Hardly Art's Ruben Mendez Talks About Jacuzzi Boys' New Label

After releasing a live album on Jack White's Third Man Records in January and then generating boatloads of blog buzz as one of nine bands aboard the inaugural Bruise Cruise Festival, Jacuzzi Boys welcomed March by signing to Seattle-based indie label Hardy Art yesterday. Needless to say, Miami's very proud.

"They're just really talented, and at the same time, really humble guys," said Ruben Mendez, Hardly Art's A&R/promo guy, the man responsible for signing the band.

Crossfade gave Mendez a call yesterday to discuss how the label partnered with the Boys, and Florida's up-and-coming indie music scene. Check out our Q&A after the jump. 

Crossfade: The announcement of Jacuzzi Boys signing to Hardly Art happened just a few days after Bruise Cruise ended. Was the partnership a result of that festival? Or was it something that had been in the works?

Ruben Mendez: It's something that's kind of been in the works for a while-- maybe since last summer. The Bruise Cruise thing was just part of Jacuzzi Boys being in that garage rock scene.

When did Hardly Art take notice of Jacuzzi Boys?

I'm a fan of the label, and the distribution, Florida's Dying--they're the ones that also put out (Jacuzzi Boys') first full length, No Season. But the first 7" I got through mail order, I was just buying stuff from Rich Evans (of Florida's Dying). What he wrote about it got me interested, so I listened to that 7" and ever since then, I've been a fan. 

When did y'all start talking about putting out a record? 

Last summer when (the band) came through (Seattle), we started talking about what their plans were for recording in the future, and we decided that we liked each other enough--we had met enough times, like the last three times they've been through Seattle--that we'd go for it and put out a record, see how it goes.

Do you think the Jacuzzi Boys signing to Hardly Art will help Miami shake some of the negative stereotypes associated with our music scene, and attract more touring bands to gig down here?

I don't know. Rich Evans and the whole Florida's Dying thing has been booking shows in Winter Park, and, uh, what's that part of Florida?


Yeah, Orlando--(Stein's) been bringing garage bands, punk bands to Orlando for a while. In the last three years there's been a lot of talent coming out of Florida. Jacuzzi Boys just so happen to be a band from Florida, that's stayed in Florida, and has made a name just by hard work, writing great songs, and word of mouth. They're just really talented, and at the same time, really humble guys.

Hunx and His Punx and La Sera are both playing Florida this month, can we expect more Hardy Art acts down here in the future?

I think more and more bands will start heading that way, and I think more people from that area will start bands.

When can we expect the Jacuzzi Boys record?

I think late summer, early fall. They're going in to recording next week. It should be done by the end of March, mastering April, so probably late July, early August.

Where are they recording the album?

Key Club Recording Company. I've had friends that have recorded records there and they say it's really great. The people that run it are really easy to work with, I guess you can basically live there, record there.

While we wait for the album, what's the next Hardly Art release we should look for?

Hunx and His Punx. That's out on March 29.

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Victor Gonzalez
Contact: Victor Gonzalez