Acapulco Lips brings its surfer style to gloomy Seattle

The Acapulco Lips is the epitome of a cool Seattle rock band. Vintage sounds harkening back to the Puget Sound’s early days of rock, combined with a unique style and swagger make Acapulco Lips irresistible to most of the region’s music lovers. The band consists of Maria on vocals and bass, Christopher on guitar and vocals, and an alternating crew of two drummers, Davy and Jordan.

If you’re looking for a springtime soundtrack that will help draw you out onto the streets from your winter hideouts, look no further than the Acapulco Lips self-titled album released last year. With a European tour on the horizon, and a slew of shows at home before then, this band is soon to be busy. Before springtime got too crazy, Maria chatted with CULTURE about the band, the music and the band’s love of cannabis.

How did the Acapulco Lips come to be?

I’m from Austin, and I moved here about six years ago. I had played in bands in Austin for a longtime, for about 10 years. I moved up here not really thinking I would probably ever play in a band again. Then two years after I moved here I thought, “you know what, I actually miss that.” So I started writing some songs, and I put out a Craigslist ad, and I found my bandmates.

So you’re from Austin, where are your bandmates from?

Christopher is from [Washington]. We kind of have a weird situation. Our drummer Davy is from France, and he was here when we first started the band, and he has since moved back. So we have another drummer Jordan, and he is from the tri-cities. Davy had to move back because of Visa stuff, so we have Jordan so that we can play here, and it might be indefinite while Davy tries to see if he can move back. We’re kind of playing with both of them. Like we’re going to Europe in May, and Davy will play with us there.

What are your musical influences?

We’re all into ‘60s garage, psyche and R&B, and girl group stuff like Phil Spector. Me personally, I’m kind of more into the R&B and soul and girl group like ‘60s stuff. Christopher is more into the garage, psyche stuff. So it works because we’re both into both sides of that, but when I am writing lyrics and bass lines too. I’m coming from that side, and he’s coming from sort of the rowdier side of it. So it’s kind of cool, because it meshes for both of us.

Has the cannabis-friendly culture in Seattle impacted your sound or creative process?

We have a song that’s an instrumental about weed. I was never a very big weed smoker growing up, I mostly stuck to drinking. Ever since then, it’s been something you can’t get in trouble for, I have been super into eating weed. I’ll smoke it too, but I prefer eating it. I feel like it’s more predictable. I know some people say the opposite, but I think it’s predictable. I’ll just get an edible from the store and eat half of it, and I know it’s my time to listen to music or just chill and kind of get in my own head.

What do you like to listen to when you’re consuming cannabis?

Probably the same things I like to listen to when I’m not. The thing that rules about it is things stick out more, and depending on what’s going on maybe if I’m kind of just listening for vocals when I’m not stoned, and not taking in everything. When I listen to music stoned it is like, “Oh whoa! Listen to that little tiny weird string part,” or whatever it is. It just kind of makes everything pop a little bit more, and it makes everything a little more exciting.

If you want to celebrate 420 and Earth Day, support a good cause, and see the Acapulco Lips all at the same time, Seattle has got you covered. KEXP and Goodwill have teamed up to present a concert to promote recycling and reusing clothing called Break Up for Good. The Acapulco Lips will play along with the Cataldo Sisters at the Tractor Tavern on Thursday April 20.

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