It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock-n-roll, they say. For the members of Daddy Issues, the momentum of their pop-rock sound and crowd following is steadily building as they focus on blowing the top off the local music scene here in San Diego.
DiscoverSD recently sat down with band founders Angela Alvarez and Jules Whelpton (Daddy Issues also includes drummer Steven Chen and guitarist Steven Crowle) at Modern Times Brewery to chat local music, what the band’s been working on, rad cover songs and where they ultimately hope to go.
Q: How did Daddy Issues come to be?
Angela: I came out from Arizona to San Diego to be a part of the scene here. I auditioned for a band that (Jules) was in at the time and someone from that band contacted me to join. So I did, and we just clicked immediately and realized, let’s ditch this project and start our own in the end of 2013.
Jules: From there, we went through a few lineups and I figured getting other music teachers would be a good bet. So, we went with the Stevens.
Q: Are you both originally from San Diego?
Jules: Yeah, I am. I’m from Oceanside.
Angela: No, I’m from Cleveland originally, moved to Arizona and I have been here in San Diego for about two-and-a-half years.
Q: What are your full-time day jobs?
Jules: I teach music at the Youth Arts Academy with the Stevens.
Angela: I work in marketing.
Q: How do you make time for music the music while working so much?
Jules: We actually practice at my work when it closes. We are all there and Angela comes to meet us. We do it after work or whenever we can make time for it.
Q: Where have you played locally, and when’s your next show?
Jules: We’ve played all over. We played Belly Up, Casbah, House of Blues and Music Box.
Angela: Our next show is House of Blues for the “Local Grooves Local Brews” event featuring local musicians and breweries at a festival type set. Each artist gets about 20 minutes to play on a rotating stage.
Q: What are you working on currently? Are you recording an album or working on something soon?
Angela: We are recording an album currently in Cleveland.
Angela: It’s a long story. The short story is that a producer I was connected with while living in Arizona, who is from L.A., moved his studio to Cleveland (Angela’s hometown). I happened to see it on his Facebook right as I was getting ready to record, and I was like, “That’s so weird. That’s where I grew up.” So he’s kind of like the L.A. experience in the Midwest, and it’s actually less expensive for us all to fly to Cleveland and stay at my parents’ house then to go to L.A. and record there. My parents kind of get a kick out of seeing behind the scenes of what we do.
Q: What’s the album called and what are the tracks like?
Angela: We don’t have a name yet.
Jules: We knew you’d ask that, but going back to goals, one of our goals is to submit it to the San Diego Music Awards this year so we are trying to have it done by July.
Angela: It’s going to be the songs people have heard us play, a few new ones and then we have a really kick-ass cover that we’re doing.
Q: What’s the cover? Is it a woman artist?
Jules: No, it’s a man! We cover a lot of male singers and we love doing that. We think it’s rad to hear a woman singer rock out to a man’s song.
Angela: OK, I’ll drop a hint. It’s an iconic, like, 80s song.
Jules: And I’ll drop a bigger hint: it was just recently featured in the “Deadpool” movie.
About the brew
Modern Times Brewery’s Lomaland Fermentorium is a 2,000-square-foot tasting room located at 3725 Greenwood St. in Point Loma. While grabbing a brew, the ladies of Daddy Issues enjoyed Fruitlands, a blood orange gose. For more information about the brewery, visit moderntimes.com.
Q: Favorite part of the San Diego music scene? Is it better than L.A.?
Jules: It’s one big community. We never usually have a show where we don’t know anybody and usually our friends are there and come out to support us. It’s a very loving environment. It’s very much electronic up in L.A., and pay-to-play. It’s more chill here, we are by the beach, we have some reggae vibes, it’s just more relaxed. I’d say it depends on what you’re looking for in music. It’s definitely easier going here, but still happening.
Q: What are your goals as musicians?
Angela: We just got signed to a label. We’re planning on some mini tours right now and then maybe some bigger tours later in the year. My thing with music is that I really just love to perform and play. I love connecting with people constantly. So, as long as the door is open, I will keep walking through it. If it never goes any bigger than what it is today, that’s totally fine and I love it but it seems to be growing on its own. I just love to play music (laughing). I really do.
Q: What are your favorite local bands?
Jules: Some people might get pissed at me for saying this because I have a lot of friends in music, but Rhythm and The Method. They are so tight because they’ve been playing for like 10 years. Getting out of our genre, she’s so soulful and bluesy and combines it with rock. It’s an amazing show to watch.
Angela: I love them too. I should have gone first. One of my favorite bands isn’t playing here anymore, the lead singer moved; I was going to say River Up Hill. I’m terrible ... let’s go with Rhythm.
Q: What musicians help get the creative juices going for you and what inspires your music?
Jules: One thing I really liked about her (Angela) is that we both had an appreciation for classic rock. I think there’s a lot of good, retro bands out there that people need to, kind of remember, almost. I’d say Led Zeppelin. You get a band like that, a bunch of different players that are so equally good at their instruments and put them together and it’s amazing.
Angela: I think a lot of what we do without even saying it, is create music that’s timeless. We listen to modern music and talk trends, but we kind of decide to whatever we want to. My top bands are The Beatles, Aerosmith, Queens of the Stone Age. I love gritty rock, but I also love blues rock - I love ZZ Top. You can hear that a bit in our sounds.
Q: What’s the best part about creating music?
Angela: For me, like honestly, it’s about being on stage and expressing something you personally created. Not only is it vulnerable through me using my voice but these are also words and thoughts we are sharing. So to put them out there, and look in people’s eyes to see them connect with the music. I mean, there’s nothing like it, except for maybe sex. It’s an experience of connection with people that you don’t get in any other way. It’s very addicting and anytime I get up, I think even if it’s someone just escaping for an hour from their stressful life, that’s what I do it for.
Jules: We have always wanted to play in front of a sea of people, I suppose that is our true goal. Who wouldn’t want that though?
Angela: I’d die happy if I could play in front of a sea of people.
Writers’s note: My guess for the mystery cover song? “Careless Whisper” by Wham.
Daddy Issues is scheduled to perform at 7:20 p.m. Saturday during Local Brews Local Grooves at House of Blues San Diego. For tickets, visit houseofblues.com/sandiego.