For Red Nectar, the Miami Music Scene Feels Like Home
Photo by Lindsey Koggan
Origin stories can be tedious. Just how many times will Hollywood make us watch Uncle Ben die in a Spider-Man reboot?
Red Nectar's origin story took place among rows of expensive denim. Bernardo, the band's designated shredder, met Michelle Grand, who would handle bass and vocal duties, while working together at American Apparel in 2013. But they weren't sure they'd ever come together to make music for real. A random text message a few months later would turn into an email that would become "Hot Tub," the band's first track. Not quite as intense as a radioactive spider bite, but we'll take it.
Now a four-piece act with Nina Souto on guitar and Chris Fiallo on drums, Red Nectar is still trying to find its identity.
"It's hard for me to describe what we're doing because, in many ways, we're still figuring out our sound. Each song has its own personality," says Bernardo, who prefers to go by a single moniker.
"We don't concern ourselves with trying to stick to one single style," Grand adds.
"The music scene in Miami is the strongest I've ever seen in many years. I came up musically in the hardcore punk scene here. I used to go to shows at the Alley like 12 years ago and have been involved in the punk scene ever since, playing in bands and going to shows," Bernardo says. "I've seen a lot of my friends who are musicians grow from that and create some of the most amazing music you'll ever hear. Right now, music in Miami is very eclectic. You'll go to shows and see the entire musical spectrum in one night."
"For example, at this past Sweat Stock I got to watch Caveman Cult and Wastelands back to back. That shit doesn’t happen anywhere else. I just hope we can slide in somewhere with all the incredible acts in this town."
Grand, a former member of the well-known local band Ex Norwegian, has seen her share of shows in various cities across the nation. “I’ve been to local shows in D.C., New York, and Chicago among crowds that stand around in separated groups, crossing their arms, carelessly watching amazing bands play. I’ll never understand that sort of body language at a show."
But Miami holds a special place for her. "The Miami music scene is the most united and supportive community I've ever seen," she says. "Just recently, at Fadenfest, Trick Daddy's performance was preceded by a bulk of local rock bands. I've never observed that sort of diversity and dynamic before at a local level elsewhere," she says. "As for where we fit, we're still wedging ourselves somewhere within this melting pot."
With the band now a four piece — including Chris Fiallo on drums and Nina Souto on additional guitars and vocals — the band’s brand of smooth indie-tinged fuzz rock has been rounded out to a perfect circle. It’s always refreshing to see a Miami band who plays real instruments with an earnest musical texture and ethos still gunning for the underground.
Citing Churchill's and Kill Your Idol as favorite venues, the band prefers intimacy to overblown productions. Red Nectar just wants the simple things. "The ideal show would be at a place like Churchill's, surrounded by friends, where the crowd is right up close to us," Bernardo elucidates.
"With the aforementioned crowd holding kittens and puppies," Grand adds.
Red Nectar with Sealion, Party Static, and Milkspot. Friday, July 24, at Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Miami; 3056992669; gramps.com. Admission is $5.
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