Three little words.
Sometimes, that’s all it takes to change someone’s mind. “I need you.” “I love you.” “I’m leaving you.” Three words are generally all it takes to describe what a band sounds like — after all, convincing people is one of the most underrated aspects of being in a band. Brevity is the soul of wit, they say, and in this fast-paced cyclotron known as modern life, a band needs to get its point across in as few words as possible.
The Maclovia Sin. Deep dramatic rock. That’s their term.
Formed in Tepatitlán, a city just slightly smaller than Ventura in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, The Maclovia Sin — currently, vocalist and Kaoss pedal pusher Vanessa Jimenez, guitarist (and Vanessa’s husband) Greg Jimenez, second guitarist Greg Murray, bassist Brandon Romero and drummer Josh Krapff — spent their formative years touring within central Mexico and self-releasing an album last year titled Aura. Impeccably recorded and crisply presented, it does a phenomenal job of showcasing Vanessa Jimenez’s expressive, idiosyncratic vocal stylings, even while everyone else in the band is given a chance to shine. Whether they’re songs of hopelessness, pride or devotion, the band proves that going big doesn’t mean sacrificing dynamics or nuance.
Relocating to their new digs in Ojai, it’s an entirely new sense of purpose and direction. But what convinced them to settle here in the first place?
“I grew up in Oxnard, and my family moved to Ojai when I was about 14,” Vanessa explains. “I actually met my husband here — he has a ton of family here in Ojai, but he’s originally from Mexico. When I started seeing him, he told me he was planning on moving back to Mexico, that he had a band there. We did a long-distance relationship for three and a half years, and then I kind of did that ‘girl thing.’ ” She laughs. “I gave him the ultimatum: I either . . . move with you, or we break up and c’est la vie! He obviously chose wisely.”
After that momentous decision, Mexico became their home. “I’d never lived in Mexico my entire life,” Vanessa says. “We formed Maclovia when I moved there; we worked at it for three and a half years before deciding to move back to Ojai. We had more solid roots here.” Is there anything in Ojai that reminds her of Mexico? “The sunsets. The tight-knit community. The strong base of friends that we had there, which we also have here. Our friends are our family.” When asked about the relationship between the band and its audience, she adds, “Since our band started in Mexico, we started to grow there. A lot of our fans have become close friends. It’s definitely a blessing.”
And how has The Maclovia Sin’s music changed from where it started to where the band finds itself now? At this, Vanessa pauses. “Ultimately, you always continue to learn as a musician. I don’t think you’ll ever run into a musician that says that they’ve learned everything that they need to know. As younger musicians, we have some tunes that are fun and loud and angry. That developed into songs that are definitely more meaningful. We can play anything from a blues song to a hard-rock song to even a jazzy tune. We don’t forget about our Latin roots, so we add percussion into it. I definitely think that our music has grown from an early/late-teen rockin’, heavy-hitting band to where we’re dipping into a lot of different genres.” She continues, enthusing, “One thing we’re really trying to tap into is playing music in English and in Spanish, straddling both sides of the U.S./Mexico dynamic here. We want to tap into that as much as possible.”
Well, I’m sold.
The Maclovia Sin appears on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Deer Lodge, 2261 Maricopa Highway, Ojai. For more information, call 646-4256 or visit www.deerlodgeojai.com.