He founded two-piece noise-rock group hahahelp! amid the dive-bar, weirdo, shit scene centered around Churchill's Pub. But most recently, the vocalist and guitarist has been pulling double duty in two of Biscayne Boulevard's favorite new rock bands: 90s Teen and Boils and Goyles.
The former is like a scrappy little dog nipping at your heels. The latter is like hitting the vape and eating a grape. We hit up Diaz to break down the differences between his projects, and get real about his new "supergroup" Boils and Goyles with Luma Junger's Dorys Bello and Slashpine's Rob Goyanes.
New Times: Was hahahelp! your first band?
Rick Diaz: First band to play a show. I had a solo project. Hahahelp! was a reaction against an apathetic feeling in the scene. It felt like a lot of people were too scared to try something new. So we wanted to do whatever we wanted in an open context and not really worry about if it sounded good. We wanted people to be like "That sucks!" or "That was good!"
What is the difference in songwriting practice between 90s Teen and Boils and Goyles? When you're writing, how do you know which material is for what?
I'm not sure. We try to make it as natural as possible. We try to keep it open format so that we can explore.
Do you play the role of primary songwriter in either group?
Me and Alex [Puentes] share that in 90s Teen. He'll come up with riffs and lyrics, and we throw things together. I'm more of the songwriter in Boils and Goyles. I'll come up with stuff, and then Dorys [Bello, Luma Junger] will come up with her own vocal melody and approach to playing the drums.
Is it more of a personal voice?
I wouldn't say "personal." I definitely use it for an outlet for a certain style I've been neglecting. It's a return to singing pretty. I used to focus more on singing light with hahahelp! I haven't really been able to do that: play guitar and sing nice.
I hear more hahahelp! in Boils and Goyles than 90s Teen.
I'm trying to return to that. Dorys and I work our voices around each other because we have similar styles when it comes to singing. Or at least in this context.
Boils and Goyles was originally just the two of you, right?
It was me and Dorys shooting the shit. Years ago, we came up with a song and then recorded it at FIU. There are these warehouses with really high ceilings that have a lot of natural reverberation that we were able to use to our benefit.
Are Boils and Goyles shows any different from 90s Teen shows?
90s Teen tends to be more confrontational. Like, "Here, think about this." Boils and Goyles is darker but more inviting.
Definitely. It's built around the rhythm. 90s Teen too. But that's a more aggressive rhythm.
90s Teen is more on the punk end of the spectrum, and Boils and Goyles is more psychedelic. But really, both bands are both genres.
Whenever anyone asks me about 90s Teen, I just say "psychedelic punk." If I say hardcore, it's too loaded. If I say noise, people probably won't pay attention.