The five bearded men that make up the sludgy prog rock quintet of Form & Design were hard at work in a recording studio in the town of Medley, chipping away at the band's debut album Gradients.
The band — consisting of singer Adrian Cossio, guitarists Pachi Rasco and Manny Mejia, bassist Marc Smith, and drummer Marc Velazquez — is getting ready to bombard Churchill’s July 23 with some ear rattling screams, or what they describe as “sweet, harmonic, organized noise.”
According to the group's unofficial bio, Form & Design “were randomly hand-picked by Satan, out of a bowler hat full of names of people that owe him favors.” Despite this startling origin story, we picked up the phone to pepper drummer Marc Velzaquez with a few questions.
New Times: What's the story behind your name?
Marc Velazquez: Form & Design represents a willingness to abandon form while bound to a world and a medium that seem inseparably tied to it—or as Bruce Lee puts it, being 'shapeless, formless, like water.' Also 'The Jerkoffs' was already taken, and 'The Marc Velazquez Funk Explosion' wouldn't fit on our shirts.
What influences you guys?
One of the great things about this band is that we each come from pretty diverse musical backgrounds, and so our influences and our sound are reflections of this. We draw from various elements of '90s hard alternative, latin funk, progressive rock and grunge, among others. A few of our inspirations: Smashing Pumpkins, Witchcraft, Herbie Hancock, Muse, Mars Volta, Foo Fighters, Tool, Dillinger Escape Plan, Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age, Rubén Blades, Michael McDonald, Keyboard Cat, Yoko Ono, Marcel Marceau, Meatloaf, Boyz II Men, Hank Williams Jr., Color Me Badd, flatulence in the wind, and the sounds of a thousand slaughtered lambs.
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Are you working on new music?
We're around 75% done with our new album Gradients, and expect to be finished, if all goes well, by the end of the summer. Our music is slowly growing more experimental and progressive — using more melodic riffs in different time signatures, extending some of the funkier grooves to give them room to breathe, adding ambient effects. It's hard work, and we're doing it all ourselves, but we're really proud of the music we've been writing and are excited to get it released.
That said, our music will 'come out' once it feels it's in a comfortable place in life and won't be judged too harshly by its parents. You can't rush these things.
What can we expect at the show at Churchill's?
Let me paint a picture for you. You'll arrive at Churchill's in good spirits to the smell of old sweat and crack rock. You'll then be greeted by our cheeky and sarcastic band butler, Giles, who will offer you a glass of champagne or a juice box. You'll rub shoulders with killers and debutantes and vagabonds and all manner of riffraff. Then, as we take the stage, your eyebrows and mustache will be charred off by our elaborate pyrotechnic displays, and your clothes will be stained through from the showers of calf blood we spray into the audience between songs. Then we bring the cannon on stage, but rather than shooting lame-ass t-shirts, we fire live teacup Vietnamese potbellied pigs into the crowd at high velocity. Then there's a choreographed dance number and some tasteful full-frontal nudity, followed by the ceremonial sacrifice of an unblemished wildebeest. To be immediately followed by our ceremonial unblemished wildebeest potluck.
Form & Design with Acaedia, A Victim A Target, and Irra's One. Thursday, July 23, at Churchill's, 5501 NE 2nd Ave, Miami. Admission is $5, ages 18 and up.