Meet Crosswalk Heroes. This is the band that will pick you up if you’re feeling down or keep you up if you’re feeling happy. Three guys—Hernando Suanico, Brandon Michel, and DD—form this alternative band straight out of San Diego. They’ve played over 40 local shows in the past year and are set on playing many more this new year. What is a crosswalk hero, you may ask? Read the tell-all interview to find out who these guys are and what makes them respectable and worth listening to.
Hernando: We had started with a different name which was The Scenic Route and then a band got signed with that name so we were just throwing out ideas at our practice and it was a conglomerate of a bunch of different things. Basically when it comes down to it, our name represents us just being normal people that have our moments of heroism. It means adding a little something good to the world.
DD: We wanted to be Crosswalks but someone else was already Crosswalks, Hernando wanted something with the word heroes so that’s how it was formed.
Brandon: Alright, you guys are both wrong. (Everyone laughs.) My friend Chaz and I were talking on Facebook and I said, “Alright, we have to change our name.” He came up with Heroes & Villains, I think, and I brought up that name with the band because I thought that was the coolest name out of everything else he gave me and I thought we could work with it. The only thing we stuck with was the heroes thing so… you guys are liars. (Everyone laughs again.)
Hernando: I told you it was a conglomerate of everything! Alright, come on, next question! (Laughs.)
Hernando: I’m thinking alternative or indie/alternative.
Brandon: Our Facebook and ReverbNation are listed as indie/pop rock and I think that’s the most suitable genre. Alternative can be a bunch of different stuff.
T: Yeah, it’s very broad. How many shows has your band played?
Hernando: Oh, fudge. Umm… over the last two years, it’s an easy 40 shows. We have played so many shows at so many different venues like The Jumping Turtle, The Vault, House of Blues, here at The Epicentre, The Ruby Room, Queen Bee’s… any more, guys?
DD: I found a band playing in front of Wal-Mart and they didn’t have a bassist so I said, “I’m a bassist!” and that’s how I found this band! We’ve played a lot of different venues. We’ve done it all.
Brandon: This last year alone I think we played our biggest shows. This was our good year.
Hernando: Two of our biggest fans actually got married and we played all of our original songs for them. That was probably the most important gig we’ve ever played. It was very special.
T: That sounds very special! What are the band’s influences?
Brandon: Bands who influence me to write for our band are Bloc Party, The Smiths, Alkaline Trio, and even Blink-182. I was talking to a friend today saying that if it weren’t for Blink-182 I wouldn’t have even picked up a guitar. They are one of my biggest influences musically. Alkaline Trio also mainly influences me. Those are my guys.
DD: Well, my influences span the gamut. I’m the old guy. The Police actually got me playing music. My biggest influence would have to be Mike Watt of Minutemen and fIREHOSE. fIREHOSE is a big, big influence. Modest Mouse, The Vandals, NOFX, etcetera.
T: So, who writes the lyrics to the songs?
Hernando: That would be me. I write the melodies, too.
T: All you?
Hernando: Yeah, all me. Haha. I just listen to what Brandon plays and I can always follow our music. It just always works. We do it a couple of times, but honestly, all of our songs come together after Brandon and Double D are in sync.
DD: We all write lyrics, but for this band it’s all him because we’re just too busy playing our instruments. We do give him song ideas if he’s having trouble thinking about it. So far, everything has been 100% him, though. Not a lyric coming out of our mouths.
Hernando: I appreciate it, thank you sir. (We all laugh.) I think it’s my job as a singer. If I didn’t do the writing then what am I doing, you know?
Brandon: I think my hangovers are my inspiration. (We all laugh.) We ended up writing a bunch of new songs during my hangovers. I’m not an alcoholic, but it is helpful. Haha.
T: Haha, alright! What are the band’s aspirations for the future?
Hernando: We want to tour.
T: Have you guys ever done any sort of tour? Even a small one?
Hernando: No. We play back-to-back shows sometimes.
DD: Temecula’s about the farthest we’ve played.
T: Where do you guys want to go?
Hernando: Anywhere up the coast. We’re thinking about following the 101 and trying to get to San Francisco.
Brandon: We were talking about going on a 101 tour. If San Francisco is too far then maybe just Los Angeles or San Jose. I just want to tour.
T: What’s the band’s favorite venue to play?
Hernando: I personally love The Jumping Turtle.
Brandon: The Good Guys Tavern in Lemon Grove.
DD: I agree with Brandon.
T: What venue do you guys want to play?
DD: I want to play at CBGB and I’m sad because I can’t!
T: Aww! Is there anything you guys want to say to people who have never heard your music before?
Hernando: Listen to our music because it’s good. We have something for everyone; for every emotion you might have or for every day you might have; if you want to feel better or if you want to embrace feeling bad. We write for just regular people because that’s what we are. We all have different jobs, we all do different things, we have lame jobs but it’s what we do and we honestly love doing it. I think that’s enough. If you’re going to do something then just love it.
DD: You don’t know if you like us until you’ve heard us. Try new things!
Hernando: If you don’t like the first song you listen to then try another one. We have a song for everything.
Brandon: I want to be one of those bands that you go to if you’re having a bad day. If you just got dumped, we have a song for that. Our new slogan should just be we have a song for that! Haha. But honestly, I want to be one of those bands that you go to if you’re having a tough time. If you’re mourning or you just got dumped then listen to us. We’ll be a pick-me-up band.
DD: We’ve got it all.
Check out Crosswalk Heroes in the links provided below!
- Jordan Mafi