By Charly SHELTON
At some point, or perhaps in another life, many of us dream of being a performer, be it movie star, musician, famous artist or some variation. But few pursue this in earnest. Dashel Dupuy, Alex Gutierrez and Colin Martin are among those few. Their three-piece band, Espresso, is starting to take off in the LA music scene and around the country.
“We’ve been playing a lot of shows in the LA area, and we’ve been traveling a lot too,” Dupuy said. “We go up to the Bay Area and we played in San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz, San Diego. We played in Austin, Texas, and Miami, Florida …”
“And Arizona, a little bit in New York,” Gutierrez continued. “So we’ve been traveling a lot, while also having day jobs and taking classes once in a while at community college.”
Overlapping each other while they talked was a common thread throughout the recent interview with CV Weekly. They finished each other’s sentences, added on to thoughts and shared sentiments on almost everything. This connection, they said, is what leads to great music.
“I think it’s because we are all best friends and you can really hear the chemistry in our music,” Dupuy began.
“There’s just such a connection when you’re playing music with someone else,” Gutierrez continued, “and especially when you’re playing music with people who have been like your brothers for the better part of your life. It just feels really good, making new things together, traveling…”
“… and I think all of our individual music tastes are different enough but also the same enough to let it blend super well,” Dupuy concluded.
The pair (Colin Martin was unavailable) described the band’s music as punk with funk, with some rock ‘n’ roll and some soothing dance music. Their music is not necessarily family-friendly and their influences include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sublime and Rick James but, overall, their sound is unique, thanks in part to being a La Crescenta band. The three first met as freshmen at Crescenta Valley High while in another band with two other students. That band didn’t work out and they reformed later as a three-piece. Because they were in the relatively small-town of La Crescenta as opposed to the larger LA proper, it protected their influences while they found their own voice.
“In a small town like La Crescenta, no one was really doing music like we were in high school,” Gutierrez said.
“We were pretty much the only band at CV [High],” Dupuy added.
“Yeah, so when we go other places, we had no reference to how other things are, so our music came out totally different,” Gutierrez said. “Because other bands sometimes sound the same in the LA scene we jumped into the scene being this totally different thing that no one had heard before. I think that helped us a lot.”
Now, three years out from CVHS graduation, Espresso is flourishing and they have been invited to play at an up-and-coming bands festival this weekend, Dirty Penni Fest III. The all-day festival will be held at the Echo + Echoplex in Echo Park and features some of LA’s bands on-the-climb, including Sadgirl, Mt. Eddy, Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Feels, Mike Watt and the Jom and Jerry Show, The Side Eyes, Potty Mouth and Espresso, among others.
“It just showcases all the LA bands right now in the scene that are doing a lot, so it’s a really fun thing to go see if you want to know what the LA music scene is like,” Gutierrez said.
Tickets are $15 presale, $20 at the door. More information on Dirty Penni Fest III can be found at Ticketfly.com by searching “Dirty Penni.”