Prayers, the San Diego-based "cholo-goth" duo of Rafael Reyes and Dave Parley, are blowing up. Founded in 2013, the pair have already gone on tour with The Cult, won a San Diego Music Award, been featured on Noisey and the Huffington Post, and are the lone local representatives appearing at this year's Coachella.
Reyes, the band's frontman and Sherman 27 gang member, employs an alter-ego (Leafar Seyer) for his exploits with Prayers. And while the line between the two is blurred, both are charismatic, confident and full of unwavering bravado.
Prayers' Travis Barker-produced third album, "Young Gods," raised their profile even higher last year, and they'll follow their Coachella appearances with a new album in May (a video with Kat Von D for the single "Black Leather" is out now).
DiscoverSD recently spoke by phone with Seyer as the dynamic bandleader was in San Diego ahead of the duo's back-to-back weekends in the desert.
Q: How are you? Busy?
A: Great. And it's been ------- crazy. I've been working on the artwork for T-shirts, artwork for the front and back of the new album, artwork for the single, picking up my custom microphone stand, and picking out the custom things I'll be wearing at Coachella. You could say I've been multitasking.
Q: Do you always work this hard?
A: I take everything I do very seriously. I'm extremely detail-oriented. And I think the aesthetic is just as important as the music. I don't even consider myself a musician. I'm an artist. These are the ways I express myself, whether it's the music, the way I carry myself, the way I dress, all the visuals you see, or the videos you watch. There is a vision behind what we do.
Q: What can you tell me about Leafar Seyer?
A: I'm Leafar Seyer 24/7. This isn't an act. This is who I am. This is how I see the world. I'm living it.
Q: What are your thoughts on Coachella?
A: It doesn't matter where we perform - Coachella or anywhere else. I always want to outdo everyone. Coachella is just another platform where I again get to say to the audience, and the rest of the world, that what we're doing is completely separate and different from everyone else.
Q: Is that the goal?
A: I want us to separate ourselves from everyone - even those who came before us. When people think of San Diego, I only want them to think of Prayers. We live in other places now, but I fight to make sure people know we are a San Diego band. The music comes from this environment that I grew up in. It doesn't come from anywhere else. If I grew up in New York or L.A., this whole thing would have a completely different sound. Maybe there wouldn't even be such a thing as "cholo-goth." My surroundings and environment in SD are the building blocks of everything I'm creating with Prayers.
Q: So Coachella is just another show?
A: I'm actually really excited for them - more than I'm excited for us. Coachella and their audience get to witness the greatness of Prayers. It's life-changing and it's empowerment. That's what we do. People leave our shows as better and stronger people - people that have been empowered. Coachella is lucky that we could do it. This is our year. Is that arrogance, or confidence, or is that destiny? To tell the truth, it's all three. I am arrogant and confident for a reason. And this is destiny.
Scott McDonald is a writer, on-air personality and consultant with 15 years of experience in the San Diego music scene. He has interviewed hundreds of artists, from the legendary to the underground, for print and television.