Mourn on Punk Rock, High School, and Dictionaries

By Luis Del Rosario and Isabella Garces

Photo Credit: Albert Manau

Mourn, a band rooted in Catalonia, Spain, is made their US debut this March. Most recently featured on Pitchfork as a rising new artist, the teen quartet is a fiercely independent group. With front-woman Jazz Rodríguez Bueno (18), guitarist Carla Pérez Vas (18), Antonio Postius Echeverría (18), and Jazz’s sister Leia (15) on bass, Mourn produces a strange yet unique byproduct of their age, backgrounds, and respective inspirations.

With a sound that unifies a mix of punk rock and mellowed indie, Mourn’s self-titled debut album was  released in the US and is available on both iTunes and Spotify. It was recorded over the course of two days, in which Mourn only solidified their authenticity (while adding to the novelty of the record) by recording each track in one take.

Their haunting single “Your Brain Is Made of Candy” has a music video that was a staff pick on Vimeo. Another single, “Otitis” has a more palpable Ramones influence. There are also hints of Sleater-Kinney in their sound, with strong female vocals guiding their songs. We caught them at Great Scott in Allston.

They’re a band that defies expectations. The band name itself injects a preconceived image that is too readily contradicted by the Mourn members themselves. They’re three skinny, adolescent girls with waist-high jeans paired with striped shirts and matching Converse. The drummer, the only male of the group, sports his own version of a 70’s outfit as well. Standing near the stage and they looked like middle-schoolers intent on experiencing a wild induction to half-empty Boston bars on a Tuesday night.

Yet, on stage, they were full of punkish youth. Their sound channels angst and frustration in a way that is both provocative and assertive. They rarely stopped between songs to infuse the air with small talk. When they would, however, it was in a soft and moderately simple manner. One such time, they informed us that the upcoming song was written when one of them was, “how do you say it?” “Pissed.” “Ah, yes. I wrote this song when I was pissed.” Clearly, there is no language barrier for Mourn. Everything they want to say, their music conveys to a T.

Why Mourn? 

We made a huge list of crazy names we’d like, just for fun. We wrote the first things that came to our heads, but no one was good enough. So we picked up an English dictionary and with our eyes closed we pointed at a word and that was “mourn.” We liked how it sounded so we said, “That’s it.”

How did the four of you meet? 

I (Jazz) met Leia when she was born, she’s my sister. I met Antonio when I was 11 and he was 12, he was new at school. I figured out that he played drums and we became friends. I always wanted to make a band with him, but he was too good, I mean, I didn’t feel at the same level. Then, Carla and I met two years ago at high school. We were both new in class and we became friends when we knew we both played. Then, when we had written like ten songs and we decided to record, I though, let’s tell Antonio, now he’d like to have a band with me. And he did, so I told Leia too, because she’s the best bassist I know.

Where is your musical base and how does that factor into your writing lyrics in English and not in Spanish? 

We listen a lot of music in English so I think that’s why we write in English. That just came up this way. We like Spanish bands too though, but we’ve always listened to The Clash, Ramones, Sunny Day Real Estate, PJ Harvey, Elliott Smith, Archers of Loaf, Superchunk… So I think that influenced our writing in English.

What are you hoping that your music will accomplish and for whom?

We don’t have a target audience. Mainly, people that come to our shows are older than us and maybe we’d like more people of our age coming but, as I’ve said, we don’t have a target audience. We want people to enjoy our shows and we want them to feel relaxed maybe, but in a way that they can do whatever they want (dance, scream, just watch, whatever). We want them to feel, that’s all.

What are the biggest influences on your music?

We mostly like 90’s bands, but also other things like The Clash, The Sound, Jay Reatard, The Smiths… We listen to a lot of music and we don’t like to listen to only a type. One day we can listen to Refused and the next day Crooked Fingers. Leia and Antonio, for example, are into hip-hop and rap too.

What was your recording process like? It must have been an intense two days. 

Yes, we always say that it was a very sincere process because we recorded everything live so it’s like, “Hey, that’s how we play.” We played just like we do at home or at a show, with nothing to hide. We recorded the songs in a day and the next day we did the mix. Yes, it was really intense.

What does your album capture best in its 24 minutes? 

We think it captures our personality and our way of doing things. We believe it’s direct.

Why are brains made of candy?

I was so bored at class. At that time, we weren’t learning a thing in high school. I had Carla sitting next to me. She was drawing and writing things too, so I just started thinking about this concept of a brain made of candy, just for fun. I felt angry with the school and people there and I wanted to do something with my time. Then at home I had the melody and I just made the song. Then I met Carla, she showed me “Dark Issues,” and I showed her “Your Brain is made of Candy” and together we finished the songs.

What are your plans for the future?

Playing a lot, keep enjoying what we do and work hard. We want to make this right and have a good time. We’re going to travel a lot which is very exciting so during the week we can’t wait for the weekend and play.

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