The Electric Blankets
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The Electric Blankets

Tucson, Arizona, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Tucson, Arizona, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Pop




"5 Super Fresh New Albums - The Electric Blankets 'Vehicles'"

Why can't I download this album and carry it around with me everywhere this week? I expect an answer. I'm totally enamored with the embraceable indie rock of Tucson four-piece The Electric Blankets. Guitarist Erick Bornmann, vocalist Raul Michel, drummer Steven Yanez Romo, and bassist Tadj Roi create a solid indie rock sound that might lead to some dance moves. The six-track EP kicks off with "Drive Dive Die", a lively number that sounds a bit more pop-punk than the rest of the record."San Francisco" and "Summer Dress" have more of a Long Beach surf-y vibe that makes the songs impossible not to jam out to. As we move through the latter half of the EP, The Electric Blankets develop more of a garage sound before the culmination of this dissonant hue in "Dirty Prayers", the album's final track. The pop-tinged "First Song" just might be my favorite song on Vehicles but "San Francisco" is putting up some stiff competition. - YabYum Music and Arts

"Electric Blankets get set for EP release party Sat."

Members of the local rock band The Electric Blankets are going all out for their EP release party at the Rialto.

The band has recruited an eclectic mix of local acts to round out the show.

The evening will tentatively include appearances from local magician Kenny Stewart and live painting demonstrations from professional artist Donovan White.

Adela Antoinette will provide face and body painting tips and tricks.

The show also will feature the Tucson supergroup All My Friends and local DJs who will keep the beat between sets.

Logan Greene, a regular on the all-ages circuit, will perform with his band Logan Greene Electric to appeal to younger listeners.

"It's so rare as a downtown Tucson rock band that you get to play an all-ages show," said Tadj Roi, bassist for the Blankets. "We thought maybe some of his fans would also enjoy us."

Roi, 32, and the rest of the group, vocalist Raul Michel, guitarist Erick Bornmann and drummer Steven Yanez Romo, make up one of the more popular ensembles playing downtown today.

They have built a solid fan base over the last three years through local gigs played at venues along Congress Street and North Fourth Avenue, such as Plush and Sky Bar.

The band prides itself on its diverse rock repertoire, which dips into different subgenres, laced with heavy doses of drum and guitar.

The EP, "Vehicles," is a follow-up to the group's 7-inch vinyl single, "7"," which featured the band's signature hit, "Little Boots."

The new album was recorded at Loveland Studio with Tom Beach in the producer's chair.

"He gave a lot of amazing insight," Romo, 28, said. "We were blessed to have him."

When the Rialto approached the band to see if it wanted to hold its release party there, "We took a big swallow and said sure," Roi said.

"It is a big deal for us. To walk past the Rialto and see our name on a marquee that just recently had band names like Dinosaur Jr. and Band of Horses. It is kind of a dream come true."

if you go

• What: The Summer Informal - The Electric Blankets EP release party.

• When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

• Where: The Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.

• Tickets: $6 at the door. 740-1000. - Arizona Daily Star written by Gerald M. Gay

"The Electric Blankets"

Typically, I use a certain amount of caution when it comes to devices that account for 5,000 fires a year. After entering the ever-packed Che's Lounge on Saturday night, overcome with a warm and fuzzy sensation, I felt happily, worry free. The Electric Blankets light up the stage with an inviting spark that ignites your boozey energy into a dance that could very well set the place on fire. The guys are just too damn nice to do that, raising their beers to the crowd and extinguishing any hazards with a warm word and catchy hook.
The local four piece has been steadily earning fans with their melody driven rock and roll. Each of its charming and talented members comes from a different schooling and experience with music, resulting in an eclectic pool of styles to dip into. Whether its a well thought-out cover or a catchy original track, the guys have an openness that you draws you into them. They are accessible to the people they perform to. In return, the audience is receptive and appreciative with their offerings of free beers and sing alongs.

“Me and Eric met trying to date the same girl and then none of us ended up being successful. Eventually, we decided we wanted to start making music together. I had melodies, he had guitar. He had a history with bands so people started to hit us up around town. Tadj came around because he heard we wanted to start something. Then we convinced Romo to be a part of the band,” vocalist Raul Michel, says of the band's start. Drummer Steven Yanez Romo adds, “our first practice was love at first drunk. We all kinda came from other bands and all came together.”

The band employs what bassist Tadj Roi calls, “a big time unorthodox way of writing music,” to create their material. “We're actually just kinda writing music we want to listen to. Its kinda cool that were playing music that we wish was out. That's our standard. That’s what we set ourselves to.” The tunes start off in Raul's head. “They [The songs] start from a little melody I come up with on the way home from work or when I wake up. There's like 50 of um and out of those 50 will come like one and then I'll show Erick, I like that one. Lets do something with that.” Guitarist Erick Bornmann then takes that melody and makes it musically plausible, “I'd figure out what key he was singing in. He was already in a key but he just didn’t know it. He doesn't have the musical training that the rest of us do. So, he comes up with a melody in his head and he'll come to us with it recorded on his phone or something then we'll go and record it on a computer or we'll just sit with an acoustic guitar and figure it out. We said we would write songs the way we like to and for someone else to say I really like that, is so great."
The band's ability to build off of each other's talents and inputs without ego jumping in and trying to claim the title of song maker pay off for everyone involved. “There's not a main songwriter, its all of us. It can be a little difficult but when we write songs were all happy with it. That's the overall feel of the band,” says Raul. Depending on music for his well being, Tadj adds, “We're all just doing this cause we love it, whatever the outcome is. Since we have gotten some feedback of people actually liking our songs its not just us.

I could see the sense of accomplishment in Erick right away as he reminisced on the set. “Tonight at Ches, I saw people singing “Little Boots”. I saw people singing along with Raul. I’m there, playing, looking around, and there are 4 or 5 people singing along. Some of them I knew, but some of them I didn't even recognize! That's great. Its so reaffirming.” Romo also cherished the support of their well earned fan base. “Its flattering for people to come up to us and say I’ve had your song stuck in my head all day.

Erick told me they have just written two new songs and will be working on a six song EP over the summer which they are hoping to release around September. Along with that, the band is preparing for a short tour to California. For all their friends in Tucson, they will be performing at the Surly Wench with The Mission Creeps on 4/20.

The Electric Blankets really did look like they were having this rehearsed, somehow spontaneous, blast in the small bar where we all grooved around them. They have crafted diverse music that wraps you up like a snugly blanket all night and then as you open your eyes to the harsh sobriety of the morning after. I pushed aside the hair-of-the-dog technique for a light dosing of “Little Boots”- the band's most popular song. Throw back an Advil, drink a gallon of water, listen to that, and it will all be worth it. The Electric blankets have taken the best pieces of themselves and put them together to create one of the catchiest sounds of Tucson. - written by Jamie Verwys

"The Electric Blankets: Vehicles (Self-Released)"

Initially, it seemed as if the Electric Blankets were a vanity project and a party band designed to alleviate the ultra-seriousness of their members' parent groups, the Provocative Whites and the Ghost of 505. They fashioned themselves as a guaranteed good time, like Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs. Two years and one single later, the Electric Blankets leave the '60s behind and emerge as the e-cigarette of rock 'n' roll with Vehicles: a shy hipster party at the bar.

What this amounts to and fulfills is the heretofore unknown need of a Smiths for the Fourth Avenue crowd, and it turns out to be a great time. The first audible sound on the six-song Vehicles EP is Raul Michel confessing to a payphone, "faking it so long that I forgot who I was when I single!," leading into the Johnny Marr guitar heroics that in tandem complete the Electric Blankets' definitive, and also greatest, song, "Drive Dive Die." All the hits are here: the stomping "First Song," the winsome "San Francisco," and what will hopefully be the theme to The Breakfast Club, Part 2, "Dirty Prayers."

The two-part dramatic set piece "Summer Dress/Untitled" completes Vehicles' cycle of your gain from their pain. The Electric Blankets wouldn't want it any other way. - Tucson Weekly written by Josh Levine

"Genre Benders"

Forget about the album. For the Electric Blankets, the single is the thing.

The local foursome hop from one influence to the next, chasing infectious melodies and mashing together different elements of the bands they love, all in search of one great pop song.

"We don't really have a concept of our band as a whole. We're thinking song by song. We're more of a singles band," says singer Raul Michel. "Most people now appreciate all different kinds of styles of music. It's not really segregated anymore. All of our influences have made us appreciate all different styles of music. None of us have a very specific type of music we listen to. We'd get sick of it."

Set to release their first 7-inch vinyl single this weekend at Plush, the Electric Blankets gathered at their practice space last week to talk about how to excite audiences one song at a time, how they blend influences and cover songs into their own style, and how fortunate (and free) pyrotechnics made for one hell of a music video.
The band began about a year and a half ago, when Michel and guitarist Erick Bornmann met through a mutual friend. A first-time singer, Michel swapped melodies with Bornmann, and the pair wrote a few songs right off the bat. Bassist Tadj Roi was looking for a new project while his band The Provocative Whites went on a bit of a hiatus, and he caught wind of the new project.

Drummer Steven Yanez Romo was playing with Bornmann in The Ghost of 505 and wanted to try the new band on for size. When the first practice involved mostly drinking and later a run of karaoke at IBT's, Romo decided he was in. "They just got me drunk and took me hostage. I thought, 'Fuck yeah, this band is gonna kill.'"

At the outset, Michel and Bornmann envisioned the Electric Blankets as a baroque pop band along the order of Okkervil River. Then they wrote a song that sounded like Spoon. And then they wanted to try something else—and never again bothered to sit still from song to song.

"After Raul and I started writing songs, I wanted to stray from any single style and just play for the song. We just try not to be contained in one genre" Bornmann says.

It's rock 'n' roll as Venn diagram, with the Electric Blankets sitting right in the shape-shifting sliver of an overlap between garage, mod, British invasion, glam, psychedelic, new wave and goth, sliding this way and that every week.

"Instead of striving to be original, we're striving for great songs we can be proud of" Michel says. "We're proud of our influences. We're all music geeks. Instead of being ashamed, we embrace it."

On the A side, the 7-inch single features "Little Boots," which blends jangle-pop melodies and a psychedelic instrumental jam. On the B side is the band's newest song, the hyper, raw, dirty, garage-punk "Matching Jackets." The bouncy, sing-along, indie-rock "Getting Younger" is included as an additional download.

"It feels so good to put so much care into two songs," Bornmann says. "We wanted to make it a unique art object for people."

The 7-inch features artwork from Danny Martin and was recorded with Tom Beach at Loveland Studio. As for releasing it on vinyl, the band says it's a no-brainer.

"There's a big vinyl craze. The only complaint I've gotten is people don't have a record player. But if you're going out to shows, you should have a record player," Romo says."We care about our songs so much, it's like a baby. You're giving it a birthday party; you'e dressing it up."
The first release is cause for celebration for the band, but also a test of how well making music the way they want will work.

"We're definitely in a period of backlash (against) digital music, and people want to appreciate music again. Two songs on vinyl is as pure as possible, and you have to appreciate that for what it is—something that's happening right now," Roi says. "We have a lot of great friends who helped us out, but how much does it cost to do this on your own? Is this sustainable? We want to keep doing it—is two 7-inches and an EP a year possible?"

The band chose to focus on "Little Boots" for the first release after watching audiences react to it.

"We wrote it very spontaneously, all four of us together, and there's no actual chorus, and it's a long song," Bornmann says. "But every time we'd play it, we'd get the feedback that this is a great song. We'd see people dancing and having fun."

Adds Michel,"It's almost become an anchor between the audience and us."

The promotional music video for "Little Boots" was shot, edited and produced by the band's videographer friend Andrew Brown, partly in the band's practice space, and - Tucson Weekly written by Eric Swedlund


Vehicles - EP - self released 05/4/13
7" - 45RPM - self released 02/3/12



Tucson, AZ

Initially born out of the friendship between guitarist Erick Bornmann and singer Raul Michel, The Electric Blankets really became a group when bassist Tadj Roi Arvizu Hodges and drummer Steven Yanez Romo joined the duo in the late spring of 2011. Although their original intentions were to perform dreamy pop songs akin to early Spoon & Walkmen cuts, it quickly became apparent the combination of these players was far too volatile for such soft fare. By the end of that first summer the boys were churning out fast paced garage/pop/rock gems on the regular, and were promptly asked to perform on 90.3 KXCI's live radio show, Locals Only.

Emerging from their practice space to finally hit the stage, The Electric Blankets began to garnish larger and larger crowds, mostly due to their explosive stage performances punctuated by the amazing dance moves of front man Raul Michel. Soon Tucson promoters were beginning to see The Electric Blankets as formidable player in the local scene, and the boys started opening for such indie faves as Ariel Pinks Haunted Graffiti, Crystal Antlers, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, King Tuff, and most recently FOALS and Drowners at The Rialto Theatre.

The Electric Blankets released their first EP, Vehicles, in May of 2013, and immediately began thinking bigger than Tucson. With the acquisition of a van, the boys began to venture out of the Old Pueblo, and have visited such cities as Phoenix AZ (The Yucca Tap Room, Rogue Bar), Austin TX (Club Deville, Club 1808) and Palm Desert CA (The Hood). Each trip out of Tucson only further cements the belief that crowds everywhere cant resist the infectious sounds of The Electric Blankets. The band is currently working on its next batch of catchy garage pop, and look forward to the opportunity to hit the road yet again.