Band Q&A – Lost Dakota

We spoke to punk duo ‘Lost Dakota’ from San Diego, USA! The duo are composed of;

  • Christian Perez – Vocals/Guitar
  • Greg Degracia – Drums

1) Who are your top 3 influences?

We have a lot of different, varied influences. We’re kind of all over the place, so we say;

  1. Post Malone
  2. Balance & Composure
  3. August Burns Red

2) How did you get your band name? 

When I (Christian) was younger, I had a childhood best friend called Dakota and we were inseparable. Life happened and we ended up moving to different parts of the city but made a vow to stay in contact regardless of distance. However, we drifted apart and we lost contact with each other and have not heard form her since. That’s the main meaning behind it but there’s also another meaning of “Lost Dakota” being a territory in the U.S. being an unofficial state from the 1800’s. So there is sort of a double meaning in it. 

3) How did you meet?

A few years ago, a friend I (Christian) went to high school with was in a metalcore band called Mandala and they were looking for a guitarist so I joined. Greg was in that band as their drummer and that’s when we initially met. After I left that band to pursue Lost Dakota as a solo project, Greg messaged me asking if I needed a drummer after hearing the first single, “Gold Coast”, and I was all for it and we’ve been playing together for about 3 years now.

4) What is your song writing process?

Usually, Christian will start with a basic drum beat that helps get the feel for how I want the song to sound, whether it’s more fast paced or slower. After that we’ll lay some guitar and bass over it to give a nice foundation for the leads and/or programming to come in and make it a little more vibey. Once that’s done, It’s sent over to Greg to work on as far as making the drums all his own and what he feels would add to the overall song and feel. While he does that, Christian’s listening to the instrumentals in his car over and over, singing different lines and melodies. Once drums and lyrics are done, vocals are recorded and voila!

5) What are your plans for a year from now?

For the upcoming year, we’re working on a few singles that we’ll be dropping throughout the summer as well a music video later on. We’re also gonna be pretty active with playing shows around the SoCal area and are even toying around with the idea of a mini acoustic tour later on this year. It’s not all set in stone but we will definitely have new music coming out much sooner than later and we’re definitely excited to get back into playing with a bunch of sick bands and just connect with anyone who comes out to a show

6) First gig experience?

Our first show ever was actually with ‘Secrets’, which is wild because they’re not only from San Diego as well but are one of our favorite bands so to be able to open for them for our first show was extremely humbling and memorable. Plus the crowd was going wild for us being just an opener so it’s one of the our favorite shows for sure.

7) Biggest challenge?

One of the biggest challenges we’ve had, and I think a lot of other bands just starting out have as well, is finding the right group of people who not only share the same vision for what you want the band to be but also are in it for the right reasons. We’ve had member changes happen before due to not being on the same page or just having different ideas of what being in a band meant and it sucks when bands have to go through it but ultimately, it’s a collective effort and goal that everyone has to be willing to go through together and when you find the right group of people, you definitely overcome a big challenge as a band.

8) Favourite thing about performing?

Favorite thing about performing would be just going all out on stage and having the crowd react to that. We never want to put on a boring show so we always try to play our heart out and go hard on stage.

9) Favourite song to play live?

We were actually talking about it recently and ended up with the same answers. We just played a brand new song at our last show (3rd May) called “Ebb & Flow” for the first time and it got a really good response from the crowd! That one, followed by “Complacent,” which is a song we put out last week but have been playing live for a while. Those would be our favorites!

10) What inspired you to your recent songs?

A lot of the songs lyrical content comes from life experiences and struggling with mental health. For example, our latest single “Complacent” talks about my (Christian) ongoing battle with depression and I felt so low and numb to everything around me that I was going through the motions to just through the day, wishing for it all to just end. They’re heavy topics to talk about but they’re really important to bring to light, especially with the mental health crises affecting society today.

11) What do you do when you’re not musically involved?

For Christian, he’s currently going for his masters so a lot of his time is focused on schoolwork and surviving that. But he’s also really into graphic design and video editing as well so he’s always trying to expand his creative horizons. For me (Greg), I’m really always around music and just bettering myself as a musician whether it be refining my drum skills or writing for my other band (Mandala). I’m also super into exploring the city and just finding these really cool places to hang out.

12) In your opinion, what’s your best song?

That’s a tough one because we feel like all of our songs hit different “sound pockets” so there’s a lot of variety within our sound. That being said, we think “Unravel” would be a great first song for people to hear from us. Plus we have a music video out for it too and people seem to really connect with that song’s meaning, which is really cool!

13) Who has the worst dress sense?

I’d say me! (Christian) seeing as all I wear is black! 

14) Funniest show story?

Back when we were a four-piece, we played at a venue called ‘Soda Bar’ in San Diego and during a part of ‘Complacent’. I (Christian) did a spin thing and hit our guitarist’s foot and fell back into the amp and almost knocked it over but I caught myself and if I actually fell off that would’ve sucked! 

15) Pizza! What do you have?

We don’t currently eat it, but if we did it would be pepperoni bacon. NO pineapples.

16) Who’s the most annoying member?

We’re pretty chill with each other and don’t get on each other’s nerves but Christian can be pretty annoying just because he’s always switching the set up with backtracks to keep it fresh and it’s always a job.

17) Who has the worst tattoo?

Our moms would say all of them…

18) Fast forward and you’re millionaires. What do you do with the money?

Pay off all our debt and invest the rest in our band and just keep making music because it’s what we love and no matter how much/little money we make, music will always be something we’re drawn to and will want to do for as long as we can.

You can follow Lost Dakota on Twitter or Facebook.

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