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