No Hand Gestures Necessary
A hot winter's day in South Florida, once again, making it a great time to venture outdoors to the Weston Town Center to interview one of South Florida's hottest young bands, the Modern Mimes. A husband and wife duo making sweet music together in their 24/7, personal and professional relationship? Do they argue? Yes. Do they disagree? Yes. Do they laugh? Ha! Do they make cool music? Most definitely. We meet outside of the local Starbucks (that'll be a non-fat Grande for the plug,) to discuss life and music.
FM: Tell us a bit about yourself Ernesto. You grew up in South Florida?
Ernesto: I was born in Hialeah, Florida and my family and I moved to Fort Lauderdale when I was around nine years old. My parents decided to leave the area because of how bad the gang violence was in our neighborhood at the time. I grew up in Sunrise, Florida where I met some kids who were into playing music. I was around eleven years old when I played in my first band.
FM: And how about you, Adi, where are you from?
Adi: I was born in New Jersey and moved to South Florida when I was 9. I was once graced with the nickname Wierdi. I’ve always been kind of quiet and observant in my own little creative bubble.
FM: What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Rock, classical music, opera, commercial jingles, show tunes?
Ernesto: As a kid, I liked what my dad listened to, which was mostly 80’s heavy metal. I started getting into some darker stuff when I was around six or seven years old. I heard bands like Type O Negative and White Zombie and I was instantly hooked.
FM: You were six years old and listening to Type O Negative and White Zombie?
Ernesto: Yeah, seriously. It was the first time I could identify with a certain style of music. I guess it just created a whole different world in my mind.
FM: And how about your influences, Adi?
Adi: Growing up my parents had an eclectic collection of music but mostly Latin, Disco, and Pop. My brother on the other hand was heavy into Hip Hop and R&B. I listened to everything that was playing in my household, but it was really Alternative and Rock that personally spoke to me, along with the Super Mario Brothers theme song-which I’m still obsessed with today.
FM: So, let me get this straight. Ernesto, you're six years old, jamming to White Zombie and Type O Negative. Adi, you're jamming to the theme song from Mario Brothers.
Ernesto: (laughing) Yeah. I know, must sound a little eclectic?
Adi: Mario Brothers music rocks!
FM: Hey, who am I to argue with your artistic nature. When did you first get interested in music as a profession?
Ernesto: I always wanted to be some kind of entertainer, growing up. I remember when I picked up the guitar, I was very intrigued by the fact that I could write melodies and riffs. I would watch a lot of MTV as a kid and I remember thinking,” I want to be on MTV when I grow up”.
Adi: I remember saying I wanted to be a singer from a young age, but I don’t know that I was ever really interested in music as a profession, per say...it’s more of this obligatory feeling in my soul.
FM: So, you felt you had an obligation to create music, not necessarily for others, but mostly for yourself?
Adi: Yes. It's just something I felt compelled to do.
FM: Both of you got started with music at very young ages. Were either of you in a band during high school? Musical theater?
Ernesto: We both were in bands in high school and both took music classes like choir and guitar classes. I was always around music. My father played guitar in a cover band and I would religiously interrupt their practices and hop on the drums and bang away on them.
Adi: Although my parents didn’t always understand my artistic standpoint on music, they were always very supportive and would give me a nudge to sing when I was a timid kid. Even though music is something I intuitively started doing at a young age, I have to give my parents props because they were my very first cheerleaders.
FM: Do either of you come from a musical family?
Ernesto: Yes. My father is a guitar player. I didn’t really grow up around music being played by family often, but my dad would bust out the bongos and other percussion instruments at parties. My grandmother, Elcida, used to sing and play the Cuatro guitar. Although I never had the chance to meet her, I was named after her.
Ernesto: It's been both of our passions since we were kids.
FM: If either of you weren’t doing music, what do you think you would you be doing?
Ernesto: I would definitely be doing something in the entertainment field. I’m alsovery into martial arts and fitness. My father put me in Karate when I was five years old and I practiced it until I was about thirteen. So maybe I’d be fighting in the UFC. I was pretty good at it.
Adi: If I wasn't doing music I would still be doing something in the artistic and entrepreneurial realm. I would probably be creating in film.
FM: As an actress?
Adi: Probably as a screen writer.
FM: Do both of you do music full time or do you have day jobs? Like many struggling actors, a lot of the artists I interview, especially the ones who are trying to get signed, have day jobs.
Ernesto: I have a day/night job. I’m a bartender.
FM: Where do you work? Care to plug the establishment?
Ernesto: California Pizza Kitchen at Sawgrass.
Adi: I’ve been dressing mannequins and people for quite some time now.
FM: I’m assuming this has nothing to do with a morgue?
Adi: (laughing) No, not a morgue. I work at Rhythm Couture and UROCK on South Beach.
FM: What influences your songwriting? I interviewed someone recently who during the day works for a body transport company. He wouldn’t admit that his day job influences his song writing but with a song titled “Bagged and Tagged”, I didn’t believe him. So Ernesto, what influences your writing?
Ernesto: (laughing) No body transport here. Believe it or not, lately, I’ve been getting a lot of influence from movie and television soundtracks. I feel like music can make or break a certain scene in a film and when I hear something that works very well in a movie or tv show, it pumps me up and makes me want to write.
Adi: I have a lot of other dimensional/ apocalyptic/morbid type dreams.
FM: Better sleep with one eye open Ernesto!
Ernesto: Actually, Adi is the one who has to be careful. I sleep walk, quite often.
FM: That can be scary. I hope you don't venture outside while sleep walking.
Ernesto: (both laughing) I've done that.
FM: I’d recommend putting a sleep walking proof lock on that outside door.
Ernesto: Probably a good idea.
FM: Tell me about your apocalyptic morbid dreams, Adi?
Adi: These dreams undoubtedly influence my writing along with personal experiences, observations, life after death, my higher power (God), and something I like to refer to as spiritual bullshit.
FM: Spiritual bullshit? Care to elaborate?
Adi: Just spiritual stuff in general. Like dark energy, things like that.
FM: How about you Ernesto; Are you a spiritual person?
Ernesto: I'm average, not quite as Adi. I am much more spiritual now because of my sobriety.
Ernesto: Yes, I am proud to be sober for 4 years.
FM: That's awesome. Congratulations.
Ernesto: Thank you.
FM: How did you realize you needed to become sober? What was you "aha" moment?
Ernesto: When Adi left my ass after I came home from a night of insanity. That was March 11th, 2014.
FM: Good for her!
Ernesto: I agree.
FM: How did the two of you meet? Produce department?
Ernesto: (laughing) I suppose it could have been. Actually, we met through a simple three-way phone call from a mutual friend. Then after talking more and more, we decided to go to the movies. We watched the third Austin Powers movie. Adi did NOT find it to be funny so I kept asking her if she was ok.
FM: Austin Powers, not funny? Come on Adi. Not even a chuckle?
Adi: (laughing) It's not my style of humor. I'm more interested in dark comedy, Louis CK type stuff.
FM: I can see that. The two of you have been married for five years, so how do you manage to be spend so much time together not only as a married couple but in the same band? I imagine it has a lot of challenges. How do the two of you do this without driving the other crazy?
Ernesto: (laughing) We do. Honestly, it’s a lot of work but we share the same passion for music as we do for each other as individuals, and as a couple. We butt heads constantly, but, (figuratively) we’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s inevitable we will not always see eye- to -eye, musically, and feel that maybe that’s where the fire to be creative comes from. Ultimately, our chemistry is the concrete of our foundation. We don’t abuse the fact, but occasionally it becomes a verbal version of Street Fighter and we just need to let it out.
FM; Do you ever get frustrated with each other while writing or recording?
Ernesto: CONSTANTLY! We feel that the frustration fuels our writing process in a way. We tend to try to come to a compromise and that’s when we write our best material.
FM: Adi, anything to add?
Adi: Ernesto's love of music lies in metal. I'm more ambient. He likes the heavy stuff so together, we are able to balance each other out.
FM: As a couple, what’s the craziest thing either of you have done to the other when you’ve gotten frustrated or angry, not necessarily while writing or recording. You’re only human and emotions can sometimes get the best of all of us.
Ernesto: Hmm. I have no idea. (looking at Adi)
FM: Come on, you 2 live together and work together. There's got to be something.
Ernesto: Man, I'm sure there is something. Adi?
Adi: Let me think about this.
Ernesto: (laughing) We’ve never done anything too crazy. I tend to just slam doors and leave the room for a moment, then we try to just pick up where we left off.
Adi: Okay, I've got one. When we were teens we had broken up and later got back together. I had dated this hippie guy who gave me a leaf that I had in my room. Ernesto threw a fit and made me choose (dead serious) between him or the leaf!
FM: Ernesto, you made Adi choose between you and a dead, shriveled up leaf?
Ernesto: (laughing) Yes.
Adi: Yes, that's a true story. (Ernesto looking embarrassed)
FM: What’s the craziest thing you can think of that’s happened while you both were either recording or performing live?
Ernesto: There was one instance where some guy in the crowd got all up in Adi’s face while she was singing. Not in a threatening way, just really awkward.
FM: Did you choke him out? At least make him tap out?
Ernesto: No. I could have if it escalated.