Come See My Dead Person
Being based in Galveston, does the ghost folklore of the island find its way into your music?
Mike Mejia: I’m sure subconsciously it inspired some thought. I don’t know — we’ve always had a fascination for that sort of thing. Maybe that’s one of the things that keeps us… we’ve always had a deep-seated fascination with macabre things, horror movies… that’s just an added bonus, of us being around here. Not necessarily a driving force. I mean, you look around Galveston and you would expect that there would be tons of music like that, but there really isn’t.
You guys have been working towards this album for six years. Looking at the song titles and feeling your way through it as a listener — is there a story arc?
Roy Martinez: I came in kind of after the fact but I’ve kind of grown with the band since the early days, and watching the writing process — Mike and Matt are the primary songwriters for the band, right? But we all kind of make the music happen collectively, and it really is, at the risk of sounding cheesy, it really is a truly organic process that happens. It’s kind of the evolution of how these brains work together. All these mimetic themes that happen throughout the record, just stuff that’s tying stuff together, it’s completely unintentional. It just happens to be what these voices need to say. Whatever story’s being told by the record is just the story of these nine guys. It’s just what comes out of these people’s hearts. But to me that’s cool. I like the fact that we never sat down and said, “Hey, let’s do it this way.” We went in and did what we naturally would have done. It’s what came out, and I think if we tried to approach it any other way, now, retroactively, we would be doing that at the risk of compromising what we’ve found.
Do the songs all start out that fast?
Roy Martinez: Kinda! Yeah. I mean, typically Mike or Matt will come in with a song idea, which kind of acts as an outline, and then the core group, like me, Matt, Mike and maybe my brother will get together and we’ll make some broad stroke musical decision about how the form should be, and then we take that to the group of nine and then everybody just kind of hears it and responds to it with their instrument. And that usually ends up being… you know, there might be some tweaking here and there just to make sure, you know, the major triad works or make sure this rhythm section is tight or whatever, but the ideas are pretty much as they are first written. We present the idea to the band, they do what they feel and that’s kinda what it is.
Kirk David Mayberry did the cover art for you guys — did you kind of conceptualize that together or was that something independent that he did?
Matt Mejia: The guy who did the artwork is someone that we’ve sort of been an acquaintance with for many, many years, and I’ve been a fan of all of the artwork that he’s done for his groups. I fear that we walk on a thin line when it comes to being cheesy or not, so when it came to coming up with an album cover design, we would have fallen into so many holes so easily, trying to be macabre or grotesque or anything that had anything to do with death, and we actually told him at first, “We don’t want anything like a skull or anything like that.” That’s why I went with him, actually, was to get away from the whole gore… make something different than what you’d expect a band called Come See My Dead Person would look. And the first thing he brought back to us was a picture of a skull. He was like, “Man, I just had to get it out of my system!” And while we were sitting there, he started pointing out, “Well, we could turn this into this and that,” and me and him both kind of went back and forth over different things we saw inside of the actual skull, and that’s when he inked it in and we saw the party scene and said, “Man, that sort of embodies the entire thing.” Just like how the music happens unintentionally, the artwork kind of explained it all. It just kind of organically happened.
So what do you guys have planned? Are you guys going to be able to tour with nine people in the band, get out and go around Texas, go around the country?
Matt: That’s certainly our intention, and also, we can break down to a single member. We do acoustic and whatever.
Roy: We kind of have evolved into this modular band — sometimes it can be just me, Mike and Matt, just the three of us. Sometimes we do a five-piece acoustic set or as a full band.
Matt: I guess it’s like a Voltron machine. We can either be full force or we break apart and take it on individually. Individual cats.
Interview by Lance Scott Walker | Photography by Anthony Rathbun