Interviews

Seizure Machine's New Video "Ho's" Is Not About What You Think It Is

Seizure Machine
Seizure Machine Photo by Melody Calmell
It's fitting that as Marlon Sinvergüenza speaks with New Times, he's planning to go to a "Weird Al" Yankovic concert. 'Ho's," the newest video and song by Sinvergüenza's electro duo, Seizure Machine, is heavily influenced by the comedy-parody legend.

In spite of the video's rowdy title, Sinvergüenza describes "Ho's" as the cleanest rap song ever — one that's actually about gardening. "I love comedy and nerd rap. The video is a love story, and I thought since the title is misleading, it would be fun to parod '70s porn. A guy works in a garden, meets a beautiful woman, and gets in all kinds of shenanigans."

New Times has an exclusive snippet below, but the video will make its official premiere June 20 at Las Rosas at a free party featuring performances by Smurphio of Afrobeta, Ashiyushi, Pewpts, and burlesque dancer Sofia Luna. "I wanted things wacky," Sinvergüenza says of organizing the lineup. "Miami has all this wackiness people don't ever hear about."

Sinvergüenza started Seizure Machine when he was a teenager playing open-mike nights at Miami's iconic punk club, Churchill's Pub. "I came up with the name from an episode of Pokémon. A machine exploded [in the cartoon] and gave a lot of people seizures in Japan. The episode was banned in the U.S."

Sinvergüenza eventually joined forces with fxsnowy to make Seizure Machine a true collaboration. "I'll come up with the idea, a rough song and lyrics. He cleans it up and polishes it. I'll write things off-key, and he'll add some logic to it. We share production: I'll do the vocals and congas; he plays the synths and mixes our music."

After Sinvergüenza spent time in Los Angeles trying to make it in the music business, he returned to his hometown of Miami with some insight. "When I left for L.A., I thought I was top dog. I was doing music and acting gigs, playing Latin percussion on the side with salsa bands. I learned I had a lot of growing to do as an artist."

Seizure Machine is very much a Miami product with its mix of Latin music with any other genre they care to throw in. "We go from bossa nova to trap in a moment. In the Cuban-American community, you grow up between American music and the music your parents listen to, so we mix hard industrial with Miami bass."

The culmination of the sound can be heard on the duo's new EP, Computer Garden, which spawned the song "Ho's." It's a record they couldn't have done without learning from an older generation of Miami artists, the 23-year-old Sinvergüenza says.

"Otto von Schirach taught me to know my audience and to play to that audience. Dino Felipe taught me more than about music; he teaches me about cooking and electronic hacks. Ben Shahoulian is a poet who hosted the open-mike night at Churchill's. He had wacky poems that were really witty. I always chatted with him for lyrical advice."

And from all of that accumulated Miami wisdom comes "Ho's":


Seizure Machine Video-Release Party. 9 p.m. Thursday, June 20, at Las Rosas, 2898 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 786-780-2700; lasrosasbar.com. Admission is free.
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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novels, The End of the Century and Yo-Yo, are available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland