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What I’m Listening To: Vi Mayugba

What I’m Listening To is a series where we talk to exciting artists and musicians and get a five song slice of their current playlist. 

“I’m definitely gonna continue being a musician after I graduate. I don’t know what else I would do. I’m a barista right now but that isn’t really a career.”

Destroy Boys.

Destroy Boys. (from left to right) Ethan Knight, Vi Mayugba, Alexis Roditis Photo: Russ and Patti Solomon.

Vi Mayugba,the sixteen year old founder of the band Destroy Boys and this month’s curator of the What I’m Listening To playlist has always been surrounded by rock ‘n roll. Mayugba, who is the daughter of The Skirts singer Lynn Mayugba and Phallucy lead guitarist Sonny Mayugba, says she fought their musical influence at first. “I didn’t start getting into it until I was introduced to American Idiot at six years old.”

By thirteen, she was singing and into classic punk. The next year she picked up guitar and began branching out musically. “I was in like 12 shitty bands from 13-15 years old. They were all awful. … Thank god we never played any shows.”

Destroy Boys started one night when the soon-to-be singer Alexia Roditis came over the Mayugba’s house and told her she wrote songs. When Roditis showed her one, Mayugba was “totally shocked by how amazing she was.” That night they wrote two songs, recorded them on a voice memo app, and uploaded them on to Bandcamp. “The next day, we woke up to people greeting us with TONS of love.”

They named themselves from a drawing on Mayugba’s chalkboard wall. “I was mad because dudes were being weird to me, so I wrote ‘Destroy Boys; in pink fancy cursive. I looked at for a while and then said ‘Holy shit!’ and called Alexia.”

The girls started playing acoustic shows as a duo until their final member Ethan Knight called. “He was in the shower, I was literally in the middle of a live show [when] asked to jam with us.” Though Mayugba was a little wary, once they played a song together “it really kicked ass. We knew we had something cool.”

Destroy Boys has been recently picked up by Uncool Records who released their single ‘Duck Eat Duck World.’ “Uncool Records is more of a collective than a label, because they only put out free online music under their name as opposed to releasing physical copies and distributing. We love them all the same, though,” says Mayugba, adding with a laugh. “It’s cool to be called an Uncool band.” She says they are very fond of the people running Uncool especially Cole Becker, singer and frontman of SWMRS. “He’s like a super cool big brother to us, with better hair and more friends.”

Mayugba is not working on balancing high school and her musical commitments. “It was really, really difficult for me last year because that’s when so much for the band started happening so fast, so I was ready to drop everything and say fuck all. I still am, but I don’t really have a choice on whether or not to be in school, so I’m just trying to ride it out.” She plans to continue music after graduating, saying she doesn’t know what else she would do.

She is so intent on her music that she has proclaimed she will “run under a semi” if not successful by 30. But how does she define that success? “Success in my own right just means that I can support myself and my family by just playing music. Being famous would be cool. I never wanna sacrifice playing music in order for some stupid job or for school.”

For now she’s enjoying being a young musician in the Sacramento punk scene.”We face some minor ageism by older musicians in bigger bands but that’s about it. The Sac scene has totally raised us right and has never been bad to us! … People like to see kids getting into music so young, especially when we’re actually doing something cool.”

So what is guitarist Vi Mayugba listening to? “Alright, 5 favorite songs right now, let’s go! … [I]n no particular order:”

The Ramones-‘Rockaway Beach’– “It’s hard to find a song that makes me as happy as this one. It has such a happy feel that it even quells my road rage, which is hard to do. Also, I’m a big fan of well done backup vocals, and Ramones always nail that. Do I have to explain this further? It’s the Ramones. They’re so damn good at what they do.”

Hunx and His Punx-‘Bad Skin’- “I have acne so I relate to being pissed about acne. The riff on this song is so good. There’s nothing that gets me ready to go like angry guitar and high pitched vox do. It’s a song I listen to before a show so that I can jump around and kick shit (to get my heart rate up, not to be dramatic). Hunx and His Punx are really good at putting together wild songs that have great composure. Also, they’re from my backyard in SF!”

Green Day-‘Bang Bang’- “As much as everyone loves shitting on Green Day, they’re good. Everyone, secretly or not, thinks Green Day is good. I have no shame and never will. When they came back after four years with a track as meaningful, aggressive, and dynamic as this, I was SO STOKED. Billie Joe has this way of mixing their newer, more dramatic sound with their classic, four chord, more frantic sound in this song that totally kicks my ass.”

Mother Mother-‘Hayloft’- “I don’t really know how to describe this song other than dynamic and epic. As a guitarist, I still don’t know how they got their guitar to sound like that without the notes bleeding into each other. The song seems like it’s surrounding the story of two kids having sex somewhere they shouldn’t be, and some dude in long johns catches them or something. I think it’s supposed to be the girl’s dad. Whatever, this song is about the music for me. I really love it.”

Ceremony-‘Into the Wayside Part 1/Sick’- “My homie Blu showed me this song and oh my GOD! This is exactly the kind of hardcore that I go out to shows for. The vibe I get from the lyrics is this feeling of general ‘sickness’ with yourself and the world around you, mixed with some apathy and just straight up anger. I could be totally wrong, but I don’t care that much, that’s what I take from it. I used to skip the one minute intro but that was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made.”

Destroy Boys is writing music but “nothing too serious.” They are “trying to ride out our album release as long as possible, because that record is our baby.” But Mayugba says, they “never stop making music.” The band will be playing the West Sacramento Cyclocross Grand Prix at the Sacramento River Walk on September 17th with Charles Albright, RAD and Pets at 12 pm. You can also catch them at 9pm on October 15th with The Skirts and Early Times at Harlow’s.

Words: K. Hules.

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