Divino Niño are a rock band based in Chicago (by-way-of Colombia). Their latest record, Last Spa on Earth, is out September 23 via Winspear.
(Photo Credit: Matt Allen)
Camilo Medina is a visual artist and the vocalist/guitarist for the Chicago band Divino Niño, and Javier Forero is Divino Niño’s vocalist/bassist; Wyatt Shears, aka Enjoy, is one-half of the Orange County band The Garden. The Garden just released their new record, Horseshit on Route 66, and Divino Niño is about to put out Last Spa on Earth on September 23 (via Winspear) — which includes a feature from Enjoy, on the track “Papelito.” Stream the new song and read their conversation about it all below.
— Annie Fell, Editor-in-chief, Talkhouse Music
Camilo Medina: How you doing, man?
Wyatt Shears: I’m not doing bad. Getting ready to see you guys in about a week or so.
Camilo: I know, man. It’s kind of crazy that this call is today when your album is out.
Wyatt: Yeah, I know. It doesn’t really feel like the album’s out today, but it is kind of funny because it’s, like, totally out today. Are you guys in Chicago right now?
Camilo: Nah, man. I think Javier is in Chicago — you have to do some work and stuff like that. The rest of us are driving slowly to San Francisco from Miami. We’re splitting it into four days, so we’re in a hotel room in Salt Lake City right now. We’re taking it slow. This morning I woke up early, went for a run and listened to your record — that record is sick to run to. Congrats, man.
Wyatt: [Laughs.] Thank you very much. I appreciate that.
Camilo: Yeeeeah, boo! Are you guys doing anything special, having a cake or some shit?
Wyatt: Not really, we’re just keeping it pretty low key. My brother and have been pretty loose with this album. It’s our first album off the label we’ve been on for the last five years, so we’ve just been doing it our way, but doing it pretty relaxed. So we haven’t really done anything too official for it yet.
Camilo: Yo, but that’s pretty sick. So you guys are off label, independent?
Wyatt: Yeah. This is the first record we’ve been independent on since 2014, I think.
Camilo: Holy shit. Congrats, man. I mean, take that money, homie.
Javier Forero: Yeah, for sure. [Laughs.]
Wyatt: Yeah, it feels good to not have that on your back. I’m down to not be on a label right now, honestly. Your record’s coming out pretty quick, though, huh?
Camilo: September 23. We’re excited. But by the time this is out, the song with your vocals will be out. We’re super stoked, you did a sick ass job, man. Thank you for doing that.
Wyatt: Thanks, man. I appreciate it. I still love that song a lot. I mean, I really like the whole album — honestly, I think it’s really well put together and definitely my favorite shit you guys have done. But I’ve been following you guys for a couple of years now and just everything you guys put out, I dig. But you guys are just not fucking around with melodies on this one at all, so it’s definitely fun to listen to. And that one that I was on was a pleasure to do. Sometimes you get asked to do a feature and sometimes it’s fun, sometimes you’re vibing with the song, and sometimes you’re just in the middle. But this one I was really into, no bullshit.
Camilo: It’s so crazy, because I think you were either getting off a tour or starting one — it was a crazy time crunch for you.
Wyatt: Yeah, I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging for too long, but I think I had left you guys for a while and I was like, Oh shit, I gotta get this done.
Camilo: Do you want to hear something crazy? The way that we got your vocals, we were on tour and we had to deliver the tracks while on tour to make the vinyl schedule or whatever. I don’t remember where we were, but I was like, “Yo, we got homies vocals, let’s plug him in the Logic file, do a little mix and send it over.” It was so sick to hear your verse — we were like, “Damn, this motherfucker laid it down, dude!” [Laughs.]
Javier: The sounds were really fun. You got the laugh — that laugh was really sick.
Wyatt: [Laughs.] Yeah. Thanks, man. It’s kind of the signature I always add in, if I’m doing Garden or Enjoy or if I’m on a feature.
Camilo: I don’t know if you can tell, but we wanted to reply to you as you’re saying — we wanted to do backups to you. So we legit busted out a condenser and in the hotel room, and at 4 AM Javi and I were drinking some White Claws and shit and singing in the hotel.
But yeah, thank you for being on that. We’re super stoked to release it, and to hang out again. Javi and I have been fans of The Garden and Enjoy for a long time and it’s legit an honor to be connected with you and for you to be down to sing with us. Like, that’s pretty special.
Wyatt: Of course, man. I think you guys are a really good band. You guys have a really cool future ahead of you. It always takes me a minute to get into a current band, but when I first heard some of your songs, I was like, Oh, I could definitely get down with this. And then the more you guys put out, the more I was like, Oh, shit, this is really good. These guys are really consistent. So I’ve been keeping tabs.
Camilo: Damn, dude. That’s kind of crazy. Thank you, homie. Probably four years ago or three years ago, we were doing a lot of this mid-tempo indie type of stuff. And I remember Javi was like, “Yo, you know, this band, The Garden? Man, these guys are crazy.” He sent me that shit and I was like, “Woah, these guys are pretty wild.” My first thought was just like, Yo, if these guys are doing this shit, why is anyone doing mid-tempo chill stuff? I guess I came late to you guys, because you guys have been on for a while, but I was just like, Yo, this is where we should all go, man. This is what should be happening right now. It was pretty eye opening — you guys really just do what the hell you want. That’s inspiring as hell.
Wyatt: Thanks, man. Yeah, as plain jane as it sounds, we just want to make shit that we like, and if people are into that, great. If they’re not, you know, we just want to be as authentic as possible. That’s why our songs are all over the place — just whatever the mood of the song is, if it’s a fast punk song, and then you’ve got some jungle electronic song in the next one, it just is what it is.
Camilo: It does come across like that. You really fuck around with every BPM and mood. There are some Enjoy songs that are, like, straight up cute, man. They’re really nice, and then you can get fuckin’ sinister, dude. With this new album — I like this spooky shit y’all are on. [Laughs.] What’s up with that?
Wyatt: We’ve been into that shit literally forever. I’ll just listen to scary stories and stuff in the car, like, every week. It just makes me feel good. Like, if I’m just driving to go somewhere down in Orange or in LA or whatever, I’ll just turn on some stories. I don’t like to go super dark with them, but I like when they’re at a certain level, just basic supernatural stuff. It’s just fun to listen to.
We’ve always kind of had little drops of it in The Garden here and there, spooky undertones and stuff like that. But we wanted to go a little harder with it, drop a lot more samples and stuff in there. Like on the first song, there’s just a ghost just going over and over and over and over again in the background, so I just kind of used the ghost as like a guitar, if you will, and then the bass just hovers over that. It’s a ghost from Scooby Doo. That’s probably my favorite song on the whole album.
Camilo: Dude, yes. I listened to that one twice today, man. It’s so funny, you said it just right, man. It’s not the type of scary shit that I’m like — man, I’ve been to one side of YouTube that is legit scary shit, that I’m like, Damn, dude, I don’t need to feel this bad.
Wyatt: [Laughs.] Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t really like the shit that, like, ruins your day, you know what I mean? Like super dark, murder bullshit like that. I just like your classic ass scary stories. Sometimes Reddit has some really good scary stories, just basic stuff where it’s more just, “How the hell did that happen? We don’t know!” Rather than like, “Oh, she was murdered at night, blah, blah, blah,” and all the gory details. I don’t like the super dark shit.
Camilo: Where do you listen to scary stories like that?
Wyatt: I always listen to Mr. Nightmare, because he doesn’t really go too deep into dark shit. He kind of just keeps it pretty surface level, anyone could listen to it and not be super fucked up from it. I kind of like his voice because he sounds super normal — a lot of YouTubers try to make the story scarier with their voice, which I don’t really like. I just like when they just read the story really plain, and that’s what he does. I think he’s from the East Coast so he kind of has a little accent.
Camilo: That’s pretty sick. So now that you guys are off a label, does it feel different?
Wyatt: To be honest, not even really that much because we’re always pretty fucking hands on with everything we do, even when there was a label involved.
Even when we were on a label, they didn’t really ever say, “Oh, you guys can’t do this or can’t do that,” or whatever. So being off a label is kind of just the same thing, honestly. If anything, we’re probably a little more lazy than we should be, but that’s probably it.
Camilo: Do you guys make your own posters for everything? There’s some cohesiveness about everything.
Wyatt: Yeah, for posters and everything, Fletcher and I have always done that ourselves. It’s really fun to make them, and we sometimes go back and forth on who will make the next one. I think flyers and posters are a part of a band’s aesthetic and art, so we like to take time with it and make sure they look really cool. We want it to be the case when you look at a flyer, you know it’s a Garden flyer. And then the logo was drawn by a friend of ours, Antonio [Aiello].
Camilo: He’s a buddy of mine, too. Next level dude. And he draws some shit for Enjoy as well, right?
Wyatt: Yeah he did. I got greedy and asked him if he could do Enjoy’s too because I like it so much. You’re a great artist, too — you drew some of the Enjoy logos too, for a while!
Camilo: Yeah, baby! That’s how we know each other. It’s kind of crazy, because when you reached out it was legit a moment where it had been six months of me being like, I think this is the best band. It feels, honestly, really exciting to now be kicking it with you and shit like that, because you legit have been part of our artistic development, without a doubt.
Wyatt: Oh, thanks, man. I fucking appreciate that a lot. I appreciate the love you guys have given it. You know I love your guys’ shit, so it’s so it’s easy.
Camilo: That’s cute. Javi, how you doing? Tell us something. What’s going on over there?
Javier: I’m just chilling. I just like listening. I’m actually wondering about your upright bass, man, it looks so cool. You add those flames to it. [Laughs.]
Wyatt: Thanks. I was kind of ignorant when I bought it, but then I learned more about it. Well, I grew up in junior high school playing some upright bass, even though I was really not good at it. But I think it was last year, I was like, Oh, I gotta go get an upright bass. I gotta just buy one for myself and keep learning. Because I listen to a lot of rockabilly bands, and I always have since I was in high school. So I like that genre a lot. I went to a little tiny store, I think it was in Whittier or something like that — they had a few there, but I saw one with the flames on it and I was like, Woah. And it just happened to be the cheapest one, because upright basses are super expensive.
It’s a little shorter than I would like — I’m taller than the bass, which is not necessarily a good thing. Usually those things are supposed to tower above you. But I realized it’s actually a mariachi instrument — a tololoche. So it’s basically the same thing, but it’s used for mariachi so it has a muddier kind of sound. It’s almost like short scale versus long scale, but like upright bass. It still plays great and I like playing it and stuff, but it’s technically not even an upright bass. [Laughs.]
Javier: It looks fucking cool.
Camilo: If you can, man. I always just love to kick it. Thank you, homie, once again for making the time to talk to us!
(Photo Credit: left, Matt Allen)