Lil Daggers in the Spotlight: Singer Johnny Saraiva Talks Babes, Freud, and in Circles

Lil Daggers in the Spotlight: Singer Johnny Saraiva Talks Babes, Freud, and in Circles
Ian Witlen

Lil Daggers delivers sounds that are stabbingly dark, at times hypnotically mellow, laced with danceable stretches. Influenced by: "Good times. Bad times." According to their Facebook page (the source of all things true), their music reflects these fractured elements. There's a psych-stoner appeal to the songs that leads one to crave mind-expansion from meditation, tantric sex, or a monster spliff.

From three to five people, Lil Daggers has grown over the past three years in size and scope. In this short time, they've toured around the East Coast and Midwest. A break with Livid Records led the band to another local label, Limited Fanfare, which released their recent eponymous LP. The EP Stragglers and four seven-inch singles are also out there in the world. Singer Johnny Saraiva mentioned a

split seven-inch with Manchester band Underground Youth potentially out in August.

The band makes music as a unit, though in no consistent manner. "We don't really have a formula for writing our songs." Saraiva says. "Sometimes

they come out of everyone jamming together; sometimes it'll be a guitar

riff or drumbeat that someone thought of at home, and we build around

that. Sometimes one of us will come in with a song fully written." Saraiva writes the lyrics, though, and they range the gamut of topics. "Maybe a few lines will be about this, and

the next will be about that, and most of the time this and that have

nothing to do with each other," he says cryptically. "Know what I mean?" Sure. Sure, we do. He says the song he's written most recently is usually the one he favors. "I'm sure there's some deep-rooted Freudian reason for that," he kids. 

Despite being on the rise in popularity, the singer says,

"We don't have goals, really. We're Zen like that." He does hold down an

actual day job, as do other members of the band. When asked if he'd quit

it and do this full-time, "Sure. I don't think anyone I know

wouldn't say yes to that." Fair enough. His bandmates -- guitarist

Jacob, drummer Jose, bassist Wong Chong, and Mike on keys -- spend their

time at home and places out where getting high in public is acceptable.

"Just like everyone in a band in Miami," Saraiva says, "we hang at Churchill's every now

and then too."

As to what makes South Florida audiences unique,

he says the "babes." No doubt, but performing must appeal to him on

some other level as well. He jokingly notes about his favorite part of

performing, "Being worshiped by mindless drones [laughs]. Um,

probably hanging out with friends I don't see all the time." Their shows

definitely draw a crowd of friends, cooler-than-the-norm strangers,

music fanatics, and maybe a few drones. Mostly, though, Lil Daggers

perform a memorable show that warrants some level of crowd worship.

Lil Daggers perform at 10 p.m. Saturday, June 16, at Green Room, 109 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale, as part of County Grind Live with Jacuzzi Boys and the Gun Hoes. Visit

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