I met up with Paco is Desperate again for another interview to see what's new. The last time we spoke was in December with the "'Well, Damn' Meet Paco, The New Face Of The Midwest Emo Scene" interview. Now, get ready and get excited because the band now has a headlining show coming up!
Can you give me a brief timeline of Paco Is Desperate?
Originally, the project was just Desperate. Then, I was really into Into It Over It, and a lot of these guitar players were really into open tunings and doing some really interesting stuff with their finger work and strumming.
So I was really into that at the time and I tried to experiment in techniques with guitar in that project. I just wanted to write something different so I tried writing pop songs that were a lot more pop-oriented and a lot less technical, just more minimalistic and story-driven.
I kind of coined a new alias or performance name for that project to perform under and that was Paco. I did them both separately for a while and then thought that was silly because really I could do both styles and integrate them, so I just combined them into one thing and that became Paco is Desperate.
That's the extent of what went into it, but what's really cool is that you hear that and it definitely draws your attention. You ask, "Who's Paco and why is he desperate? Where does it even come from?" With all these questions that I get asked and some really interesting discussions that I've had over the name of this band, it definitely is not easy to forget.
So, you were a singular artist to start and now Paco is Desperate has developed into a band. How did that come about?
Basically, I started the entire thing in 2014 and it was just me. At times, I kind of flirted with a couple collaborations and collaborative efforts with other people, but nobody stuck around for any length of time to be considered a band. I tried a couple times and it never seemed to really pan out. We talked in depth in the last interview about what happened and how I ended up where I am, but essentially during that period of time, I kind of fell out of music.
When I started to recover, I moved to Port Clinton to kind of switch life around and I kind of made a decision. Early on, I was really discouraged with music but I had some people encourage me and push me when I really didn't know if I even wanted to do music anymore.
I said, "All right if I'm really going to do this, jump in with both feet. I'm gonna do this for real." I paid for the pressing of "What a Bummer." I recorded it in 12 weeks, released it, and then went on with everything we talked about in the last interview about "Well Damn."
Basically, last time we talked about how the project was a solo project and it was going to be morphed into a full band. At the time, I had a couple other musicians where it was like, all right we're going to do this but we're not ready to kind of talk about it a whole lot yet.
We were kind of all in agreement that we were going to do this. Of course, lineup changes have been an issue, but at the end of the day it's been me and Chris Hetsler, he's been there since the beginning. We've just basically had different bass players. For this upcoming show, we have someone playing bass for us, Jacob Flores, the bass player for Castle No Kings.
\We are going to have shirts pressed here within the next week or two for the July 13th show coming up. We've been working on an EP since about February. We've probably written about seven or eight songs, but only five that we are going to proceed with.
We are working on new stuff all the time right now, me and Chris, while we search for a new bass player after Derek left.
How did you you work out your first headlining show?
I can't even describe the butterflies. It feels like a lifetime of work has not been wasted, you know what I mean? I'm still continuing through the challenges and things that are discouraging like the lineup changes and difficulties that it's encouraging to know that we are making progress in the seen in the community as a viable project. It just feels good.
Basically, me and Cody Sizemore have a really relaxed, super cool relationship. He'll message me with offers of different dates and I'll run it through Chris and we'll make sure that we can do it. I'll get back to Cody and say, "Hey, we can play that date." Or whatever. A week and a half ago, he messaged me and said, "Hey, July 13th. Just wondering if you would be interested in playing a headlining show at Frankie's."
I didn't even ask Chris because I wasn't going to let him refuse. I said, "We're going to do it." Cody put the flyer up and made the event page, and after I calmed down a bit after freaking out, I started sharing the hell out of it to really get some noise for it. So far, I think we have a pretty decent buzz for it, which I'm really happy about.
Do you still use Bandcamp?
As long as Bandcamp is around and viable, we will use it. I've always preferred it over Reverbnation and Soundcloud. It's more effective at doing what I want to do. I'm still a believer in physical media, though. I know it's not the market it was at one point, but I think it's still very viable. It's good because it helped us.
Even if we don't make a whole lot of money from physical copies and albums, we can still sell shirts and CDs as a combo for $20. We make more money off the combo than we do individual things. Going forward, I'm going to probably try to get the new EP pressed, but we have to get it recorded first. I think that's our main priority right now, to get the EP recorded.
Also finding a producer because the producer we were going through kind of was a Derek thing, but there are plenty of producers out there and we want to find the best one for us.
What's your timeline right now?
We are taking a slower pace than a lot of bands would at least in writing our EP, but that's winding up being a good thing because it's being representative of a stretch of different time frames and things everybody was going through that are going into it. I think that's bringing a lot of character. The songs that are shaping up so far, and you heard several of them at the last show, I'm very very happy with.
The last two shows we played at Frankie's we performed some of the new songs. The first show, we played five brand new songs and the last show, we played three of the new songs ("Unraveled," "The Optimist, The Fool," and "Haven") and a couple of the older ones.
I think once we get these in the rotation and playing in people's ears, people are gonna dig them. The response at least at the last two shows has been really overwhelmingly good. I'm so excited about the response we're getting. Once we get in the studio and record them, I think we can get a good producer behind us.
Chris has a little bit more studio experience than me, but this will be our first real serious studio endeavor together, so it will be a process of working through all of that and figuring it out together, but I'm super excited to get it done. I would love to get vinyl pressed too!
Will there be any merchandise available at the July 13th show?
I'm talking to our designer right now and I'm probably gonna finalize the design this week and send them over to the printer over here in Fremont. One of my best friend's dad owns a printing business over there. It will probably be a limited run, but I think we will sell all of those!
Unfortunately, there will probably not be any more merchandise options at the show because we have limited capital right now. Shirts will be the big thing, but we want to try some more exciting things too to make the show more special in other ways. All the merch I had, I sold, and it's all out there in the world. The past six months have been difficult financially for me so I haven't been able to put a whole lot into getting merch made.
Can you give us any insight into the special extra things you are doing for the show?
I will say this, I have been wanting to cover a song. I'm not going to say what song or who it's by, but I reached out to a friend of mine to see if they were interested in performing the song with me. It's confirmed that that's going to happen, and the person that's performing with me is an up and coming Toledo area artist as well who will bring in their people so…
I can't reveal anything yet, so it will be a surprise.
Jacob Flores is the other surprise guest for the show who I already spilled the beans for. That's a little of what we have in the works so far. This next week, I'm going to try and get more things into motion, but we'll see how it goes.