When you find people who share your interests as an adult you secretly are like, YES…friends. That’s how it is, or you can approach them and make something of it. That’s what two brothers and a female companion did. They came together because of a love of electronic music and the three of them created The Maya Spectra.
Still fairly new in the game the band has immediate goals and are looking at this year with wide eyes and taking it all in. Now let’s get to know The Maya Spectra trio a little better…
Kendra: When did being in a band go from something to do for spare cash to an actual plan of action for the future?
Julian Pena: Well, the main reason any of us want to make money is so that we can sustain our musical endeavors. We never really intended on jazz being the style of music we’d conform our careers to, so we really just viewed it as a means to more music. We kind of just jumped into playing music with each other immediately and made the decision to work together based on our reputations. We had no idea of each other’s artistic desires and styles. As time went on it became apparent that we shared a similar vision as artists. Once we started writing music together, we knew it was something worth continuing.
Kendra: You bonded over electronic music, anything else or has the bond always been musical based?
Janel Blanco Jean-Bart: Well Julian and Donald have the same parents so they easily bonded over that! But in all seriousness, after operating initially as a jazz trio, what allowed us to put that band to rest and create an original group was the fact that our personalities meshed well on various levels. We have the ability to connect intellectually and emotionally. We all agree that canes chicken, the walking dead, and kittens are the best gifts life has to offer, not to mention, we also bond over the fact that we dislike a lot of the same things.
Kendra: Janel, do you ever find yourself playing referee with Donald and Julian? I mean, we all know how brothers can be…
Janel: When they start to bicker, I generally tune them out until they come to me to be the tiebreaker. Then I have to pretend to know what they were even arguing about in the first place. But that’s only a small percentage of their relationship! The truth is that they get along better than any siblings I’ve ever met. They’re pretty funny people as individuals but when they’re together, there’s not a single person they can’t get a good laugh out of.
Kendra: It’s been a few years and you guys just recently dropped your debut, Music Box. If you had to compare it to a hangout spot in Santa Fe, which place would you say it sounds most life where you all are from?
Julian: There’s a random garage built into the music building at our college, (Santa Fe University of Art and Design), called O’Shaughnessy. You can find anything from school bands rehearsing to local/touring bands performing. It also serves as a space for open mic nights. It has comfy couches you can lounge on for days and walls draped in cool tapestries and weird art. It’s overall vibe is very homey and laid back.
Kendra: We’re going to be springing forward like always in March. If you could actually have an extra hour in the day – what would you spend it doing?
Julian: Listen to music.
Donnie Pena: Probably look at his phone to see what time it is and go on with his day as if he never even knew.
Janel: Go over to Julian’s and Donnie’s apartment and attempt to complete one of the thousands of tasks required to make it as an independent band. Possibly get sidetracked.
Kendra: You guys are still a fairly new band. What are some immediate goals?
Julian: The two biggest things we are working on right now are a music video and a collaboration show involving visual accompaniment for a live performance of our music. The video is for our single, “Music Box,” and should be coming out around April or May. The live show is a part of a larger festival in Santa Fe called Outdoor Vision Fest that will be taking place on May 1st.
Kendra: Will you be playing any shows this year?
Julian: Other than Outdoor Vision Fest, we are playing at our school’s annual music festival, Quadstock, which is actually happening that very same weekend.
Kendra: If you had to make someone a custom music box with your five favorite songs, what songs would that little box play?