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Singer/songwriters get the smart girls - Interview with Bryce Afonso


Last updated 7/20/2007 at Noon

This week I am interviewing Bryce Afonso, the drummer for James Drive, a local indie rock band that’s been catching attention lately down in San Diego with sellout shows at the Belly Up.

James Drive has a jazzy feel that fans of Ben Folds 5 should be able to get into fairly easily. Lately, though, Afonso has been playing the singer/songwriter role with his own new material. His music has a similar sound to Elliot Smith but with a much more folk-style twang in the vocals. I say its really good, but you can see for yourself at http://www.myspace/

Valley News: Give me some good reasons why the drummers are usually the coolest band members.

Bryce Afonso: I don’t even know if I fully agree with that. I mean, I’m the drummer, but… I dunno – do you want me to make something up?

I guess I could say they are always extremely attractive as a rule. And they tend to have the best hygiene.

VN: If a singer/songwriter kills himself, does it make his music more or less meaningful?

BA: I would have to say that it doesn’t make the music better or worse, it just makes it more truthful.

A lot of bands will sing about [suicide] but they are just making aggressive words to go with aggressive music, like the band Papa Roach, who sings about suicide or whatnot, but they would never do that. They are just looking for a fan base – trying to relate to their fans.

Sure, you want people to like your music, but you don’t want to write your music for what someone else has in mind or what they want to hear. One of my favorite artists, Elliot Smith, did in fact [kill himself]. That definitely made his lyrics ring more true. He wasn’t looking for a fan base or someone to relate to his words. He was just writing what he felt.

VN: So, why do girls flock to guys in bands?

BA: There are some really ugly guys in bands and they get girls, so there is definitely something to be said there. I’m not really sure what it is, to be honest; maybe they just want a boyfriend who’s popular or maybe someday they hope he will sing them a song.

VN: Does this say anything about the intelligence of these girls?

BA: I’ll say it like this: stupid girls flock to stupid bands, and the smart girls flock to the good bands. I think that’s a safe statement.

VN: All right – well, thanks. I have some quality content here; I guess I’ll let you get back to Wal-Mart [he was shopping when I called him].

BA: Wait, you’re not going to ask any questions about my music or anything like that?

VN: Sorry, I don’t ask lame generic interview questions.

Check out Bryce and his band at

music, and for his own stuff:


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