Keep It Cute spent the hottest months of the year on the Summerfest Tour, supporting the likes of We The Kings, Breathe Carolina, The Ready Set and T. Mills. Based out of the San Antonio, TX area, this pop band has been making quite a name for themselves all across the country. On the road in support of their just released Summer Love EP, the band’s infectious songs are bound to bring the heat on any time of the year. Here is a recent interview we conducted with a few of the members near the beginning of the Summerfest Tour at the House of Blues on the world famous Sunset Strip. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Keep It Cute, and what’s the most embarrassing song you have on your IPOD?
Matt: I’m Matt – I play guitar and sing backup in Keep It Cute – and the most embarrassing song on my IPOD is Too Close by Next – it’s like a real overly sexual 90’s R&B song. I love it though so much! It’s so good!
Ryan: My name is Ryan – I sing – and the most embarrassing song I have on my IPOD is Party In The USA by Miley Cyrus.
Aldo: My name is Aldo, I play bass in Keep It Cute, and the most embarrassing song I probably have in my IPOD is Dance by Lady Gaga.
Where are you guys based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
Ryan: We are from San Antonio, Texas – and the local music scene used to be really pop influenced, but now it’s hardcore and metal.
Matt: It’s really, really hardcore. San Antonio used to have a really good indie rock and pop rock music scene, but it kind of disappeared in the last year and a half.
Ryan: San Antonio is just all metal now, so we’re kind of glad we broke out.
Matt: Which is cool, because there’s a lot of big acts that are out of San Antonio now that are metal. But it’s not our forte.
Have you ever found yourself stuck on the same show with a metal act?
Ryan: Yes, we have.
Matt: Way back in our old band, shows would be like a crazy mix. There would be rap groups and then there’d be like pop rock groups – then crazy hardcore, death metal groups.
Ryan: I remember one of the shows we played was Keep It Cute and then Through Arteries and it was crazy. There used to be like a huge mix of everything, but now it’s just hardcore.
How has Summerfest 2013 been going so far and what have been some of the highlights of the tour?
Ryan: It’s been awesome. We were kind of scared going into it, because we really didn’t know what to expect – it’s our first major tour. We got to Florida on our first date and we became really good with all the other guys and it’s been awesome.
Matt: I think for me, the highlight – either our hometown show which was super cool, because we got to see all of our friends from different bands from the scene – and promoters who came out to support us – all our families that came out to the show too. That was awesome! It was cool playing to a crazy packed crowd and then all of our friends and family being there too – that was a really good moment. New Orleans was sweet – and Bourbon Street. We didn’t do much, but it was really cool being there!
What are your impressions of Hollywood? I imagine it’s your first time here?
Ryan: Yes it is. What I imagined is the exact same thing as what I see.
Matt: All the women are so beautiful – it’s ridiculous. We’re staying at the Weston Bonaventure up the road, and it’s like everyone there is super beautiful – it’s crazy!
Tell me about your new song Celebrate and what inspired the lyrics.
Ryan: Whenever I was writing the song, it was during a time when I had big, big writers block. It was really weird and frustrating. So I took a little break from writing and I started hanging out with my friends more and my family. Basically what inspired it is to not let little things get at you in life. To never let girls or any of that stuff get in the way of having fun in life – you just want to celebrate it! So basically that’s what inspired it – and Sweet Home Alabama.
Select any other Keep It Cute song and what inspired the lyrics.
Matt: We have a song called Lost and that one is just about –what inspired me was Wonderwall by Oasis. That was my all-time song for like a month or so – it was about half a year ago. I was going through this really weird period with this girl I was dating – but wasn’t dating. And I wrote that song – it’s on our Summer Love EP – which were selling on tour.
Ryan: It comes out digitally in about a week or so.
How easy or difficult has it been to do pretty much everything on your own?
Ryan: To be honest, it can be hard at times. But most of the time, it’s always a lot of fun as long as you don’t let anything get to your head. If you always have the right goals and mindset, then it’s actually pretty easy – as long as you know what you want and you know what you’re working for.
Matt: It’s kind of hard not having the luxury of having a crew to load all of your equipment every day and for you to set up all your stuff every day – and to load out every day by yourself. But the thing is, it’s so exhilarating. It’s so much fun to trek so hard every day – and I think it makes this tour so much more exciting.
So you guys don’t have a crew helping you?
Ryan: We have two crew members and that’s about it.
Matt: We only have one now!
One? What happened to the other one?
Ryan: The other one had to go home.
Matt: But J.D. – he’s been busting it so hard for us. He’s our tour manager – he’s our driver when we’re all super tired…
Ryan: Even when we’re not tired…
Matt: …even when we’re not tired, he volunteers. He’s our roadie, he’s our merch guy. He just always kicks ass for us. I kind of feel like it would be extremely hard to do without him. It’s just the struggle – we really don’t have the budget to have anyone come on the road with us. We try to do as much as we can on our own.
What could one expect from a Keep It Cute tonight?
Ryan: Lots of jumping. Fire. Lights and lasers – just kidding. Just a good time. That’s all it is. It’s just a good time – just hanging out on stage. We don’t want our fans to think that they’re just fans – we want to have a special connection with each and every one of them – and we try to show that onstage.
Matt: We try our absolute hardest to have a super energetic, really interactive, intimate performance with the crowd and with each other too.
If you could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Aldo: I know for sure that Arctic Monkeys is my favorite band ever, so if I had to open up for them, I’d probably be crying the whole time.
Ryan: If we opened up for One Direction, that would be the coolest show ever!
Matt: Of course Ryan…
Ryan: I’m just saying…
That’s true though. There would be so many people.
Ryan: Sometimes I kinda want to be One Direction – like all of them, but ya know… (Much laughter)
Matt: I don’t know what band – but I’d definitely open up for the Pop Disaster Tour, with Green Day and Blink 182. That would be sweet!
If your music was a donut, what kind would be and why?
Ryan: Okay, something from Voodoo!
Ryan: Have you ever been to Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon? They have crazy donuts! We would be a normal donut with random toppings – like sprinkles, maybe some Cocoa Puffs, Captain Crunch, bacon, definitely M&M’s – and definitely like a clean layer of just sugar.
Matt: Just chocolately, really unhealthy too. So good, and yet so bad for you at the same time!
Are there any strange or scary happenings on the road or at a show?
Ryan: Sometimes we have to sign certain body parts – like autographs and stuff. It’s cool, but not when you’re in front of your other fans.
Matt: I signed a girl’s armpit the other day and that was weird. If anything that was strange. But The Rave in Milwaukee…
Ryan: Oh yeah, it’s haunted! We took a haunted tour underground. Us and the guys from The Ready Set, we went down…
Matt: …into the pool, into the boiler room…
Ryan: His bass player was freaking out! He was saying “Guys, let’s go back!” And we’re like, “No, we gotta keep going…”
What’s up next for you guys after the Summerfest Tour?
Ryan: We are in the midst of getting our Fall plans organized. Our management – we’re actually waiting to hear back from him to see who we are going on tour with. But we are going on tour with someone big in the Fall. And then we have another tour in January with another big artist too, but I can’t really say that right now.
But if people go to your Facebook, they’ll be able to find out soon?
Ryan: Yes, definitely.
Do you have any messages for people reading this who don’t know you who might want to check your band out?
Ryan: If you’re reading this – if you do check us out, it really means a lot to us! You can follow us on Twitter and on Facebook. We’d like to get to know you. And thank you so much for listening to our music and giving us the support.
Aldo: And keep on keeping on!
Keep It Cute is:
Ryan Alexander: Vocals/Guitars
Matt Zaval: Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Kevin Diaz de Leon: Drums
Aldo Lazcano: Bass
AJ Garces: Guitar
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)