When and why did you form The Paranoyds?
Staz: I met Laila in ninth grade, and I had already been playing guitar and bass for a few years and she had been playing piano and guitar.
Lexi: They met on Myspace
Staz: We met in high school, but rendezvoused on Myspace before we did. We would learn covers and we wrote a few songs, and then Lexi and Laila had been best friends since pre-school, so Lexi, Laila, and I all started playing music about 3 or 4 years ago. They were in college, and I was in New York, and then we were finally able to come together and start taking it seriously about 2.5 years ago. We met David then as well. We started because it’s fun. We have a lot of fun together. We are best friends in real life.
I read that you are all immigrants, where are you from and how has it affected your relationship with music?
Lexi: My mom is Greek, and I spent a lot of my childhood back and forth between Greece and America. I’m first-generation in America.
Laila: I’m also first-generation, my parents immigrated here from Iran during the revolution, and how it influenced music for me [is] I think they found an escape within Rock ‘n’ Roll at that time in the 70s and that’s all I listened to when I was growing up. I have good taste in music because of my parents.
Staz: My dad was first-generation American-Russian, and his parents also fled during the revolution. My mom is English. They met in England, and had all of us [me and my siblings] there, and I have dual citizenship. Plus, my parents are very big music enthusiasts, my dad being a musician himself, and my mom being an all-time music lover. So music, and having an opinion about music was something pushed on us at a very young age.
David: I was born in Monterrey, Mexico, which is kind of close to Austin, and I came here when I was 11 years old in 2003. Where I’m from in Mexico is very American influenced, so I grew up listening to all kinds of rock music along with Mexican music, and my whole family is into music. I’ve always had it in my life.
How has living in LA impacted The Paranoyds’ sound?
David: This might sound snobby, but all the best bands are in LA, so in order to stand out there, you have to practice a lot. It’s really hard to be able to be out there playing shows if you’re mediocre. So you have to really really push yourself and be a little different. While it’s hard, if you’re motivated, it’s easy because there’s so much to draw in from. It’s amazing, and everybody is so helpful and it’s such a tight community, it’s almost like being in high school.
What’s your favorite meal?
Laila: I can’t turn down a really good cheeseburger. I’m really into burgers.
David: My all-time favorite is pastrami sandwiches.
Staz: I love spaghetti.
David: Lexi loves Caesar Salad…
What’s the most interesting thing to happen on tour?
Laila: This last time on tour, we got stuck in the mud in Arkansas.
David: No…hold on. The most interesting part is that we had a show set up for Oklahoma City, while we were in Tulsa, and we met the band Gym Shorts from the east coast who are fucking amazing, and we just became instant friends. They said ‘Yo come and play in Arkansas with us,’ and we were like ‘okay.’ So we went to Arkansas to play a show and parked in this very muddy lot, and then we got stuck in the mud, but the change of plans was really tight.
Laila:But also, we met Nardwuar last night before we played our SXSW showcase at the Mohawk, and we were like ‘come see our show,’ and he was like ‘oh, I have to see my friend.’ And then we were on stage talking about it before we played, and he just kind of appeared out of nowhere.
Staz:We were like ‘he’s probably not going to come.’
Laila:Ya, and he was there.
David: Word on the street is that he stayed for 3 or 4 songs, which is sick.
What is your dream gig?
David: I think small gigs where everyone is digging the music.
Laila: Burger Boogaloo! That’s our dream!
Who do you guys draw inspiration from?
Staz: A lot of old music, and then our community, we don’t really listen to mainstream music. SadGirl (instagram.com/wearesadgirl/), Prettiest Eyes (instagram.com/prettiesteyesss/) , Wild Wing (instagram.com/wildwingband), Gym Shorts (instagram.com/gymshortsmusic), We have a huge boner for Gym Shorts right now. We love X (twitter.com/xtheband), Violet Femmes (instagram.com/officialviolentfemmes), and Television (facebook.com/televisionband/), and Wand (http://wandband.info/).
What’s next for the Paranoyds?
Laila: We are doing this little thing called Coachella.
Staz: You know, this little independent-run festival…