Innerwave @ Tropicalia INTERVIEW

Inner Wave Photo by Aika Eden

Inner Wave Photo by Aika Eden

The south Los Angeles-based new age garage rock group, Inner Wave, is on the forefront of a psychedelic revival movement currently happening in the Los Angeles rock scene. Following in the footsteps of contemporaries like Tame Impala, Inner Wave is on a mission to bring sweet and floaty synthesizer rock back to southern California. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Pablo Sotelo, the turquoise-maned Chris Runners on double-decker keyboard and vocals, Jean-Pierre Narvaez on bass, Luis Portillo on drums and Elijah Trujillo trading lead and rhythm guitar with Sotelo.

Behind the Moto Stage were Pablo “Papa”, and Elijah ready to have an open conversation about the context of their musical group (organizing together). I walked over to what was called Bane’s world trailer, and saw a group of folks gathered around chatting. Comes to find out they are the ones Im looking for!! I met the circle of friends, who were radiating a lot of positive energy, then got to both Pablo and Elijah– the interviewees. Right off the bat there was a familiarity in energies which resided with an unspoken understanding of connectivity. We all were excited to share the same space of Tropicalia where we have all manifested our will to be present in such a beautiful environment. With the two wavies and I chillin’ out, we got started with our conversational interview.
One of the first pieces of information I received was about how Pablo and Elijah crossed paths; these two beans met in middle school, and had a similar interest of music with an undeniable friendship that was justly, destiny. Pablo briefly explains that the way he got into music was simply something that just happened for him. When in grade school, he told me about his times playing the trumpet as one of his first musical instruments given to him. He never took any music lessons but had mentioned taking singing lessons for only half a year- ever. Most of his instrumental playing was self taught, and he learned by looking at tabs of his favorite artists online for himself.

Pablo is warm like the Sun.. Photo by Aika Eden

Pablo is warm like the Sun.. Photo by Aika Eden

I asked them of some of their musical influences that helped shape the development of their cool psychedelic experimental sounds that they produce. I LOVED the groups they named, I also loved that it was music on a wide spectrum of genres, just like this years Tropicalia! Pablo named a few artists such as MF Doom, Crystal Castles, The Strokes, Gorillaz (all SUPER dope), then Elijah made a comment about what their musical influences are, “Collectively we have similar inspirations, and individually we have our own shit that we all grew up with”
This was something I explained as similar as a star combusting explosion or a power ranger transformer figure with each ligament having their own legends and sparking a revolutionary turn with these particular individuals. Pablo then further explains how he had been into early 2000s RnB styles,but it’s not his ‘musical street’, meaning he did not have an extensive knowledge on that particular genre– but Chris (on the keys) does and brought that element to the table.
I asked if everyone in the group met in middle school, and the Wavies tell me that it was except for Tio (Luis/The Drummer) came into the picture early this year in January. As for Chris (keys) became apart of the Inner Wave family about 3-4 years ago. Chris actually originally take photos of the group, and did the art for their album covers– life works in such mysterious ways right?
Last but not least I asked for their thoughts on Tropicalia and their comments revolved around the love and support they had for the event focusing on Latinx/Chicanx culture while orchestrating a divine line up with (again) an eclectic range of sounds varying from multiple generations, a majority PoC, taco filled line-up. They said they would have gotten a ticket if they weren’t performing, and they also mentioned that this was their first bigger shows that they’ve ever performed! I had a pleasure interviewing these wonderful dudes, and to see them slowly prosper is inspirational and gleaming with the Universal glow. As someone who admires the work of Inner Wave, I am excited to see where they take off to next! If you hadn’t had a chance to tune in with their sweet sounds, bY ALL MEANS, click, here.




November 19th, 2017

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