Crocodiles: My Firsts | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Crocodiles: My Firsts

Brandon Welchez on His First Kiss, First Hospital Visit, First Job, First Car, and Early Musical Experiences

May 06, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

My Firsts is our email interview series where we ask musicians to tell us about their first life experiences, be it early childhood ones (first word, first concert, etc.) or their first tastes of being a musician (first band, first tour, etc.).

For this My Firsts we talk to Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles. On May 12 the New York duo (which also features Charles Rowell) will release their fifth album, Boys, on Zoo Music. The follow-up to 2013’s Crimes of Passion, Boys was recorded in Mexico City with producer Marthin Thulin. Last year Welchez also released an album with Haunted Hearts, his project with his wife and Dum Dum Girls front-woman Dee Dee Penny.

Read on as Welchez discusses the first girl he kissed, getting in a fight in jazz band, and the school play he was fired from.

First word?

Brandon Welchez: Dada or daddy or something like that. Isn’t that everyone’s first word?

First best friend?

A kid named Hakeem when I was 5 or 6. I don’t really remember what we did together but I hung out with him all the time. I can’t remember his last name so I have no idea where he is now.

First pet?

A half poodle/ half cocker spaniel named Tramp, because he kind of looked like the tramp from Lady & the Tramp. Got him at around 6 years old.

First broken bone?

I luckily have not broken many bones. I think I’ve only ever broken my finger skateboarding. I used to get stitches like once a year though.

First time you had to go to the hospital?

About 5 or 6 for stitches. My brother and I were playing and he did some crazy scissor-lock on my legs and I fell and hit my head on the corner of a wall. He would tease me by calling me “Head-Hole” for the next few years.

First time you fell in love?

Kind of hard to define. I think love changes for people at different ages—there were girls I thought I loved as a teenager or in my early 20s but looking back on it, it was probably more lust or infatuation.

First person you kissed?

This girl Melia when I was in fifth grade. She was a year older and at this kid Jasper’s Halloween party (I was dressed as an M&M) she French kissed me. I remember it feeling kind of gross but I also got a hard on so it was pretty confusing.

First time your heart was broken?

Same thing as the love question, kind of hard to define. There were times in my teens or early 20s that I felt like I had gotten my heart broke but looking back it was probably my ego that broke.

First movie you saw in the movie theater?

Can’t remember.

First TV show you were obsessed with?

I was super into this show on Nickelodeon called Skate TV that was about skateboarding.

First record your parents played for you?

I don’t really know for sure but my parents played a lot of Beatles and Motown and Jim Croce and stuff like that and my dad also listened to a lot of Spanish music. It was probably The Beatles or Chuck Berry.

First album you bought?

First cassette album I bought was Beastie Boys’ License to Ill when I was about 5.

First favorite band?

Before I got into punk, which was a defining thing for me, my favorite bands were probably Beastie Boys, Run DMC, The Beatles, and Nirvana. When I was 12 or 13 I was introduced to Sex Pistols and The Dead Kennedys and those quickly became my favorites.

First concert you went to?

I was taken to a Neil Diamond concert by my parents when I was 5 or something but I fell asleep so not sure if that counts.

First time you got drunk?

Maybe 8th grade—can’t really remember.

First job you had?

House of Fabrics, which is now called Jo-Ann Fabrics. Boring retail job working with old ladies selling things I had no interest in. I was 16.

First car you owed?

Hyundai Elantra.

First country you visited outside of your own?

Canada—and my first memory is of something that happened on that trip.

First computer?

I was never very into computers or video games so I don’t really remember. I know we had a computer for writing school reports and stuff but I don’t remember when we got it.

First email address?

Don’t remember—probably some lame inside joke or something.

First roommate?

I moved out of my parents house right after high school and into a house with this girl Tara who was a film student and this guy David who was kind of my friend but was pretty difficult to live with. We lived next door to this meth addicted couple who constantly screamed at each other.

First book you read outside of one assigned for school?

I was and still am a total bookworm but I don’t really remember. My parents took me to the library all the time.

First time you voted?

First time I voted was in 2008.

First major disappointment?

I liked acting in plays and stuff when I was little and I remember getting a decent part for a kid in some community theater production. I was also pretty hyper active and fucked around at rehearsal so much that I got dropped or fired or whatever it’s called when you tell an 8-year-old they can’t be in the play anymore.

First instrument?

Saxophone, which I don’t play regularly anymore but is always fun when I do. I played this week for the first time in almost a year—a friend is recording a Beatles/Beach Boys mash up album and I did some of the horn parts from the song “Sgt. Pepper’s.”

First band you were in?

Very bad punk band called The Blahs when I was 14. I played bass, which if you knew how small I was at 14, looked pretty funny. I was so nervous my knees were knocking together.

First recording device?

Boom box.

First professional recording session?

Don’t know if it’s really professional but the first real studio experience was about 16.

First time you performed in public?

I played saxophone in the school band from fifth grade to seventh grade. In seventh grade I got kicked out because I pushed this kid’s trumpet into his face because he was hassling me and it chipped one of his teeth or something. I played in the jazz band in high school for a few years too.

First bad review?

Can’t really remember. Bad reviews don’t bother me really so it’s not like it was a trauma that got seared in my memory.

First interview with music journalist types?

It was with a lady from a Seattle weekly who did a little show preview or something for my band when I was 21 and we were doing our first tour. Charlie [Rowell] and I were both in that band and we ended up skinny dipping with her in a lake the night of the show.


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July 4th 2015

I love them!