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Los Angeles, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Alternative Post-punk




"The Eight NEXT Twenty Post-Punk Bands You Should Know About"

Conjuring a kind of ghostly, Gun Clubbed menace, full of modern portent and yearning smarts, the sound Dignitary make isn’t a long way from what Lee Hazlewood might have sounded like if he’d come of age in 1980. The band also have impeccably fortuitous timing, as they are just now unleashing their debut full length, Full Moon in Vertigo, which is in the early running for title of the year, we think. - Stereo Embers Magazine

"Singles Club: Dignitary"

Listening to Dignitary's latest single, "Quite Like You," I can't help but have images of Edward Gorey and Gothic Englishness flit before my eyes, interspersed by palm trees and the Sunset Strip.

The LA outfit has clearly been influenced by the voluminous excellence of 80s synth and new romantic bands, while adding their own sulky spin on California dreaming. There's much to like about these folks, and I don't know about y'all but I'll be keeping an eye on them. - Fuzzy Logic

"Dignitary – “Quite Like You” (single premiere)"

The majority of music fans equate dark alternative rock with gritty UK industrial towns instead of southern California. Los Angeles is known for its sunny climate, after all. Emerging indie darkwave/post-punk band Dignitary certainly has more of a European sound than most L.A. groups, yet there is a brightness in “Quite Like You” that adds to their immediate appeal. They perfectly capture the feel of “sunny day rain” that The Jesus and Mary Chain sang about. The song’s tone isn’t Smiths- or The Cure-level gloomy, though an air of wistful melancholy is pervasive, as if Robert Smith visited a beach and stared at the sea in broad daylight.

The jangly guitar work invites obvious comparisons to Echo and the Bunnymen or The Psychedelic Furs, but it’s clear that Dignitary is not a product of emulation. Lead singer Mike Cuenca has the cadence of Ian McCulloch, but the timbre of his honeyed baritone vocals is more akin to The National’s Matt Beringer in terms of its intimate warmth. It’s that richness combined with the ethereal backing vocals that gives the song a smoky, psychedelic allure. “Everything old is new again,” as the idiom goes. That’s the case here: while Dignitary may draw a certain degree of inspiration from the mid-‘80s New Wave sound, they deftly put their own spin on things, creating a modern sound with retro leanings.

Following up The Tautology, their five-song EP released last October, Dignitary has released this new single ahead of their forthcoming new LP. With its new wave-inspired hooks and lush layers, “Quite Like You” is irresistibly catchy.

The full-length album, Full Moon in Vertigo, releases May 16. It is available for pre-order from their Bandcamp page. Fans wanting to hear this song performed live can catch the band early next month in Portland, OR and Las Vegas.

Dignitary are Mike Cuenca (lead vocals, guitar, keys), Gabe Huerta (guitars, backing vocals), and Fallon Scherzinger (bass, backing vocals, keys). - The Reveu

"Stereo Embers TRACK OF THE DAY – “Let Her Burn” by LA band Dignitary"

In advance of a West Coast tour that leads inexorably to their appearance at the second annual Out From The Shadows festival in Portland, OR, Los Angeles band Dignitary release a preview track called “Let Her Burn” from their upcoming LP Full Moon in Vertigo. Full of menace and promise, its synth lines going toe-to-toe with its tribal -propulsive rhythm section and hypnotic shadow of a guitar sound, the song speaks very well indeed to both the prospect of that coming full-length and the undying health of the always growing millennial post-punk scene that stretches the length of the western coastline of the US. As it was in the way-back-when, it’s a very good time to be alive and listening to music. - Stereo Embers Magazine

"Dignitary: The Tautology"

The ‘80s had a lot of things, one of them being the rise in goth in the mainstream. Bands like The Cure and Depeche Mode made black clothing a mainstay and spoke to those who saw the world in an alternative way. It seems like that’s the route Los Angeles’ Dignitary was studying from when they decided to form and make music together. Their latest album, The Tautology, fittingly dropped right around Halloween and now it’s time to make it a gift for a different holiday.

If you or someone you know are once upon a time goth kid who still like to take a walk down that road musically, then this is the perfect band. Borrowing elements from The Cure, “Destiny’s Fasle Turn” is both light and melancholy at the same time. Then you can hear a turn of events when a rockabilly twang can be heard in “Dark Circles,” but the moment you think that’s all this song is, the femininity of the other set of vocals give it heightened sense of elegance. Then as the EP rolls on “Demon Beside Me” and “Deathstar” sound more like fraternal twins than anything else; similar groundwork but enough differences to tell them apart.

Overall this record is for those who love to mix the light with the dark and play around in the grey areas of life. That’s the world Dignitary has created thanks to the foundation bands from the ‘80s laid out for them to follow and the results can be found on The Tautology, out now. - Coming Up Mag

"Dignitary Play Tonight at Taix"

Post-punk quintet Dignitary recently released their debut EP, The Tautology, a haunting collection of heavily-reverbed guitars and sweeping arrangements informed by the darker aspects of sixties psychedelia. - The Deli

"Dignitary - "Destiny's False Turn""

Dignitary is an amazing new band from Los Angeles, making music with the dark and romantic vibes of The Cure and fun, dance-y elements reminiscent of Pulp. Just last week they released a brand new 5 song EP titled The Tautology as well as a music video for the first single, “Destiny’s False Turn”. The video is a continuation from their last music video for “Demon Beside Me” both directed by the band’s frontman Mike Cuenca. - Fox n Hound

"Dignitary – Destiny’s False Turn"

With a hint of Cheap Trick, The National, and New Order in their sound, L.A-based post-punk group Dignitary are releasing their debut collection The Tautology EP on October 20th. Fronted by lead singer Mike Cuenca, the band’s music flirts between vibrant optimism and gloomy helpless-romantic. Ahead of the release, the six-piece have shared the second track from The Tautology “Destiny’s False Turn”. - Dusty Organ

"Dignitary Release Video for "Destiny's False Turn""

The group has quite an interesting background: drummer Ted beat two different types of cancer in the past three years after having a tumor, appendectomy, diverticulitis, and a spine fusion, keyboardist Stacy and Ted had multiple mutual friends in their hometown but didn’t meet until they moved to LA, guitar player Gabe was raised as a Witness in a secluded environment, and bassist Fallon learned to play bass in three weeks after their previous bassist dropped out. - Ghetto Blaster Magazine

"Video: Dignitary, ‘Destiny’s False Turn’"

So how did you spend your Halloween? Dressing up like a celebrity? Getting frightfully drunk? We imagine that Los Angeles goth-rock band Dignitary lured an unsuspecting young lady to their Halloween party for a night of pure evil. The short film for “Destiny’s False Turn” is the latest vivid slice of videography from filmmaker-turned-frontman Mike Cuenca. Billed as Part 2 of a series, it follows by one year the release of Dignitary’s equally spooky and well-crafted video for “Demon Beside Me.” Directed and scored by Cuena and filmed by Danielle Spires, the video, like the quintet’s music, plays to Dignitary’s fetish for the supernatural and the occult. The song is from the band’s new release, “The Tautology EP,” which is the kind of dark affair that would make Peter Murphy smile, if he ever smiles. Joining singer-guitarist Cuenca in his adventures in reverb-saturated darkwave are guitarist Gabe Huerta, keyboardist Stacy Fratelli, bassist Fallon Scherzinger and drummer Ted Isley — a different lineup than when “Destiny’s False Turn” first emerged in 2013. The tune packs a quicker pace and more urgency now; like their 16 1/2-minute EP, it’s over too soon. - Buzzbands LA

"Video: Dignitary, Demon Beside Me / Destiny’s False Turn"

Dignitary, of Los Angeles, has what can only be termed a cinematic aesthetic, genre: punk noir. Mike Cuenca, their frontman, was at one time a filmmaker, so this is not an accident. The two videos below are for Demon Beside Me and Destiny’s False Turn, both from their recent EP The Tautology; together, they tell a creepy tale of love and murder. - Now This Sound is Brave

"Video: Dignitary, ‘Demon Beside Me’"

The rock noir of the band Dignitary (nee Dignitary Loss, nee the Dignitary Loss of Richard Roe) takes on a stark cinematic quality in the new video for the single “Demon Beside Me.” In the beautifully shot piece — episode one in a series — the band is summoned by a coven of witches to bear witness to misdeeds; Dignitary’s haunting gothic folk provides an apt soundtrack. The video, conceived and directed by singer-guitarist Mike Cuenca and filmed by Amberlie Bankoff, stars Timothy Lee Depriest and Tanya Fischer. It also features cameos from a host of familiar faces (that’s Frank Agnew as a wizard). The song, released as a split 7-inch with Spirit Vine, is planned for Dignitary’s first EP, which has been delayed because of some band lineup changes but is expected out this year. - Kevin Bronson - Buzzbands.La

"Ears Wide Open: Dignitary"

As the band name has gotten shorter, the legend of L.A. quintet Dignitary grows incrementally longer. Originally known as The Dignitary Loss of Richard Roe, and then just Dignitary Loss, the five-piece makes mortality-obsessed rock noir that pairs the splendidly imperfect boy/girl vocals of guitarist Michael Cuenca (ex-The Lips) and keyboardist Amberlie Bankoff, last spotted in the bewitching (but, alas, dearly departed) Black Flamingo. They are joined by guitarist Joseph Halter, bassist Carolyn Schoenburg and drummer Nick Liberatore. Their initial single “Demon, Beside Me” is a thematically and sonically apt introduction, echoing Gothic folk that hints at the dark sides explored by the likes of Nick Cave and X. Wear black. - Buzzbands.LA

"Premiere: Dignitary, ‘Mississippi Red’"

Premiere: Dignitary, ‘Mississippi Red’

KEVIN BRONSON on September 13th, 2016
The big news isn’t that L.A. post-punk outfit Dignitary is dragging you, chained and moaning, into dark places — they’ve been exceptional at that for a while. It’s that the band — Mike Cuenca, Gabe Huerta, Fallon Scherzinger and friends — will finally release their full-length album “Full Moon in Vertigo” on Oct. 16 via Wiener Records. And Cuenca, the indie filmmaker behind the band’s “Demon Beside Me” and “Destiny’s False turn” mini-films, says it’s the first of three albums to be released by the band within the next year. (This month, Dignitary also formally released its two-year-old EP “Lady in White.”)

The new song “Mississippi Red” is an opaque tale of Hugh and Jane and their abusive relationship, with Jane admitting “I’m paralyzed, I’m paralyzed.” Propelled by driving bass and echoing guitar, it’s every bit the trip back to every darkwave band you ever loved — as if “we on a winding road again,” leading into the glorious shadows of the 1980s. - Buzzbands.LA

"Let’s Take Five: An interview with Dignitary!"

For the latest instalment of our Let’s Take Five feature, we caught up with Dignitary and we spoke about their upcoming debut album, the Velvet Underground, two person mosh-pits and New York residencies!

Firstly, so that our readers can know a bit more about you, please introduce your band.

Michael Cuenca: I front Dignitary. I’m also an indie filmmaker and direct all the bands’ short films/music videos. We’re from Los Angeles.

Fallon Scherzinger: I play bass. We’re based out of Los Angeles although all 3 of us are from Orange County. Mike and I have known each other since we were kids and then Gabe just happened to be from there too, even though we met him here in LA.

Gabe Huerta: Guitar. We’re the core of the group and have friends fill in on keys or drums or on backing vocal duties for live shows.

MC: We’re not your traditional post-punk band. The songs are romantic, new wave… Some psychedelic flourishes.

FS: I’d say we’re extremely ’80s influenced. There’s a little dark wave, a little pop. Most songs are very dance-y, even the mopey ones. Bouncy bass lines, crying guitars. I could list a bunch of descriptions we get that I don’t mind, but also don’t agree with! Listen and come up with one of your own.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-14-56-52Your debut LP, ‘Full Moon in Vertigo’ will be released next month (18th October). If you could sum up the album in just three words, what would they be and why?

MC: If I could sum up the album in three words they would be: work-in-progress. The LP has been a work in progress for three years. It’s almost a blueprint for what we can improve on and move forward with. I’m more excited about our 2nd LP which is going into the mixing stages soon. That one’s in a more new romantic vein but with one good dose of angst and captures what I’ve really been trying to do with the band for a while. Fun stuff.

FS: Nostalgic, haunting, romantic.

Not romantic in a Patrick Swayze kind of way either. You know what I mean. Many of these were songs I learned when I first joined he band in 2013 as a keyboardist. These songs have been played for a couple of years now and I’m glad they’re finally seeing the light of day. Three more words: haunting, ghosts, reverb…

GS: It is good. Because it is.

MS: Gabe’s the George Harrison of the group, by the way. He’s the quiet one.

Where did the initial spark that inspired you to create music and be in a band come from?

MC: I fell in love with that line that whoever bought the first Velvet Underground album went and formed a band. I was a huge Velvets fan as a kid. Huge. I obsessed over them. And I tried so hard to emulate Lou Reed when I started writing my own songs. I didn’t know how to play guitar for a long time, just bass, though.

What pushed me even further was reading about the Pistols and all the people who attended their first gigs… their Free Trade Hall show: Siouxsie, Steve Severin, Devoto, Pete Shelley, Billy Idol, Ian Curtis… they all went and formed bands. I’ve always felt the need to be a part of something… part of a scene (maybe)… A music scene seemed like a logical step. I romanticized the whole thing. Sadly, that never transpired and I’ve always been pretty bitter about shit since whatever band I’ve ever been in gets kind of overlooked and set aside. Still an outcast. Still an outsider. We’re not hip enough, I guess. Haha.

FS: I’ve always been into music, going through different genres as I grew up.

MC: Yeah, when I met Fallon she was a total rude girl. I didn’t see her for a few months and then she had this gigantic Iron Maiden shirt on and denim vest – all metal. Then we both went through a mod phase.

FS: Yeah! Mike is 3 years older than me and when I was 12 years old he influenced a LOT of what was going through my ears. He still does. I had picked up the bass when I was 15, took a few lessons but always felt too insecure to actually do something about it. I abandoned trying to make music after that… until Mike asked me to be in Dignitary.

He’s the songwriter, so all I had to do was practice, and that’s how it came about. I love the band anyway, so trying was easy. He taught me the songs… first on keys, then on bass. And I’ve never had more fun. It’s the first band I’ve ever been in. I contribute to songs sometimes, like when I mess up during recording and we agree it sounds better. (It’s true!)


What has been the strangest gig you’ve ever played (or strangest moment at a gig you’ve had) as a band and why?

FS: There was this one show in Seattle… Don’t get me wrong, it was great, the crowd seemed really into the songs as they were playing, but between songs it was crickets. They’d be dancing and rocking their heads back and forth and then once we were done… Silence! We got a lot of compliments after the show, so we didn’t feel bad about it, but there was definitely an awkward silence between every song.

MC: Oh yeah. I wouldn’t call it strange just, hey, what the hell, let’s enjoy this. There was the downtown Vegas show after the Out from the Shadows Festival in Portland. No one was at this cafe. Two friends of ours had driven out from LA to hang with us. Actually, one of them is my friend Dan Rojay. He opened for us with this amazing folk set. He was great! Our set was a joke. I started rambling on the mic, my buddy Steve (who I play with in the band Anal Ballz) started a two-person mosh pit with Dan, got me involved, disconnected the PA, falling all over the floor, cables flying, chairs sliding, it was a massacre. And then we all ate shrooms – and it was the hardest, craziest, visceral explosion trip I’ve ever been on – and all was right with the world.

Finally, have you got anything to share regarding upcoming tour dates and what have you got planned for the remainder of 2016?

MC: We leave for a New York residency tomorrow (September 20th). Five shows. All different sets. Then we come back to LA and play a show at UNION on the 29th with the Electric West – who we’re touring with – and Second Still. We have our LP release at the Echoplex with Daniel Ash DJing in October. And the new album should be good to go by hopefully January/February.

FS: We are trying to play as much as possible right now, so keep your ears wiiiiide open.

GH: Yep. We have a lot of material: 3 EPs, the upcoming Full Moon LP, and the 2nd LP stuff.

MC: Tentatively titled As We Part. It’s a very personal album. I don’t really write personal music – I prefer telling short stories – but that one covers this crazy emotional roller coaster journey I’ve been on for the last year or so. The songs “Quite Like You” and “Behind Distress” were originally meant for that album so I guess those two tracks can give you a hint of what’s to come – at least lyrically.

GH: We’ll be testing a lot of that new material live within the next few months, starting with the UNION show.
MC: So stay tuned…

You can keep up with Dignitary by following them on both Facebook and Instagram. To pre-order their debut album, ‘Full Moon In Vertigo’ you can click here and you can listen to the band via Soundcloud below. - Mix It All Up

"Stereo Embers PREMIER- Dignitary’s “Behind Distress” from upcoming debut “Full Moon In Vertigo”"

On the brink of a debut album (Full Moon in Vertigo, released October 16th) that’s been simmering with promise for months now – while also being subjected to the edits and adjustments one would expect from a band whose progress as artists is moving at warp speed – LA post-punk trio Dignitary present a final and, as it turns out, a most fevered addition to what SEM suspects is going to be a burner of a record. While there’s plenty to say about this band, we’re going to wait until we have the entire LP in our clammy journalists’ grasp before regaling you with any such glories. For the moment, we’d much prefer to do what’s generally best and that’s let the music speak for itself. Ponderous but sharp, ominous but glowingly human, dark as dark gets even as it inspires the hell out of us, “Behind Distress,” rather surprisingly, turns out to be a great place to start from. Oh, and the timing of this premier couldn’t be more propitious, either, as Dignitary are actually in the air as these words are being typed, jetting their way to New York for a whirlwind series of dates with fellow Angelenos Electric West, a truly, well, electrifying prospect that finds us out here on the West Coast finally jealous of the post-punk riches awaiting our NYC friends. Don’t blow it, guys. In the meantime, “Behind Distress”…

More band info here, pre-order Full Moon in Vertigo here. - Stereo Embers Magazine

"Full Moon In Vertigo with Dignitary - An Interview"

á comentei anteriormente o que escreverei novamente, Los Angeles é a mecca do novo pós punk e darkwave, a efervescente cena de lá, tem nos brindado com bandas e discos simplesmente geniais.

E é chegada a vez do Dignitary que tem data para o lançamento de seu primeiro álbum intitulado "Full Moon In Vertigo", o disco vem ao mundo dia 16 mas já pode ser apreciado no link do bandcamp da banda, além disso o Dignitary preparou uma festa absolutamente imperdível para a comemoração do lançamento. No próximo dia 18 os caras se apresentam neste evento (https://www.facebook.com/events/1035244129907202/) que conta com discotecagem de ninguém menos do que Daniel Ash, sim ele mesmo, o gênio por detrás das guitarra do Bauhaus. Pena que estamos um muito longe desse acontecimento, não é?

Voltemos a "Full Moon In Vertigo", o disco, ao lado do debute do Echolust, certamente a estreia do Dignitary é um dos melhores discos de pós punk do ano. Sombras de The Sound, Chameleons e claro Lloyd Cole e The Smiths, permeiam o trabalho dos caras, mas a sonoridade do Dignitary revitaliza os 80´s e os transporta para nossos dias com extrema elegância e sofisticação.

Um disco extremamente necessário.

***** Interview with Dignitary *****

Q. When did Dignitary start? Tell us about the history...
MC: Pretty boring history (so edit this down all you want!) but…I started up the first incarnation of Dignitary with Ammo Bankoff (of Brass Tax, old school friend and the cinematographer on my directorial debut feature Jerry Powell and the Delusions of Grandeur – now streaming on Amazon Video! –plug-plug) in 2011. We wrote “Demon Beside Me” together (on the Tautology EP) and we were a gothic western band – acoustics, minimal, dual male/female harmonizing like Exene and John Doe in X. And we had a long, pretentious, story-book name… The Dignitary Loss of Richard Roe. When Nick Liberatore joined on drums we went into a more electric direction and changed the name to Dignitary Loss. We played the Echo Park Rising Music Festival in Los Angeles in 2013, and for that show we dropped the Loss and just went by Dignitary. A month later, mid-way through our video for “Demon, Beside Me” the band broke up. Wrapped the video and that was that.

GH: I'm a third generation Dignitary. I met Mike about 2 years ago while working at a vegan restaurant where we bonded over comics, movies, and music. At the time Dignitary Loss was on hiatus and Mike was looking to start the band up again with a different line up.

FS: I'll tell you how Dignitary started for moi. I joined as a keyboardist in late 2013. Mike and I have been friends for most of my life so when he asked me to join there was no hesitation on my part. The band was going through a transitional period at the time and we took a break from playing shows.

MC: I resurrected the band in 2014. And wanted to go in a different direction. More New Wave. I’d been jamming with Gabe Huerta (lead guitar) and Fallon Scherzinger (keys) and Caroline Schoenberg (bass) here and there for a bit with different drummers. Never played out, tho. Fallon’s my teenhood best friend. Known her since we were kids – she was 12 when I met her. I was 15. Both grew up in the punk scene (although she was a rude girl and I was super into anarcho-punk). She volunteered at Koo’s Café in Santa Ana, CA (pretty famous joint if you look up the place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koo%27s_Art_Center). So we were always around
bands but never played in one together. We didn’t know how to play anything! Fallon took some minor bass lessons and I figured out how to play on my own – not that well, mind you. When I first started to write songs I would have her do back-up vocals. So…Asked her to join on keys. It’s simple. Root notes. Gabe I met at a restaurant/bar we both worked at. We bonded over comic books. Total geek-fest. And it turns out that just like Fallon, he too is originally from Orange County, California.

FS: We recorded some stuff, some of my backup vocals and a little of my keys are on the Tautology (Dignitary's first EP). After that I took a break from Dignitary for about 9 months.

MC: So, yeah, we never played out. Fallon temporarily left the band – although she contributed backing vocals and played keys on our debut Tautology EP. Stacy Fratelli replaced her and Ted Iisley got behind the kit – Nick (aka the Liberator) played on that EP and both the Burn and Lady in White EPs as a session drummer. Gabe and I planned a West Coast tour to support the Tautology EP and Caroline didn’t want to tour so she left the band. Instead of auditioning new bassists I asked Fallon if she wanted to take over for Caro. She didn’t know how to play bass and we had a show about three weeks from when I asked her to rejoin the band. She learned how to play bass in three weeks! Mind
blowing. And it’s not easy, simple root-note stuff either. Those are some mid-level bass lines.

FS: They needed a bass player (my absolute favorite instrument). I rejoined in late 2015. I learned my parts in about a week and a half and played my first show at Church of Fun in September 2015. It's been an absolute blast ever since. Recording, playing, touring, shalalalaaala.

MC: Gabe, Fallon, and I are the core of the band. And we play with various session musicians on keys or drums or use backing tracks when we don’t. To me the band became an official thing when the Tautology EP was released in the fall of 2015.

Q: Who are your influences?
GH: Within our genre, I'd say Johnny Marr is a huge influence. I'm not the biggest Smiths fan but I really love Johnny's guitar work. Jumping between rhythm and lead, he knew how to fill up the space around him.

MC: I’m influenced by everything and everyone and play homage to everything and everyone and I have no shame in pointing it out. I have an unintentional, bassy crooner’s voice so I love all those ‘60s and ‘70s lounge-type love songs…lots of Spanish stuff my mom would play around the house. Leonardo Favio’s “Llovia, Llovia”, Los Angeles Negros’ “Y Volvere”. Listen to that and then listen to our song “Deathstar”. I can break down our tunes and tell you what I was aiming for. I’ll be like… check out the Squeeze vocal influence on “Mississippi” or there’s this Mamma’s and Pappa’s bit over here. Jesus and Mary Chain on “Some Kind of Sickness”? Pixies on “As the Verdict”…My older brother (who was in his twenties when I was a kid) was a working DJ in Los Angeles in the ‘80s. So he was always blasting the hits when I would ride around in his car. Duran Duran, Thompson Twins… all those new romantic bands. That’s always been in my blood even tho my favorite stuff growing up were bands like Zounds and Crass. Crass bass lines are some of the best in the universe.

FS: Oohhh all the 80s greats! Siouxsie, definitely. No surprise there. The bass lines have a Gang of Four bounciness to them. Delta 5. New Order. I can listen to the Cocteau Twins in the bath until I implode into one giant wrinkle.

Q. Make a list of 5 albums of all time…
MC: That’s no concrete list! The first four, maybe, five Ramones albums. The others are good if you’re a fan but they’re spotty. So one of those first five. Stone Roses - S/T. Smashing Pumpkins – Adore. Black Sabbath – Paranoid is probably the greatest album ever recorded. The Smiths – Louder than Bombs is my favorite driving album.

GH: I was a late bloomer when it came to music. These are albums I grew upwith and can listen to from start to finish any day:
1) ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Source Tags & Code
2) Muse - Black Holes & Revelations
3) The Mars Volta - De-loused in the Comatorium
4) Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights
5) Radiohead - OK Computer

FS: Ok, these are definitely my go-to's, but they can't be in order, that's too much emotional distress:
.Siouxsie and the Banshees: Juju
.David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars
.The Gun Club: Fire of Love
.The Specials: The Specials
.Wire: Pink Flag

Meh. There's more names I wanna cram into these 5.

Q. How do you feel playing live?
MC: With my hands.

GH: It's the reason why I play music to begin with. I like to compare it to being an actor. You have a part to play and you just be someone else for 30 minutes or so. I'm pretty shy, so playing live gives me a chance to not be me for a bit.

FS: Quite honestly, for the first two songs I am at my peak of anxiety. I get so nervous. If my E string doesn't tune easily I just want to scream and then dive head first into concrete. Then, just as the third song starts, it's the most fun I've ever had. It's empowering. Even if there's only 2 people in the audience I feel like a fucking queen. If people are dancing, that emotion doubles. I always have so
much energy after a show.

Q. How do you describe the Dignitary sounds?
MC: Uhhhh….

GH: Dark, romantic lyrics with jumpy bass lines and reverberated guitar layers.

FS: We are headed in a direction that's a lot dancier. Poppier. You can definitely hear Duran Duran in a lot of the guitars, and one of our new songs – “Neon Blue”- reminds me so much of Flock of Seagulls' “Space Age Love Song”. All with a sad tone though. It either sounds like a sad song that has hope, or a happy song just waiting for life to take back all the fucking glory, with interest. I usually aim for my back up vocals to sound dainty and a little whispery. It's more haunting that way.

Q: Tell us about the process of recording the songs?
GH: Mike will usually record something with his acoustic and scratch vocals and add layers to it.

MC: We do all this stuff in the apartment now – Gabe and I are roommates. I record the basic song on my acoustic to temp looped drums, do a scratch vocal, Fallon records her bass, I fix the drums, Gabe his guitar, I add my guitars and then keys and then we do all the vocals.

FS: Mike is the sole songwriter. When I come over to learn a song, I learn it by recording it, part by part. He'll sometimes come up with a bass line on the spot. My contributions are usually mistakes that just sounded better. Often both of us will look at each other and say "WHAT WAS THAT?!" And then keep it as part of a song. A lot of times I'll be in another room singing and mimicking (enter 80s
artist here) and he'll make me do it into a microphone. A song usually takes me about an hour to record, back up vocals and everything, all in the comfort of Mike's room. So when you listen to a recording, it's actually the first time we've played that song. Everrrr.

GH: Mike will bring us in to go over the song with him and we'll add parts he has in mind or our interpretation of said parts. Sometimes we'll just put certain parts of the song on a loop and just play around with the sound until we find something that stands out. The process doesn't take more than a few days from inception to final recording, depending on our schedules.

MC: I also make sure everyone records in their underwear. I like to keep things raw. There’s a bit of vulnerability when you record in your underwear. I mean, I don’t wear any. So use your imagination…

FS: And we are never just wearing our underwear, no matter what Mike tells you.

Q. Which new bands do you recommend?
MC: Well, we’re going on tour with The Electric West. And those guys rule. The Exploding Boy – listen to their “Black Album”. It’s so damn great! Egrets on Ergot and Terminal A always put on a great live set. All Your Sisters. Cold Showers!

GH: Light Light, The Echo Friendly, and The Electric West, and not just because we've been playing with them. They have an awesome sound and are a really great group of guys.

FS: I absolutely love All Your Sisters... I want to play a show with them SO BAD. They really get my pants dancin'. I also try not to miss an Egrets on Ergot show or Terminal A. They are the best live acts I've ever seen. Electric West is another show I hate missing.

Q: Which band would you love to made a cover version of?
MC: You mean which band should we cover? I wanna cover Madonna’s “Isla Bonita”. I did a scratch cover of that. It’d be cool if one of our friends’ bands cover us and we’d return the favor. Do our version of one of their songs and vice-versa. That’d be fun. Maybe I can convince everyone to collaborate on a project like this.

GH: Either Radiohead covers one of our songs or we cover one of their songs. I don't understand the question. But, yes, Radiohead.

FS: Alanis Morrissette. Pft. Shyeah.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
MC: Releasing our Full Moon in Vertigo LP next month. And we have two more albums on the way. The second, As We Part, has wrapped and gonna start getting mixed soon. The third, Neon Blue, is almost done being recorded. Just need to do guitars. Really excited about this stuff. The tunes on Full Moon – with the exception of “The One” and “Behind Distress” – or almost 3-4 years old. They’re basically leftovers from the previous incarnations of the band, finally recorded, tweaked a bit. Going forward it’s all brand new material with no links to the past. And these two sound very ‘80s. And by ‘80s I mean all-encompassing ‘80s. Not just one genre.

GH: More touring, hopefully outside the US.

MC: We need a goddamned booker. Losing my mind doing all this shit.

FS: One day at a time. Things always happen last minute. I've had plans since I was a kid. Plans are always interrupted.

Q: Any parting words?
MC: Asa nisi masa!

GH: No.

FS: Part ing wor ds.

https://www.facebook.com/DignitaryMusic/ - The Blog That Celebrates Itself


- Full Moon in Vertigo (2016)

- Lady in White EP (2016)

- Burn EP (2016)

- The Tautology EP (2015)



Dignitary is a Los Angeles darkly romantic post-punk band.

Indie filmmaker/band leader/vocalist Mike Cuenca, guitarist Gabe Huerta, and bassist Fallon Scherzinger are the official members of the group with guest performers filling in for live shows.

Drawing comparison to bands like The SoundThe Cure, and Echo & the Bunnymen, Dignitary employs high energy reverb alongside crooning vocal harmonies to create two to three minute long hook-filled pop songs. Songs about death and witches, failure and the unknown; a healthy obsession with all things supernatural and occult, yet with a dark sense of humor.

Band Members