, with just a hint of lo-fi roughness. Their tune “Wouldn’t Mind at All” (from their 2012 self-titled EP) is almost like long-lost garage version of a Rasberries tune. The pair have crackerjack pop sense, and they do it without many bells and whistles.
Austin’s own The Mole People round out the bill. They filter fuzzy 60s garage-rock and psych through the headphones of punky college-radio jocks. The form is a jumping-off point, and they leave plenty of room to explore the noise. That makes for a sound that’s loose, not sloppy, reverential yet playful. The Mole People can stomp, shimmy and shake, but they can also sweeten in up too. It’s the perfect rock ‘n’ roll formula.
There you have it. Four bands. One Night. And a little something for everyone. The Swan Dive’s where it’s at Friday.
Mobley: [official, facebook]
Major Major Major: [official, facebook]
The Mole People: [facebook, bandcamp]
Bang Bangz: [official, facebook] - Austinist


"Bang Bangz, RED CITY"

There’s something about Bang Bangz’s Red City — the band’s music in general, really — that makes me want to get out. I feel like I need to just to get up and walk out the door into the darkness, and just keep walking until something, I couldn’t tell you what, happens. It’s an odd feeling, honestly.
See, most of the time, I can happily listen to an album by Rock Band X at home, on my headphones, with the TV going and whatever else, and hey, I’m fine; with Red City, though, I suddenly start feeling confined out here in my too-comfy little near-urban nest.
That’s kind of the magic of Bang Bangz’s music: this is late-night-in-the-naked-city music, music that’s a soundtrack for lonely souls roaming dirty downtown streets and alleyways, and it makes you want to be rambling through those streets, too. It just doesn’t seem right to listen to it from the comfort of the couch.
It’s fitting, then, that the band the trio makes me think of most is another “late-night” band, M83. The two bands share an unabashed love of ’80s synths and beats, while at the same time aiming for an atmospheric, high-flying sound. On tracks like “Voltron” and “Otherside,” in particular, Bang Bangz bears a serious resemblance to Saturdays = Youth-era M83, especially with the processed-sounding drums that kick off the former track. And oh, wow, those rubbery, ’80s-sounding synths, like on “Life for Now”; they’re like every pop song I ever heard on top-40 radio in my youth, and yet, I’m finding I don’t mind.
At the same time, there’s a Goldfrapp-esque vibe to several of the tracks, especially where singer Elizabeth Salazar takes center stage; she comes off like a muddier, murkier Alison Goldfrapp, and production on Red City has a similar sheen to Black Cherry, sleeker and more neon-brighter than Bang Bangz’s debut EP. There’s also a bit of a trip-hop thing going on, like the band’s a sleepier, less menacing Massive Attack, and lots of warbly keys that evoke My Bloody Valentine.
The true oddball of the album is “Beach Life,” which takes the night-electro-pop and shifts it smoothly to a beach scene, with singer/guitarist Mario A. Rodriguez crooning in an almost-monotone as the rest of the band bumps and trudges along. It’s like chillwave as done by the Talking Heads, with a freakishly addictive chorus that evokes the slowed-down pace of summer days and nights spent out on the sand.
The title track’s a definite highlight; there’s more of a focus on Rodriguez’s vocals, with he and Salazar finally doing more harmonizing than they have to that point. The melding of their vocals is gorgeous and lush, almost Kate Bush-like, particularly in the chorus. I like the duet of “All I Want,” as well, with its electronics-tinged pop sound and sweet, earnest, impassioned vocals (despite the quasi-distant New Wave vocals).
Also high on my personal list is “Life for Now,” which steadily builds and builds into something majestic and swooning. Even when the band’s at its prettiest, though, Bang Bangz remains a little unsettling, like something’s more dangerous than it seems. Beautiful and soulful as the vocals may be, with those utterly irrepressible melodies, it always feels like there’s something menacing going on behind the scenes.
All of which adds to the allure, thankfully; it’s nice to have a little vinegar to balance out the sugar. And the end result works pretty ridiculously well, building a dark, electronic, hazy/shiny, seductive-yet-dangerous album of music to get you through those late, late nights spent alone roaming the alleys and back roads of The Big Bad City. - Space City Rock


"Bang Bangz: More Ghostly Wails and Synths On Red City"

Bang Bangz remains one of the best things about the Houston music scene. The trio of Mario Rodriguez, Elizabeth Salazar, and Vik Montemayor specializes in an ambient, repetitious, synth-driven kind of indie music that is really quite spellbinding. In particular, Salazar and Rodriguez's vocals cut through the binary wall of sound like a modernist version of Flowers and Machines.
Red City is the trio's first full-length release, coming a year after their stellar self-titled EP. At the time you could clearly feel the band looking for its identity apart from Rodriguez's work with Tax the Wolf, but warming to their potential as a new direction.
From the outset, Red City shows some pretty powerful evolution. It's far smoother, and Rodriguez appears to have really buckled down his production skills in crafting it.

If Bang Bangz the EP had any real flaw, it was a tendency to edge slightly into the reds on Salazar's high notes or drop Montemayor's drums under a crashing keyboard line. This time, he's got it 100 percent right.

"Voltron" opens the record very strongly, with a preamble that calls to mind Harbinger, the impossibly brilliant EP by Bang Bangz's occasional stagemates from Austin, Clouds Are Ghosts. In fact, you can hear a definite influence stemming straight from Harbinger in the opener's preamble, and the wailing choruses that echo Harbinger's "Canvas."



Where it sets itself apart, though, and what seems to be a recurring theme of the album lyrically is a strange and desperate hopelessness. I don't know what the connection is between giant anime robots and clear allusions to dying far away and alone, but whatever it is, it forms the backbone of Red City.
It doesn't get any happier with "Last Day on Earth," which is the first time on the album Rodriguez gets into the game as a vocalist. He and Salazar work very well in complementing each other across vocal lines, with Rodriguez typically taking a more conversational tone opposite Salazar's choir approach.

One of the more interesting things Bang Bangz does is use a constant repetition of lyrics in a kind of meditative, chanting mantra. When you combine it with the beepier, video-game aspect of Salazar's synth lines this time around, it feels kind of like leveling up aurally.

As you allow these motifs and memes to ricochet back and forth through your attention span like two equally skilled computers playing Pong, it has a definitely unsettling effect on the subconscious.

"Silence and violence even at the end of the line," mutters Rodriguez, slightly changing a few words with every utterance. It gets to you.




The only thing keeping Red City from being perfect is that frankly there is too much of it. It's not a long record by any stretch of the imagination, but like Provision they tend to have one good idea and then record it 11 times in a row. There just aren't enough dynamics on the album, with each song blending into each other without ever really giving you a clear impression of the work as a whole. It's a collection of songs, more than an audio narrative.
There are moments for when it tries for a wider reach. The otherwise fantastic love duet "All I Want" opens with a few new sounds and change in timbre, which prepares you nicely for one of the few comparatively upbeat notes on Red City. But like the other shake-up moments on the record, such as "Beach Life" and the title track, it tends to just fall back into pattern. A minute into each and they become indistinguishable from last year's offerings.

Which is why it is such a surprise at how strongly it all ends. "Life for Now" is not an easy song to like, and is probably the least poppy of all 11 songs. It's got a hidden strength to it, though, that ranks it up there with other challenging listens like the title tracks from Tori Amos' Little Earthquakes or the Cranberries' No Need to Argue.

There's just more room to breathe, and you have to go hunting one step at a time on the back of Montemayor's comforting drumming as you seek Rodriguez and Salazar in a foggy web of sound. It's work, but well worth it.

I'm not counting "El Oso Mágico." It's a pretty forgettable instrumental, and if it wasn't the last track no one would miss it.

I'll bring up Harbinger one more time. The thing that makes it my favorite album of the last five years or so is how it uses five really incredible songs to tell a story, complete with acts, beats and narrative rhythm. Houston's Lotus Effect did the same thing on Rabbits & Royalty.

Bang Bangz took what could have been another succinct and memorable EP and spread it a bit too thin, but that doesn't change the quality of what's being spread. This is high-end stuff that you should absolutely be listening to, but their musical s - Houston Press


"Spotlight: This Week’s 10 Most Notable Artists"

It’s time to get sexy with a hot little band from Houston, Texas. Bang Bangz creates musical seduction with ethereal vocals that entwine effortless among band mates Elizabeth Salaazar and Mario Rodriguez. It’s hard to not fall for this electro-pop-indie-rock combo that can be the perfect soundtrack to any forbidden moment. It’s hard to not be charmed by Elizabeth’s vocals, Mario’s wild locks, and the rhythmic overlay of Vik Montemayor handling percussion like a real man should. They’re good, and they’re just starting out after a 2011 formation. Their full length LP Red City is much anticipate March 23rd release is so close fans can hardly stand it, but you can temporarily satiate your thirst with their video below. - Music Under Fire


"Stream: Bang Bangz, Red City"

Houston post-punk that has the synth trails of cruising through a vacant side of town.

Houston’s dream-pop, synth-driven trio, Bang Bangz, build huge, layered songs aimed at some kind of spiritual transcendence. Their debut LP, Red City, resembles its name – it’s music for wandering city streets, not quite upbeat enough for a club (except perhaps for dance-party track “Waiting”), and out of place too far from the oh-humanity epicenters.

Reminiscent of a more operatic Joy Division, especially when singer/guitarist Mario A. Rodriguez takes the mic for “Beach Life,” or modern 80s lovers M83, Bang Bangz manage to convey a hopeful sincerity even as their words take a turn for the apocalyptic (like “Last Day on Earth”). Every track is so full – built into layers that coo, that hush, that exhilarate and break your heart all at once. Each song is a crescendo that never ends, an undulating wave that drowns like a movie score’s big moment stuck in a tail-eating loop.

Discover infinity with Bang Bangz below. - Impose Magazine


"Bang Bangz: Red City"

Bang Bangz es un trío formado por Mario Rodríguez, Elizabeth Salazar y Vik Montemayor. Ellos son originarios de Houston, Texas, un estado que nos ha dado grupos como Explosions in the Sky y At The Drive In.

En 2011 Bang Bangz tocó junto a Two Door Cinema Club, Snoop Dog, Flaming Lips en el Free Press Summer Fest, un festival de música en Houston. Esto es el primer paso para darse a conocer, eventualmente quieren salir de gira y probar nuevas aguas en otras ciudad y estados.

“En Texas escuchas mucho indie rock y rock alternativo, nuestra música es completamente diferente a la norma aquí”, explicó Elizabeth, “sé que hay otros lugares en donde será más fácil que reciban nuestra música”.

La propuesta de este grupo es más en la onda del chill-wave, con la mano pesada en los sintetizadores, pero bien balanaceada con las voces de Mario y Elizabeth. Ellos admiran a grupos como The xx y Washed Out, a quien tuvieron la oportunidad de abrir en un concierto; y esto se nota de inmediato. La voz de Elizabeth incluso llega a sonar como Lykke Li.

El 23 de marzo marcará la fecha de salida de su primer LP titulado Red City que está compuesto por 11 tracks. En ellos predominan voces espectrales, cortesía de las reverberaciones: “Este disco que vamos a sacar, empezamos con ideas de música que yo quisiera oír cuando voy manejando por la ciudad. Quería atrapar la atmósfera de lo que vivimos en las ciudades grandes, algo oscuro, no ésta en particular, pero sí la belleza”, dijo Mario.

Este primer LP les costó trabajo, más del que pensaron. En promedio tardaron enre tres y cuatro semanas por canción. “Parecía que este primer disco no iba a salir, porque cada vez que lo tocábamos era diferente, hasta que por fin pusimos una fecha y dijimos ‘el 23 de marzo va a salir ese pinche disco y vamos a terminarlo’, eso fue lo más complejo”, dijo Mario.

Cada integrante del grupo tiene una canción favorita, una que recomiendan para empezar a escucharlos. Para Elizabeth es “Photograph”; para Mario es “Nightsouls”; y para Vik es “Wrong”, con la cual empiezan el set.

Este disco cumple su cometido, ser ese soundtrack para un recorrido nocturno por la ciudad. - Indie Rocks Mexico


"Three's a Band"

Bang Bangz began as a boyfriend, a girlfriend and a desire to create “cool night-time music,” Mario Rodriguez said.

But less than two years after the band started, it’s one of Houston’s top independent acts with a devoted following among even the critics — two out of three Houston music writers I spoke to cited Bang Bangz as a band to watch in 2013. And as toothpaste commercials have taught us, statistics like that never lie.

Rodriguez may be familiar to Beaumont from his other band, Tax the Wolf, a Houston prog rock outfit that’s no stranger to
Crockett Street.

But these days, you’re more likely to see the sweet-yet-edgy electro-pop trio Bang Bangz, which plays Tequila Rok on Friday night with Hello Chief.

Rodriguez said he’ll have 50 exclusive copies of the new Bang Bangz album just for Beaumont fans. Here’s what he had to say about the new album and how band dynamics change when two-thirds of the band is dating one another:



Q Tell me about the album you’re releasing at Fitzgerald’s in March.
A The new album will include 10 or 11 tracks and will be titled Red City.

The actual record is all new material that I’ve been working on for a full year. It’s a production that has undergone many frenetic changes.

My goal was to compose the most seductive, simple ballads with electronics, guitars and drums. I recorded all the tracks and would have Elizabeth and Vik listen to them afterwards. I’m very thankful that they are constantly supporting my ideas — their attention to detail is amazing and they really helped me shape the overall sound of the record.

Red City is somewhat daring and it has a more accomplished angle than our first release. Elizabeth has really accomplished something beautiful with every track: Smokey vocals and dreamy melodies that triumph throughout the production. I uncover new ideas in my head and she can portray them through her vocals and lyrics very well.

Vik has again made our songs powerful and solid. He walks into rehearsal and always has the perfect drum pattern to accompany the music. He’s incredible behind the drums and our listeners will take even more notice with this release.

We hope Red City will have great reception. We are extremely excited for it and we have worked very hard to make it possible.

Q You’ve played Beaumont a few times, with both Tax the Wolf and Bang Bangz. What keeps you coming back?
A The awesome people treating us very nicely every time we perform. We’ve never had a bad experience or dull moment in Beaumont. Also, we love Hello Chief. Like, a lot.

Q Bang Bangz is a relatively new band but it seems like 2012, your first full year together, was a good one — did you guys expect to pick up so much momentum?
A We didn’t expect this much when we first started — 2012 was a very rapid and fun awakening. The amazing opportunities this past year have been highly motivating for all three of us.

Our first goal was to just make music that we could be happy to listen to at night. Some cool night-time music. We never expected for us to be a huge act around town or anything like that.

We are so thankful and happy at this point.



Q You and Elizabeth have been in a relationship together since the band began — how does romance alter a band’s dynamics?
A Yes, Elizabeth and I are in a relationship. There have been a few off-stage arguments but it has never affected the band’s dynamic or dedication. No major issues have ever occurred that have affected the band.

We’re both truly dedicated to what we started together. Bang Bangz was our creation since we first met. We had great chemistry and a strong connection since the start, so the band has always been very important to us.

Q Are you ever afraid of what would happen to the project if that relationship ended? Some bands don’t survive those circumstances.
A Not afraid at all — we are confident that it will not end! And if it does end, then it’s most likely because she hooked up with Ryan Gosling and I with Mila Kunis.

Q What’s in the cards for Bang Bangz in 2013?
A Release our new record, tour, gain an excessive amount of press, find a management team and hop on as many music festivals as possible. Well, that’s the plan.

Bang Bangz live with Hello Chief, Bantam Foxes and Quasar
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: Tequila Rok, 260 Crockett St., Beaumont
Cost: $5

beth@thecat5.com - Beaumont Enterprise


"Bang Bangz : Houston's Sexiest New Band"

To make a gross generalization that's still pretty much true, most of Houston's better-known musical acts (God bless them) aren't exactly known for their subtlety. Slim Thug, ZZ Top, Rusted Shut, Linus Pauling Quartet, Venomous Maximus, B L A C K I E, Indian Jewelry -- no matter the genre, broad strokes and heavy mettle rules the day, and nuance can be in short supply. There's Lyle Lovett, but after him the list gets pretty thin.
That's why its been so refreshing to watch the mysterious, shadowy, alluring Bang Bangz steal so many hearts within the local scene these past few months. The electro-pop trio is eeirly reminiscent of Portishead, Massive Attack and Morcheeba, early-'90s UK groups who expertly wove trippy electronic sounds around a sensual groove and a fetching female vocalist.

Released in February 2012, Bang Bangz's eponymous EP is perfectly suited for all sorts of nocturnal activities, including the kind that take place under the covers.


Bang Bangz began when Mario Rodriguez, guitarist and singer of proggy Houston alt-rock trio Tax the Wolf, wanted to dust off some solo songs he had been working on for a while, some he had started at age 16. Instead of the muscular interstellar jams he writes in Tax, these songs and been inspired by albums like Thom Yorke's 2006 solo album The Eraser and Cafe Tacuba's Reves/Yo Soy. (Tax has already recorded nine songs for their next album, and plays a free show February 9 at Fitz.)
In early 2011, Rodriguez met Elizabeth Salazar and in the course of talking music with her, mentioned his solo songs. They had written four Bang Bangz tracks within a week of working together. They brought in their friend Vik Montemayor, drummer for excellent Houston synth-rock band the Live Lights, and debuted in front of a packed Mango's that August.

"We never expected such a heated crowd," Rodriguez says. "We instantly became motivated to continue the small project, and every show after was even better."

A different version of "All I Want" will appear on Bang Bangz's upcoming LP Red City.

Today Rodriguez and Salazar share a loft near Last Concert Cafe and Houston House of Creeps that doubles as Bang Bangz's rehearsal space. One of their neighbors is actually one of our fellow Houston Press staffers, who says the trio's rehearsals can get a little loud.

"We like being loud," Rodriguez affirms. "Those thick walls can't save our neighbors, but they're always welcome to sit in and have some beers with us."



A few weeks after performing after performing at the Houston Press' Artopia this Saturday, Bang Bangz will release their first full-length album, Red City, in March. In true Houston fashion, Rodriguez promises more of everything, especially more sexy.
"My goal was to compose seductive, simple ballads with electronics, guitars and drums," he says. "Elizabeth really accomplished something beautiful with every track, smoky vocals and dreamy melodies that triumph throughout the production.

"Vik has again made our songs powerful and solid," Rodriguez adds. "He walks into rehearsal and always has the perfect drum pattern to accompany the music. He's incredible behind the drums."


Bang Bangz performs with Bagheera and Poor Pilate at Houston Press Artopia, 8 p.m. Saturday, January 26 at Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter, www.houstonpressartopia.com. In honor of Artopia, the group is offering its first EP as a free download to our readers on its Bandcamp page. - Houston Press


"Bang Bangz - Black and White Free Download"

The Houston-based trio Bang Bangz released their debut, self-titled EP on February 4th, which is available as a free download via the group’s Bandcamp page.

The band consists of Mario A. Rodriguez on vocals and guitar, Elizabeth Salazar on vocals and keyboards, and Vik Montemayor on drums, and since forming last year the band has shared the stage with Active Child, Com Truise and Shiny Toy Guns, and have even been compared to the likes of the Pixes, M83 and Moby.

The trio will be performing at Warehouse Live in Houston, Texas on August 23rd; (more info here). - RMD Music Blog


"Bang Bangz Recording - January 2013"

The trio of Elizabeth Salazar, Vik Montemayor and Mario A. Rodriguez, known as Bang Bangz, formed in late 2011 and hit the ground running. This is both a primer and an update.


So I know that Mario plays in Tax The Wolf and Vik plays with Live Lights, but what’s your musical background?
Well, I’ve always been into singing, ever since I was younger. I’m Hispanic, so my parents got me singing Mariachi music starting when I was 11 years old, and I kept that going all through high school. And I did a demo myself after high school with a band called Otenki, so it’s something that I’ve been doing, but I never really pushed it. I didn’t know how. I was out in the ’burbs, and I was just very interested in the whole music scene, and it’s been something that’s been there, but I never really acted upon it. It wasn’t until I guess I met Mario that we started talking about music and what he wanted to do, a project that he wanted to take on. I was super interested, and he knew that I sang, so he just asked me if I wanted to join in on it, and that’s how it started.

And so now Bang Bangz has been together for well over a year, you’ve had a stream of releases come out and you’ve played a ton of shows, all with the same sparse guitar, drums, voice and synths lineup, inside of which you’ve expanded and contracted musically. What do you think has been the biggest change for you guys?

As a band, it has to be … I think it just happens all the time. The change that we go through is all musical. All the music that we’ve been doing, it changes all the time, and it’s awesome. It’s beautiful, because we’re not so focused on one sound. We’re open to different inspirations of music, whatever, that make us sound different. And it just comes out amazing. But I think what’s changed, I guess, would be how we tackle the different shows that we have. We had those Twin Shadow shows and Washed Out, and we would always listen to them, like before rehearsal, and to get to play those shows has been amazing. I don’t know — it’s just everything. Everything has been so great for us.

You have a new EP coming out.
Yes, that’s what we’re working on right now. We don’t have a name for it yet. We have at least 10 songs that we’re trying to figure out which ones will be the ones that we’re going to put out. We have a single that’s out right now called “All I Want.” That one just came out, so that one’s going to be featured on the EP as well as another song that we already have but we haven’t released it yet. And we’re pretty excited to put that out there.

You record everything on your own right now, right?
Yeah, yeah. Mario mixes, we get it mastered with Chris Longwood at Sugar Hill, but we record everything in-house in our studio.

And so you’re going to tour in 2013? Have you guys gotten to go out of town, out of state and do some shows in the past?
We haven’t gone out of Texas. We’ve done San Antonio, Austin, Beaumont and The Valley — we played in Brownsville — but we haven’t ventured out of Texas.

How was Brownsville?
Brownsville was fun! It was a small show, like a private party. It was a release party for one of Vik’s friends, and he had a release party for his CD, and they asked us to come play with them. So we went, and it was a lot of fun. The response went very well.

Never known anybody to play a show in Brownsville.
And I think that’s what was intriguing! It’s like, “Who does that? Who goes to The Valley?” I think that’s why. It was awesome, because they didn’t expect — you know, they’re used to their own small bands in The Valley, and they’re not used to a lot of other bands coming in from different cities.

So once you get the EP out, you guys will book some dates around the country?
Well, what we want to do is do a West Coast tour. We’re hoping to do that in April, and by then, we’ll have everything. We’ll have our merch, we’ll have our EP already done and we’re hoping that our PR company is going to be pushing our name out. That way it will be well received on the West Coast.

You gonna have the same guys do the artwork?
Yeah! I think so. Mario’s brothers are geniuses at what they do, and they gave us a couple of photos to choose from for the last EP, so we still have some, so we might use those or we might just focus on the new music that we’re doing and see if they can come up with something with that. They’re very good. It’s just eccentric. The artwork is very dark and romantic. I think it’s perfect.

And hey — keep it in the family.
Exactly! We’re on a budget.
www.bangbangzz.com

Elizabeth Salazar interview by Lance Scott Walker Photography by Anthony Rathbun - 002 Magazine


"Top Indie tracks of 2012"

Bang Bangz – “Black and White” {Pop/Rock}

If the tracks off Bang Bangz’s forthcoming album sound anything like this one, then 2013 is bound to be a good year for this Houston-based band. This song is off the trio’s self-titled 2012 EP which you can buy for $7 here, and they also released a cover/remix of Radiohead’s “Give up the Ghost” which you can download for free here. Their debut LP is set to be released on March 23rd, so mark those music nerd calendars. - RMD Music Blog


"Musician Ready New Releases for 2013"

Bang Bangz
The moody, electro-pop trio follows up last year’s excellent EP with full-lengther “Red City.” Expect “seductive ballads” accented with drums, guitars and electronic flourishes. It gets a full-on release party March 23 at Fitzgerald’s, 2706 White Oak. A Sea Es opens the show. - 29-95


"Best Local Music of 2012"

“Bang Bangz,” Bang Bangz: Mario A. Rodriguez, Elizabeth Salazar and Vik Montemayor built buzz quickly for this electro-pop outfit via shows and singles. This subsequent, self-titled EP worked because of the trio’s chemistry and a backward/forward dynamic. The dreamy tunes were steeped in some ’80s nostalgia but still felt modern. - 29-95


"New Single: Bang Bangz – “All I Want”"

The latest transmissions out of Houston has brought us electronic-experimental pop trio Bang Bangz and their girl/boy single “All I Want”. A darker take on your typical chill wave, dream pop production “All I Want” captures the earliest hints of Bang Bangz’ true intentions with intricate guitarwork, dulcet drumbeats, and an undeniable vocal dynamic that swirls together into a truly arresting sound. With an EP already in the bank, Bang Bangz will hit the road on the west coast in the spring while working on their first formal full length and the context around their latest single.
Stream “All I Want” and a bonus cover of Radiohead’s “Give Up The Ghost” off of The King Of Limbs below. - Speak Into My Good Eye


"Coog Radio Compilation Vol 2."

Coog Radio would like to thank all of the artists who contributed to what has turned out to be an incredible group of songs, as well as our listeners and the city of Houston for their continued love and support of our station.

Look out for Coog Radio Vol. 2 free limited-edition cassette tapes on the shelves of your favorite local record stores and around the University of Houston Campus! More info TBA, stay tuned… - Coog Radio


"Bang Bangz entre el Black and White"

Los Ligeros beats en conjunto con las voces decididas y guitarras nostálgicas que remiten al dream pop, se formaron en Septiembre del 2011 en Houston, Texas. Han sido comparados con M83, es un buen comienzo para Bang Bangz una banda que acaba de lanzar un EP Homónimo el pasado mes de Febrero conformada por Mario A. Rodríguez , Elizabeth Salazar y Vik Montemayor quienes coincidieron con sonoridades melancólicas dispuestos hacer vibrar el oído de quien deseara escucharlos.


En cuanto a el nombre del grupo no fue tarea fácil pues al parecer batallaron un poco "El nombre fue compuesto entre Mario y Elizabeth durante el primer par de días de hacer música, mucha diversión y noches de borrachera. El nombre era perfecto para nuestro proyecto electrónico pequeño". Entre sus influencias se encuentran Justice y Radiohead, "Música que mueve y crea momentos bellos" agrega Mario A. Rodríguez.


Vik Montemayor proviene de una banda llamada The Live Lights de post-punk revival formada en el 2008. Ahora con Bang Bangz explora el sonido que había querido hacer desde hace tiempo con un par de amigos. "Mario y Elizabeth ya éramos amigos y ellos crearon el proyecto de Bang Bangz. Empecé a tocar con Bang Bangz mientras todavia estaba con The Live Lights" asegura Montemayor.


El EP contiene descargas de electro, arreglos armoniosos que caen en el post-punk ochentoso y silbidos que invitan a la fantasía con un estilo de voz que queda bien al concepto. "Why " es un buen punto de partida con una batería sencilla pero que deja picado el sentido de querer escuchar algo que te llene el oído, "Sound Off" es difícil de dejar permanente en tu reproductor pues el tono de voz en esa canción es tan brit pop que ya parece común.


En "Since Last Night" las voces de Mario y Elizabeth se acoplan a la perfección mezclando una atmósfera que quisieras saborear con una cerveza bien fría. "Black and White" es una de las mejores canciones del EP, no te desalienta a seguir escuchándolo. Es un EP muy rápido de ocho tracks que no pasan de los 4 minutos. El coro de "Night souls" es muy pegajoso, ese va y viene cadencioso de la voz de la vocalista. Se puede escuchar completo en la siguiente pagina http://bangbangz.bandcamp.com/album/bang-bangz-ep


Ahora promocionan el sencillo "No One Speaks" de lo que sera su disco de larga duración. Por lo que ahora se encuentran grabando. Han permanecido activos en la escena de Houston y lo que esta por venir, tiene presentaciones agendadas en Texas, conscientes de la situación que vive México y que en el Norte escasean lugares para tocar pero les gustaría tocar en DF, "Sí, de hecho estamos buscando algo por México, DF pero pues como esta todo por allá también como que lo pensamos dos veces. Pero si se dan las cosas para tocar en México ¡claro que si vamos!".

- Colibri Magenta


"The Best Artists of 2012"

Bang Bangz: Bang Bangz set up a mellowed dreamscape for their audience, culminating in tunes that transported to a sound directly off The Postal Service's Give Up. This reference goes directly to the last few tunes, which were most explosive with a "z". In other wordz, those tunes had whatever possible flair the added "z" in the band's name means , plus more.

Their stage setup was simple, free of props or a lightshow, which did not add to or detract from their sound, being good enough all on its own. Also, having seen Bang Bangz three times beforehand, this was their best performance yet. Here's wishing they only get better. ALEXA CRENSHAW - Houston Press


"Best in Show -Best EP"

If Bang Bangz lived in Brooklyn or L.A., popular blog Hipster Runoff would send out breathless text alerts every time the trio brushed their teeth, swearing how "alt" they are. They deserve better. One of the more beguiling recordings to come out of Houston in a long time, Bang Bangz may have been the last thing anyone expected out of Tax the Wolf's Mario Rodriguez, but his vocal chemistry with Elizabeth Salazar is palpable. Reminiscent of Interpol, Doves and a dash of Spiritualized, Bang Bangz puts a happy face on goth and wakes shoegaze out of its stupor. This music is sexy and mysterious, ideally suited for moonlight drives, fireside canoodling and other nocturnal pursuits. - Houston Press


"Bang Bang - Bang Bangz EP Review"

For all the layers of sound on Bang Bangz’s debut EP, there’s a quiet, somber darkness that’s worked through the whole thing, from start to finish. Simply put, it’s a “night” album, but it’s not a “whoo, I spent all night partying with my bros” album — rather, this is music for the night after that, when the ramifications of what happened that first evening are finally starting to sink in. You’re not at a bar or a club or wherever; you’re sitting in the dark on a bridge, drinking alone and watching the lights blur by beneath you.
That’s what this feels like to me, at least, and it’s a very good thing. I’m enjoying the hell out of the trio’s lush-yet-gentle dreampop haze, as they — Mario Rodriguez, Elizabeth Salazar, and Vik Montemayor — move along through the shadows. They start off with a majestically overfuzzed shoegaze roar on “Why” but quickly downshift into drifting, heavy-lidded soul that works just as well, stepping along in a narcotic haze that’s gauzy but never sleepy. That’s the band’s strong suit, really, the ability to dance back and forth across the line between dreampop and dark electro-ish stuff, all the while keeping things intriguing.
There’re plenty of influences popping up here and there, like the New Wave tinge of “Sound Off,” which sounds to me like a fuzzier-headed Franz Ferdinand, or the Miike Snow-ish start to “Black & White,” which also has a sky-facing, epic feel to it. Beyond that, I find myself thinking of a less-gritty Portishead at times, or even of the Gorillaz (see Rodriguez’s 2D-esque vocals on “Photograph”). Even still, the band’s doing their own thing, to the point where if I hear something else that’s dark and electronic, this is what pops into my head.
One of my favorite things about the EP, by the by, is the chance to hear guitarist/singer Rodriguez stepping off to the side a bit from his “regular” band, Tax the Wolf — that band’s sometimes-frantic, sung/yelled prog-rock is great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s cool to hear Rodriguez do a husky, low-key croon, too.
On the bad side, there’re times when Rodriguez’s and Salazar’s voices, while great in their own respective spaces, don’t seem to mesh together as well as they should; while I really, really like the song “Since Last Night” as a whole, for one thing, there’s just something “off” there about the way the pair’s vocals fit together. It makes me think of when you hear a band record an album, and it’s obvious they weren’t playing together, y’know? I’ve got no idea if that’s happened here, in a few spots, but that’s what it sounds like to my ears.
Mind you, note that I said this happened in a few spots — it’s certainly not everywhere on the EP. On “Night Souls,” for example, Salazar takes the lead effortlessly, seeming to spurn the daylight-dwellers so she can run in the shadows, and Rodriguez floats perfectly in the background; it all clicks into place like it’s supposed to.
And mostly, that’s what happens for Bang Bangz, and it’s a very, very cool thing to witness. Let this EP creep its way into your skull, then go out and roam the streets in the dark; you won’t regret it. - Space City Rock


"Bang Bang - Bang Bangz EP Review"

For all the layers of sound on Bang Bangz’s debut EP, there’s a quiet, somber darkness that’s worked through the whole thing, from start to finish. Simply put, it’s a “night” album, but it’s not a “whoo, I spent all night partying with my bros” album — rather, this is music for the night after that, when the ramifications of what happened that first evening are finally starting to sink in. You’re not at a bar or a club or wherever; you’re sitting in the dark on a bridge, drinking alone and watching the lights blur by beneath you.
That’s what this feels like to me, at least, and it’s a very good thing. I’m enjoying the hell out of the trio’s lush-yet-gentle dreampop haze, as they — Mario Rodriguez, Elizabeth Salazar, and Vik Montemayor — move along through the shadows. They start off with a majestically overfuzzed shoegaze roar on “Why” but quickly downshift into drifting, heavy-lidded soul that works just as well, stepping along in a narcotic haze that’s gauzy but never sleepy. That’s the band’s strong suit, really, the ability to dance back and forth across the line between dreampop and dark electro-ish stuff, all the while keeping things intriguing.
There’re plenty of influences popping up here and there, like the New Wave tinge of “Sound Off,” which sounds to me like a fuzzier-headed Franz Ferdinand, or the Miike Snow-ish start to “Black & White,” which also has a sky-facing, epic feel to it. Beyond that, I find myself thinking of a less-gritty Portishead at times, or even of the Gorillaz (see Rodriguez’s 2D-esque vocals on “Photograph”). Even still, the band’s doing their own thing, to the point where if I hear something else that’s dark and electronic, this is what pops into my head.
One of my favorite things about the EP, by the by, is the chance to hear guitarist/singer Rodriguez stepping off to the side a bit from his “regular” band, Tax the Wolf — that band’s sometimes-frantic, sung/yelled prog-rock is great, don’t get me wrong, but it’s cool to hear Rodriguez do a husky, low-key croon, too.
On the bad side, there’re times when Rodriguez’s and Salazar’s voices, while great in their own respective spaces, don’t seem to mesh together as well as they should; while I really, really like the song “Since Last Night” as a whole, for one thing, there’s just something “off” there about the way the pair’s vocals fit together. It makes me think of when you hear a band record an album, and it’s obvious they weren’t playing together, y’know? I’ve got no idea if that’s happened here, in a few spots, but that’s what it sounds like to my ears.
Mind you, note that I said this happened in a few spots — it’s certainly not everywhere on the EP. On “Night Souls,” for example, Salazar takes the lead effortlessly, seeming to spurn the daylight-dwellers so she can run in the shadows, and Rodriguez floats perfectly in the background; it all clicks into place like it’s supposed to.
And mostly, that’s what happens for Bang Bangz, and it’s a very, very cool thing to witness. Let this EP creep its way into your skull, then go out and roam the streets in the dark; you won’t regret it. - Space City Rock


"Listener Powered: Houston"

the second band is called Bang Bangz. Edson gets a gold star for this hook up as well. i would have no problem being the oldest person at their show...try every show. to be completely honest ive listen to their EP like a hundred times already. im actually listening to as im writing this. this three piece electro rock band is amazing. i would put them up against any mainstream dreamy band out there. i think its really cool how the two vocalists play off each other against the backdrop of sounds. i could go on and on about how im totally sprung but this is not the place. take a listen to my favorite Black and White below be sure to download it FREE cause this album is a must have. really! - Beneath Everything Radio


"Listener Powered: Houston"

the second band is called Bang Bangz. Edson gets a gold star for this hook up as well. i would have no problem being the oldest person at their show...try every show. to be completely honest ive listen to their EP like a hundred times already. im actually listening to as im writing this. this three piece electro rock band is amazing. i would put them up against any mainstream dreamy band out there. i think its really cool how the two vocalists play off each other against the backdrop of sounds. i could go on and on about how im totally sprung but this is not the place. take a listen to my favorite Black and White below be sure to download it FREE cause this album is a must have. really! - Beneath Everything Radio


"New Find: Bang Bangz"

Bang Bangz is a three piece electro-pop rock group from Houston,TX. Elizabeth Salazar, Vik Montemayor & Mario A. Rodriguez cultivate melodic guitar work, gentle keys, dynamic drum work, alluring night-sounding vocals and an organic yet cautionary sound. The band released their debut, self-titled EP on February 4th, which is available as a free download from the group's bandcamp page. With a casual approach, they translate a big sound that makes the strange seem familiar again. Download the EP and take their ride. - Indie Nation


"New Find: Bang Bangz"

Bang Bangz is a three piece electro-pop rock group from Houston,TX. Elizabeth Salazar, Vik Montemayor & Mario A. Rodriguez cultivate melodic guitar work, gentle keys, dynamic drum work, alluring night-sounding vocals and an organic yet cautionary sound. The band released their debut, self-titled EP on February 4th, which is available as a free download from the group's bandcamp page. With a casual approach, they translate a big sound that makes the strange seem familiar again. Download the EP and take their ride. - Indie Nation


"Free Press Summerfest Coverage"

We’re kicking off our coverage of the upcoming Free Press Summer Fest by profiling some of the local (and not-so-local) artists that will be performing at the festival.

Bang Bangz hail from Houston and have recently released an EP (cleverly titled Bang Bangz EP). Their music is dominated by catchy hooks, dreamy vocals, and new-wave-esque bass lines. Simple guitar riffs lead us into a wall of sound, synthesizers, and harmonies. In fact, Bang Bangz may just be alternative rock’s answer to M83.

Before you see them at FPSF, sample some Bang Bangz songs here. - Seventhward.net


"Monday Music London: Bang Bangz"

Bang Bangz – Since Last Night
Houston band Bang Bangz promise “leaping arpeggios” in their songs. I have no idea if the trio make good on this promise, but what they definitely do deliver are lavish, thick-gloss coatings of sexy electronic pop, at once catchy and refined. - Someofitwastrue.com


"Bang Bangz - Free Downloads"

The Houston-based trio Bang Bangz released their debut, self-titled EP on February 4th, which is available as a free download via the group’s Bandcamp page.

The band consists of Mario A. Rodriguez on vocals and guitar, Elizabeth Salazar on vocals and keyboards, and Vik Montemayor on drums, and since forming last year the band has shared the stage with Active Child, Com Truise and Shiny Toy Guns, and have even been compared to the likes of the Pixes, M83 and Moby. - rmdmusicblog.com


"Music Review: Bang Bangz"

BANG BANGZ – Self-titled EP

Were Phil Spector to produce an Indie-Electronic-Pop album, this is how it would sound.

The eight songs on Bang Bangz debut EP feature densely-layered arrangements, well mixed by Christopher Longwood into walls of sound and supporting the dream-like vocals of Elizabeth Salazar. Listening to these songs was similar to waking slowly from a trance; by album’s end, I felt refreshed.

The best songs on the album – “Why” and “Wrong” – have the ethereal quality of a revelation held suspended in time. “Why”, with its droning, scratchy guitar and space-age synth lines, floats through time while Salazar keeps asking, “Why do we go so slow?”

“Wrong” has the sound of fresh understanding – if that makes any sense. Clean and fantastic, like angels dancing around the head of a pin, while the snare fires like a shot from a mountain. “No, there’s nothing wrong with you,” she says, and it felt good to hear her say it.

The album and all its parts sound very nicely of a whole, which is quite an accomplishment with so many things happening in each piece. The only things detracting from this harmony were some of the percussion choices. On a few of the songs, the sound of the drums seemed out of place and too high in the mix, while some of the drum patterns were needlessly complex, distracting from the overall effect.

Even so, I really enjoyed this album and I definitely recommend it. - Prettyriot.com


"Bang Bangz Exclusive Interview"

Bang Bangz seems to have burst on the scene from out of nowhere with its intoxicating mix of pop and electronic elements. You could never had seen that coming from Tax The Wolf’s Mario Rodriguez and it likely wouldn’t have happened had he not met Elizabeth Salazar last year. That meeting brought about marathon sessions to flesh out ideas that had previously only been small electronic tracks Rodriguez had been doing for fun in his spare time. Her sensibilities helped him put aside many of his prog/experimental tendencies and explore new melodic routes. Soon after, they added drummer Vik Montemayor (Live Lights) to seal the deal and the band has been on a grueling schedule driven by an almost insane passion ever since. Listen to their new self-titled EP and you hear the giddy energy of a band in love with what they are doing and the possibilities ahead of them.

FPH: You guys have been around less than a year. How did it all come together so quickly?

Mario: The original stuff was Elizabeth and me – it was perfect because they were just three tracks and they were fun so we thought, “Why don’t we release this digitally?”

Elizabeth: But a lot of people actually liked it – not just us. Our first show was in August. Vik joined a couple of weeks before to learn the songs so it was a whirlwind. It really wasn’t a set thing because that show was something Mario planned on doing as a solo show. We didn’t even have a name.

Mario: We came up with the name two weeks before the show. Mark Brubacker (Houston Press) did a preview for the show because Mikey and the Drags had put me on the bill and that got us a lot of attention.

FPH: So, how did you guys turn around eight songs in six months?

Mario: We worked fast from August to November. We had half recorded, decided to record the other half, and aimed for a date at Fitzgerald’s.

FP: …which ended up being the same night Buxton had their album show upstairs? Was that bad?

Elizabeth: Actually, it worked in our favor. It was packed to the back door with people walking up and down and we played at just the right moment because it was before Buxton began their set.

FPH: Ha, that’s great! Back to the album – it’s November and you’ve got half recorded. How did that work out?

Mario: The process behind it was simple and fast. When Fitz booked us we thought we had some time to relax but we didn’t – we still had to record and we had show after show. It got to December and we were, “Fuck, our EP release is coming up and we don’t have it!”

Elizabeth: We crunched it down to two or three weeks. We had roughs but we still had to re-record everything.

Mario: Three weeks before the release, I wanted to mix it and master it but then I decided I wanted to get someone who knew what the fuck they were doing so I went with Christopher Longwood over at Sugar Hill because I’d worked with him before and I was like “I don’t know if you’ve heard my new stuff.” He said he had on-line and I asked, “Do you want to mix us?” and he said, “Dude, WHEN?!!!”

We went to him telling him what we wanted to do with these tracks and he’s like, “We have to start NOW! Just give me a track tonight and I’ll start working on it.” But we didn’t have the tracks! We thought he’d ask for us to bring them to him the next week and so we’re like, “Holy fuck, let’s get back to the studio and get this done!”

Vik: These were all new songs so Mario was asking me to play on these tracks but I didn’t even have drum parts for them – we winged it.

Mario: But that’s what was so nice, he’d hear a track and just jam to it and he’d do maybe two takes. Perfect! Done! I loved it! So, when Chris heard it and said, “This sounds fucking awesome!” we just kept our mouths shut. (Laughing) So now, when people tell us it sounds good, we’re just, “Dude if you only knew …” Chris was so nice to work with even though he was under a lot of pressure.

Elizabeth: “Photograph” and “From Time to Time” were added the last two or three nights before.

Mario: We went back to Chris saying we thought these would be good for the EP but we only had three days right and Chris was all, “I love ‘em both! Let’s put them on there!”

Elizabeth: He was like, “You HAVE to have these songs on this EP!”

Mario: Doing it so fast and so quickly made it a lot of fun. Reaching a goal little by little and the whole time having a blast – we remember every little detail.

Elizabeth: We don’t even know how we did it because we all have our day jobs and we just spent so many hours in that room.

Vik: …and that room is so small. Everything is crammed in there – drums, mics, guitars…

Mario: … a fridge full of beer. So, we’d go to work then we’d e-mail our tracks via Drop Box and we’d reply to each other with suggestions.

Elizabeth: Right after work, it was back to the studio.

Mario: The experience really pushed us and we realized so many great things…that’s what I love about us is that we really wanted it to happen so ba - Free Press Houston


"Lock,Stock Reviews Bang Bangz EP"

Possibly still drunk, working on 4hrs of sleep - while energy drinks flow through my veins, and in need of a second shower. I finally bring you the much anticipated BANG BANGZ EP review! *crowd goes wild* Last night was definitely one for the books (as they say) I arrived around 9p just as The new York city queens were setting up. With alcohol already running through my system, the night was just getting started. By the time Bang Bangz got on stage, the place was so packed I had back up beers for my back up beers. I was not about to spend my night trying to catch the bartender's attention. Bang Bangz started setting up their merchandise, and as soon as the lovely gal attending the booth sat down, a line had already began to take form. They were going fast! I took as many EPs as I could afford and claimed my spot near center stage. Bang Bangz gave its loyal fans such a great show, everyone had a great time. I certainly enjoyed myself after months of seclusion from the social scene.
Mission Impossible-Objective: Infiltrate backstage, get interview.
If I was going to get this interview, I had to play it cool. Move like the wind. The fact that I was wearing black on black gave me an upper hand as I moved with the walls. I made my way to the backstage door and took my chance when the door swing'd wide open. The place was empty. Then, in comes lead guitarist and vocalist Mario Rodriguez. Victory was going to be mine! We met at the back patio and got started on the interview. Check it out..
Finally, right? I know. I just keep rambling on but I'm trying to give you the full experience of last nights events. First off, the artwork (by Enrique A. Rodriguez & Gustavo Rodriguez Jr.) compliments the music very well. Both elegant and artistic you'd think it was taken straight from the walls of an art gallery. Great job guys. Bang Bangz music is soothing, chill, it puts you in the zone. A narcotic for your ears. The album is so robust song after song it leaves you wanting more. "Photograph" being one of my favorite tracks along with "Black and White" and "Wrong" are what hooked me - leading me to cover this amazing trio. "Photograph" is a powerful tune that reaches your inner core. From the lyrics to the instrumentals, it's a perfect blend of dark and beautiful harmony. From beginning to end this album does not disappoint one bit. They completely stand out and this EP promises many things to come. I'm so glad to have gotten the opportunity to cover this band in their early but promising stage, and I wish you all the very best. I'm looking forward to the next project!!

- Lock Stock Broke and Dope


"Bang Bangz They're Live"

With bands popping up left and right, it's hard to swallow the recent Time article penned by two guys claiming that it costs $100,000 to make it as an indie band. While it might help to be loaded, that large amount of money isn't required to "make it."

Local act Bang Bangz might just be the prime example of this. After only six months together, the fresh new act will be celebrating success with an EP release show on Saturday, February 4 at Fitzgerald's.

As for the cost of maintaining their own band, the trio agrees that it's not the money that bands should be focused on. Instead, Mario Rodriguez, Elizabeth Salazar and Vik Montemayor agreement that "you get what you put in."

While there are many things being put in to get their sound, the results are some of the most impressive and gripping to come from a new act. The sound is layered with meticulous care, and yet every song is as fluid and unpredictable.

"We've been working on these songs since September 2011," said Rodriguez, "but the outcome of every song after we all put our ideas was completely worth every strain and nail bite."

"Why," the EP's first song, features everything that's great about this act in four short minutes. "Sound Off" continues this trend, showing that their dance element is ever present as rhythmic guitars and drumming keep them within the realm of M83 – one of last year's most talked about bands.

Additionally, the vocals shine with a familiarity and warmth that keeps your attention better than bands like MGMT, whose heavy use of synths are what make them interesting. Bang Bangz is much more inspired, and it shows. "Black & White" is swelling at the seams, finding itself infectious and cinematic enough to become this summer's anthem, while "Photograph" is sultry and teasing as Salazar and Rodriguez taunt lightly over airy compositions.

Everything was recorded at the group's rehearsal space, which Salazar says often meant three hours of sleep to fuel day jobs and a recording schedule. Luckily they had the help of Rodriguez's brothers, Enrique and Gus, who designed the album artwork, while Chris Longwood from Sugar Hill Studios did the final mixing.

Their free EP release show at Fitzgerald's will also feature Hello Chief, New York City Queens and GRRRL Parts. In addition to this, the group has booked an in-store at Cactus Music on February 25, as well as shows throughout Austin, Houston and Beaumont to their schedule.

"Don't be afraid to fail, and stand strong by your music and ideas," says Montemayor. "If you have the heart of a lion, you can master a variety of challenges that will approach you along the way. - HoustonNightlife


"Photo post-mortem: The fest that shook Beaumont awake"

It might sound a bit over-the-top, but Friday night’s music was downright … transcendent. Houston act Bang Bangz created a fun, deep, throbbing wall of sound that was the perfect precursor to the total insanity that was The Manichean. - Beaumont Enterprise


"Bang Bangz 'Photograph' Video Premiere"

Bang Bangz, one of my favorite newish Houston bands, has a new music video. And we've got it first.

'Photographs' is from the band's self-titled EP, which boasts dreamy vocals, pop flourishes and an electronic framework. The clip was filmed by members Elizabeth Salazar, Mario Rodriguez and Vik Montemayor over two nights.

"We wanted a very intimate setting with low lighting to capture the song's dreamlike sounds," Rodriguez says. "We originally had different scenes and a short story plot, but I decided to keep it very simple and pleasing.

Bang Bangz performs with the Manichean Saturday at Walters, 1120 Naylor. - 29-95


"Bang Bangz "Photograph" The Dark Streets Of Houston"

?Tax the Wolf offshoot Bang Bangz is currently our favorite Houston band, based on their debut, self-titled EP, which is full of a magical, minimalistic electronic brilliance and buoyed on the angelic tones of Elizabeth Salazar's voice. We keep the album on hand for whatever moment of deep self-realization may need a soundtrack.
We missed them performing Saturday with Clouds are Ghost and The Manichean, two other acts that currently reside in our Top 10 Texas bands. Luckily, the band has shot its first music video, so we can get the next best thing via the Tube of You in "Photograph."

Now, the video isn't going to win any accolades here for its conceptual brilliance, not when it's up against dancing skeletons, naked chicks with rifles, and death by moon poisoning, but it does display a sort of subtle genius. Half of the video is shot in the band's darkened rehearsal space simply jamming out their tune, while the other follows a sad, lost Salazar as she wanders through the dark streets of Houston.

Shot by Salazar's bandmates, Mario Rodriguez and Vik Montemayor, it's shaky, poorly lit, and somewhat amateurish. On the other hand, it does seem to fit "Photograph" like a glove with its stark, echoing presence. Even in the studio, the band seems surrounded on all sides by emptiness. What little light exists makes only token stabs against the darkness.

Bang Bangz soldiers on, though, and when Salazar does venture out to wander through downtown the oppressiveness of the empty space becomes even more unbearable. All in all, the video is a good first attempt, with some flashes of vision when it comes to the settings of scenes or capturing the look of the city through its night time inhabitants.

We look forward to some more music-video work from Bang Bangz. Check it out below.


Rocks Off: Why "Photograph?"
Elizabeth Salazar: "We wanted to create something natural, well thought of; nothing melodramatic. I think "Photograph" was perfect for this. It has this ease when you listen to it. All of our other songs are a bit more powerful, they would need more of an outlandish arrangement."


RO: One of the weird themes we pick up from the vid is the safety of the studio, and a sort of fear of the outside world. You seems kind of agoraphobic outside as opposed to your calm demeanor during the playing. Was that intentional?

ES: For me, I think it was bit of both intentional and unintentional. Mario had an idea in his head, he explained what he wanted to shoot but didn't explain why or what the outcome would be. So the video shot just that, me singing a song that is very familiar to me and me being out there not knowing what to do with myself.


RO: Do you think you might do a video for "Sound Off?" That's our favorite track.

ES: We might do a video for it a later time. We're thinking of making one for "Night Souls" next. But thank you! It's a fun song to perform.


RO: Is this how the song looked in your head when you wrote it?

ES: Not at all, when we wrote it I totally had the mentality of floating crystals in outer space in my head. This totally exceeded my expectations. - Houston Press


"Bang Bangz: Tax the Wolf Offshoot Sets A Pretty High Bar"

?Houstonians are more than likely familiar with Mario Rodriguez for his work with Tax the Wolf. The experimental powerhouse has been winning awards and critical acclaim for his experimental and cutting edge music for some time. Now, he's teamed with Elizabeth Salazar and Vik Montemayor on a new endeavor. It's called Bang Bangz, and we'll allow the band a little slack on the cardinal sin of using a "z" where an "s" belongs because they are so very nice to listen to.
Tax the Wolf fans can take comfort in the fact that Rodriguez's rather distinctive guitar sound and style have been maintained with Bang Bangs on their debut self-titled EP. The opening track "Wrong" could almost be mistaken for a cut from Hold the Sun at the beginning. However, differences become apparent immediately. The music is much more ethereal, with soft keyboard lines and drums from Montemayor that are masterworks of ambiguity. If we didn't know better we would swear a drum machine was responsible for much of the album (We mean this as a compliment), so connected to the matrix is Montemayor, but he often lashes out with peaks of rhythmic humanity that keep the tunes cyberorganic and fresh.
?Salazar's vocals constitute a great deal of the album's appeal. Her throat must be a portal made of ginger and honey, and every note that she hits sounds like a subtle invitation. She features more on the microphone than Rodriguez, but he appears on many tracks as well, and the ensuing duet is part dance, and part duel. Nowhere is this better heard than in the crowning jewel of the album, "Night Souls." It's been too long since we'd heard a new song that made us want to use it as a soundtrack for a round of bedtime games, but the fire, tease, the tension, and the smoke of the almost-trip track has us getting ready to cue it up on the nightstand.
When Trent Reznor switched up from NIN to his work with How to Destroy Angels it was a breath of fresh air and a chance for a totally different aspect of his genius to get some air time. By our account, something very similar has happened here in Houston with Bang Bangz. Rodriguez, Salazar, and Montemayor have scraped together whatever free moments they could in some very busy lives to birth something new and powerful.

At times, the work is droning, maybe a little repetitious, but all in all the eight tracks that comprise Bang Bangz are solid works of alternative music in the original sense of the term. We felt the same way tuning in and turning off to the music that we did the first time we heard the Pixies, or Gorillaz, or Poe. It's a breath of steamy, scented air as intoxicating as any drink.

We talked with Rodriguez via email about the record. Click on over to page 2 for the interview.

Rocks Off: There's something very introspective about your songs, a lot of looking in. When you write music like that is it with the purpose of performing it, or just to record it?

Mario Rodriguez: There's definitely a lot of thought into each song. We wanted each track to interact with the listener. Like in "Wrong," Elizabeth's first lines are mesmerizing. I've always liked honesty or compassion in lyrics because it makes songs less excessive. It can make the listener feel like we're understanding or human as well. The purpose of writing music like this is to perform it and have an audience completely get sucked in; motionless.

RO: Favorite song is definitely "Night Souls," It's a real steamy tune. What's the story behind it?


MR: Awesome! Very steamy is what we wanted. "Night Souls" was one we wrote when we were in the middle of having so many ideas that we couldn't finish anything. Elizabeth and I would work our full time jobs and immediately after go into our small studio to write for hours on end without stopping. Days and nights seemed continuous because we would never leave our studio. The song constitutes for everyone that has sacrificed sleep, friends, time, family and everything in between for your passion or goal. We love this track because it reminds us of how much of a fun struggle an idea can become.


RO: There's so much that seems like a combination between you and Elizabeth, like the whole album is the chronicle of an ill-advised but necessary coupling. How are you playing off each other when you sing? What determines who sings which songs?

MR: Ha. "Ill advised but necessary coupling" has to be boldly noted. I'm not certain how we managed to craft this EP in the amount of time we did it in. We both have very different ways of working with music but we always met at a middle ground even if it led to a small argument or head nod. We wanted to make each other happy on everything we made and that was something we felt strongly about. If I played shitty guitar melodies or she sang like shit then we would call it out and that was okay. She gives me a look when it's all sounding amazing and that's when I know it's right. The lyrics seem to determine who sings for us. We trade lyric ideas - Houston Press


"Bang Bangz (EP release)"

And hey, you can always go downstairs, too, to check out excellent electro-dreampop trio Bang Bangz, whose brand-new EP I’ve been listening to quite a bit the past week or so; it’s very cool stuff, bridging the space between MBV-style shoegaze and murky, darkly-imagined electronic pop to make some intriguing nighttime soundtrack music. - Space City Rock


"Bang Bangz - Music"

Since their first few tracks began leaking out last fall, we've been heavily interested in Bang Bangz, a new electro-pop project from Mario Alberto Rodriguez of prog-rock surrealists Tax The Wolf, and co-vocalist Elizabeth Salazar. Heavy on the synths and atmosphere, Bang Bangz features Rodriguez and Salazar trading off breathy, dreamy vocals, informed by the Postal Service, Moby's ambient pop and French darlings M83, dialed down just a notch for effect. In a live setting, the group is a trio, with Vik Montemayor handling drums. This stuff is a departure from what you're used to hearing from Rodriguez, trading in the power-chord baths from TTW and instead slowing things down to a lullaby's pace. The trio's Lee Hazlewood- and Nancy Sinatra-influenced self-titled EP gets its debut on Saturday night, with New York City Queens, GRRRL Parts and Beaumont's Hello Chief handling opening duties. - Houston Press


"Everything's Louder in Texas in Texas: Local Act Bang Bangz"

For those brave enough to pursue a career in music, playing a live show to thousands of people in support of a band you actually like is the kind of thing you can only daydream about. For local Houston act Bang Bangz, their opening slot for Girl in a Coma is a reality they're ready to face head on.

Set to take place in Warehouse Live's intimate Studio on Saturday, December 10, you can rest assured that this line-up of Texas natives will set your heart on fire.

Formed in August by members Mario Rodriguez and Elizabeth Salazar, the original idea behind the band was "to create a fun electrionic sound with simple parts."

"We didn't think of it as being something too serious – we just wanted to create a car playlist for ourselves," said Rodriguez. "After the first couple of sessions with a guitar, iPad and notepad, we must have created four or five tracks."

Two weeks later, an offer came in to play a local show, where the group added on Vik Montemayor on drums. Now, the group are taking things more seriously and it's paying off beautifully. Citing influences that range from Justice and Com Truise to Interpol and The Antlers, the group "bring a sound that's similar to Girl in a Coma, just more electronic."

"They bring so much energy and skill onto the stage, and this will definitely be another groundbreaking concert," said Rodriguez, of their upcoming show. "It will be very cool to share the stage with them."

The band are scheduled to release their debut EP on February 4 at Fitzgerald's. The free show will also feature performances by Grrrl Parts, Hello Chief and New York City Queens – three of Houston's most promising local acts.

"Houston is moving forward with the music and art scene. The streets have been filled with so much goodness lately," said Salazar.

Among other things, Bang Bangz hope to bring music to the table that "can be felt in your bones," where their bass and dynamic electro-pop is what you turn to at night. We're willing to bet that it won't be easy to resist them after this weekend. With their name on almost every major event in the past few months, as well as landing the slot of Houston Press' Artist of the Week, Houston is just getting acquainted with this charming trio.


On their nights off. you can usually find these three at local venues such as Houston-favorite, Fitzgerald's, "where unforgettable nights start at." But whether they're on or off the stage, Mario's choice of drink is a Shiner Bock, while Elizabeth sticks to "a good ol' whiskey and coke." If any of you ladies want to steal Vik's heart, however, he prefers fresh squeezed banana juice to beer any day.

"We've received a lot of amazing feedback in Houston. Friends, fans and other local musicians have given us a lot of support, and we are truly grateful for all of them," said Rodriguez. "Making music and being in Houston is the most rewarding and motivating experience ever. The hospitality and support from everyone has been incredible."

For those who are still wary, the Lone Star State will be at its best on Saturday with San Antonio-based Girl in a Coma, who are releasing their new album, Exits & All the Rest, on Joan Jett's record label. Additionally, Electric Touch's brings in Austin and Houston-bred musicians to round out the bill. Stand back, crack open your favorite Texas brew and wait for them to crank it to 11. You've got all night. - Houstonnightlife.com


"Houston Bands Gear up for a busy 2012"

Bang Bangz: This electro-pop-rock trio (Mario A. Rodriguez, Elizabeth Salazar and Vik Montemayor) has built steady buzz with a stream of carefully timed singles. An EP release is set for Feb. 4 at Fitzgerald’s. They plan to tour through the spring and release some remixes to keep things moving. - 29-95.com


"2011 Houston Press Music Awards Nominees"

?Took us long enough, right? It's been so long since we've had the Houston Press Music Awards, which were last handed out the evening of August 11, 2010, that we almost forgot we were having them.
Not really. How could we? If our numbers are correct, in the two weeks this year's nomination ballot was online, there were more than 9,000 votes spread out across this year's 43 categories. Furthermore, since there's been an extra-long time between the awards - and because there are simply a ton of local musicians out there - we expanded the number of nominees in most of the categories. Our eyes hurt.

Like we say every year (or it seems like it), what you're about to read is the most tangible testament to the diversity, breadth and sheer amount of musical talent among the Houston area's some 5 million people you can find anywhere. You may not agree on all the choices, but you can't deny our city is bursting at the seams with just about any kind of music you could care to listen to.

Rocks Off has spent most of the past two days combing through each of the categories, and consulting with our High Council to determine the final nominees - all 262 of them. Yes, we counted. We feel like we just carved a six-foot ice sculpture with a safety pin. The ballot will go online tomorrow (we'll let you know when it's up) and appear in the October 27 print edition. Let's get to it.
8:35 a.m., October 19: Updated with link to 2011 online ballot.



?Best LP/CD/EP
Robert Ellis, Photographs
Trae tha Truth, Street King
Sideshow Tramps, Revelator
Otenki, Kinetic
Los Skarnales, Dale Shine
Delo, Hood Politics Vol. 2
Something Fierce, Don't Be So Cruel
Literary Greats, Black Blizzard
Various Artists, Honky Tonk Blood soundtrack


Best Mixtape

Preemo, The Magic Bullet
UZOY, The [Def]inition
Killa Kyleon, Candy Paint & Texas Plates 2
Doughbeezy, Reggie Bush & Kool-Aid
Roderickvonn, I'm Almost Done Getting Ready
Mr. Wired Up (Oh Boy), Inside My Mind


Best Song

"Westbound Train," Robert Ellis
"Band to Save Me," thelastplaceyoulook
"John the Revelator," Sideshow Tramps
"Drank In My Cup," Kirko Bangz
"Devil Box," Ryan Scroggins & the Trenchtown Texans
"Nigga You Ain't Fat," Fat Tony
"Pack It Up," UZOY
"Ghosts," Otenki
"Paint the Stars," Castle Lights
"Sunshine," Clory Martin
"Future Punks," Something Fierce


Local Musician of the Year

Trae tha Truth
Kirko Bangz
Robert Ellis
Killa Kyleon
Slim Thug
Josh Wolf


Best New Act

Rivers
Bang Bangz
Finnegan
Square & Compass
Le$
Doughbeezy
The Beans
UZOY
The Handshake - Houston Press


"Artist of the Week: Bang Bangz"

Bang Bangz is a band. A new band. They make music. They make music that sounds like what stuff feels like. They make music that makes you talk in short, terse sentences while you're listening to it. They make music that makes you look at their press pictures and say, "Yep, that's pretty much exactly right." They make music that sounds soft coming out of your computer speakers and heavy coming out of non-computer speakers. And that's interesting.
So we asked them questions. They gave us answers. Then we copied it below. There's talk of Kirko Bangz (duh) and virgins (duh) and pie (duh). There's some other stuff you. You know how that goes.

Rocks Off: Tell everyone everything they need to know about Bang Bangz in exactly six words.

Bang Bangz: Electro-pop, groovy, sexy and successful alcoholics.

RO: The greatest mystery of all: What happened to the Z in the first Bang?

BB: Elizabeth seems to like a bit of 'Bang' in her life and plenty of 'Zzz's'. She's the one that came to me with the name of this project shortly after we started. I instantly loved the name; it was fresh, dynamic and cut short for our new music.

RO: Is there any way at all we can convince you to start a subsidiary group dedicated to covering Kirko Bangz's music? Perhaps you could call it Kirko Bang Bangz?

BB: It's funny that you ask about Kirko Bangz. After a while of using Twitter, I started searching for any mentions of Bang Bangz like a total douche looking for compliments. I found a lot of mentions of Kirko Bangz's "Drank In my Cup." He's damn good at what he does and I even thought about trying to contact him. We may have to cover his song or do some remixes, add a bit more Bangz to it.

RO: That song "Night Souls," it sounds like what it feels like to be drunk and kind of sad and maybe looking at something bright. That's what you guys were going for, right?

BB: Your description is on point. We have been working on our music constantly every night and trying to shape our sound so it can be memorable. Considering the fact that all the music that leaves our studio is made during the wee hours of the morning with the help of some dizzy nectar, feeling a bit nostalgic with lyrics about our current lives; all of these elements defined this track very well. When we perform it live it sounds a lot more bold with guitar work and live drums. It's a really fun song that we enjoy listening to even after the 50th listen.

RO: You all have a show coming up. Will there be pie? What about virgins? What about virgins eating pie? What about harlots? What about swindlers and jesters? If you've got, like, maybe 40 percent of those things, it'll be great, for certain.

BB: Unfortunately, there will be no pie. Virgins chasing jesters turning into harlots by the end of the night? Definitely. Swindlers? no way, man. So swindling on our watch. Either way, it's one show that everyone should try and make it out to. (Saturday, December 3rd at Numbers for the Montrose Winter Social will be our 6th concert.) We have had the fortunate opportunities to open up for national acts (Active Child, Com Truise, The Octopus Project) already and this is going to be another gem in our first chapter as Bang Bangz. We perform at 9:30pm on the Mainstage ( efore Glasnost, Ishi, Shiny Toy Guns).

RO: A big, broad, important question: What is the point of Bang Bangz?

BB: What's the point?! There is no point. It's just a notion that we all shared, to create something that'll make ourselves and everyone else feel good and make bad decisions while listening to it. Dance and feel happy or sad whichever! - Houston Press


"The Octopus Project w/Bang Bangz at Fitzgeralds"

We’re hoping to make this a habit. We have another pair of tickets to giveaway. This week, you will be treated to The Octopus Project and Bang Bangz at Fitzgerald’s. The show pairs established, experimental The Octopus Project with the brand-spanking new Bang Bangz out of Houston. Should be an interesting mix. It’s all-local, all-indietronica tonight. - theloopscoop.com


"BandCamping: Bang Bangz & Fat Tony Put Up New Songs"

There’s a crap-ton of new stuff exploding out of our sweaty, steamy city right now; so much that I can barely keep up with it, honestly… It seems like every time I turn around, there’s a new band/project/etc. meandering its way through the speakers/headphones, and a lot of it, frankly, is pretty damn good.
One that got sent my way recently is the latest song by Bang Bangz, which is the new-ish project of Mario Rodriguez, probably better-known as the frontman of cool local rockers Tax the Wolf. With his new trio (which includes singer/keyboardist Elzabeth Salazar & drummer Vik Montemayor), though, Mario’s leaning away from the harder-edged, more “rock” stuff in favor of subtle, low-key electro-pop that’s hazy and murky like a darkened city street on a late summer night.
“Since Last Night,” at least, is electronic but still warm and organic and comfortable, even though it sounds cautionary and half-threatening, exhorting the listener to live for today over gentle beds of keys, limber guitar melodies, and Rodriguez and Salazar’s alluring night-sounding vocals. Check it: - Space City Rock


"Dig This: Dig Dug, Bang Bangz, Los Skarnales, The Wiggins & Craig Kinsey"

?Bang Bangz: We first wrote about Bang Bangz in advance of their debut show with Mikey & The Drags last month. The now-trio of Mario Rodriguez, Elizabeth Salazar and Vik Montemayor has a pair of songs online now, featuring shimmering textures and cooing vocals, and are at work on an EP to be released in early December. - Houston Press


"First listen: Bang Bangz, “Since Last Night”"

Bang Bangz has released the first single from its forthcoming self-titled debut EP (due in December).

“Since Last Night”–reportedly one of the EP’s slower songs–will be followed later this month by another new song (“Sound Off”) and a show on 10.22.11 at Fitzgerald’s. - Houston Calling


"Bang Bangz releases two singles, preps EP, plays Fitzgerald’s"

Bang Bangz is a new Houston-based band that is in the process of producing its debut EP, which is scheduled for a December release. The band–Elizabeth Salazar (vocals/keys), Mario Rodriguez (guitar/vocals), and Vik Montemayor (drums)–recently released two singles, “Black and White” and “Wrong,” which you can listen to on Bandcamp. - Houston Callng


"Bang Bangz Debut Saturday"

?Rocks Off also tracked down Tax The Wolf's Mario Rodriguez, to quiz him about his new project, Bang Bangz. Formed out of a chance meeting with singer Elizabeth Salazar, the new trio employs simple electronic beats, nostalgic guitar hooks, two vocalists, and now a drummer, Vik Montemayor of The Live Lights. They've been aggressively composing songs, pushing forward with nary a glance over their shoulders, with plans to record an EP already in the works.
Rocks Off: OK, so it's you, Elizabeth, & Vik - who plays what?

Mario Rodriguez: Elizabeth is behind the keys and vocals, Vik is our drummer and I'm playing the guitar and singing as well.


RO: What drew you to Elizabeth's singing?

MR: I really enjoyed her vocal range in her tracks although the music was very electroclash or dance-pop which was something I wasn't into. I immediately thought about making music centered around that style of singing.


RO: Vik was a late addition. What made you decide to bring him into this project?

MR: We had an idea of making a full electronic project when we began, and we had shown our friends (the music). Vik was very interested in adding some elements onto it. After one rehearsal with him, Elizabeth and I were blown away with his dynamics and his initial structures behind drums. He was in.




?RO: Describe what you mean by nostalgic guitar hooks.
MR: I've always been intertwined with atmospheric and eerie sounds. Now that we're working with more electronic music I have had a lot more motivation to make simplistic guitar hooks. I think what we've created sounds straight from a dream or something.


RO: Where does your inspiration come from?

MR: Elizabeth and I have completely different backgrounds in inspiration, but I think that's perfect towards what we're trying to create. Simplicity is our main goal in this band and we're perfecting it little by little. It was really nice coming into the studio and writing our first song in the first ten minutes of collaborating together.


RO: Why the name Bang Bangz, and are you concerned with the stigma of using a Z where an S is supposed to be?

MR: We're not really concerned with the stigma behind the name. We wanted to portray the connection between two musicians; a collision of sounds and inspirations from two different people. We are in love with the name and it has shaped our sound in some ways.


RO: Aside from Saturday, do you have any other shows lined up?

MR: No, we don't have any other shows lined up yet. The show was offered for me as a solo act, but I was in the midst of beginning this band so we went with it. We're planning to do more shows in Houston and then stretching out to regional cities in the next months.


RO: How many songs have you got so far? How many would be on the EP?

MR: We have six songs at the moment and we're still working on perfecting them. Our EP will have five songs


RO: What does Bang Bangz have to offer Houston that was lacking before the band existed?

MR: We're not very certain if there's a similar sound in Houston because we're quite new to this style of playing. We'll get more answers and feedback after a couple of shows.


RO: Complete the following analogy: If Bang Bangz was a mythical creature, it would be a ____ because _____.

MR: If Bang Bangz was a mythical creature, it would be a cyclops because all it needs is one eye to be the best at what it does. He just chills with the mermaids and stuff.


Mikey & The Drags, Bang Bangz, Second Lovers and Papaya play 9 p.m. Saturday at Mango's, 403 Westheimer. All ages; $5. - Houston Press


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

A moody,electro-pop rock band cultivating intricate guitar work,gentle keys,dulcet drumbeats,and an undeniable vocal dynamic that swirls together into a truly arresting sound. The Houston outfit formed in late 2011and have since shared the stage with Active Child,Washed Out,Twin Shadow,Com Truise, and have even been compared to the likes of the Pixies,M83 and Moby. Together they perform dreamy tunes steeped in nostalgia and seduction for a dynamic,modern experience. The trio released a debut EP February 2012 and are scheduled to release their first full length March 2013.

Press: Malfi Co. - malfi@malfi.co

Booking Agency: Wonky Power Records - mario@wonkypower.com



Band Members