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Meet Damian Gutierrez, Dustin Diaz, Jordon Hernandez and Luke Faulkingham

Today we’d like to introduce you to Damian Gutierrez, Dustin Diaz, Jordon Hernandez and Luke Faulkingham.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Music swept us all up at a very early age. We played in various projects before Cannibal Kids, but the majority of them we have played together in. Some of us have been playing music together since we were in the 6th and 7th grade. From hometown church worship bands to high school drumline and marching bands; we’ve done it all. Now in our 20’s, we’ve been signed, pushed out a record, and just got back from our first national tour. I don’t know if you can call us “unique” per se, but we do know we’re very hardworking and observant (which might be unique, considering that most musicians are stereotyped as lazy hippies…which we haven’t denied).

It started half way into high school, grinding, at times, 2 to 3 shows every weekend. Constantly booking, networking, songwriting, and producing. Juggling jobs, college and high school, the pressures of adolescence, family, and the dream of doing something great. It was our ambition alone that kept us awake: playing shows on weekdays—only to wake up at 6 a.m. the next morning for math exams. It was the grind dude. And the following we’ve built was all done organically online.

Music is in everything we do. We’re obsessed to say the least. We’re honestly music fans before we’re musicians. We’re actively looking forward to album releases and keeping track of our favorite artist. We’re not genre specific either, as you can catch us listening to reggae, jazz, surf punk, classic country, or city pop on any given car ride. And it goes beyond just composing music; we’re all very interested in audio production. A few of us are finishing up degrees in this field as well. We were those kids in middle school on iTouch and iPads, writing midi with our fingertips and mixing pianos and synths with Skullcandy earbuds. Exhausting google with “Radiohead TABS”, “Best guitars under $500”, and “Intermediate guitar scales”. Thousands of hours watching YouTube-virtuosos. Luke even remembers a time sequencing beats on “Audio tool” (which if you know that is, we love you). All in all, Cannibal Kids is comprised of band geeks, music nerds, gearheads, and audiophiles.

Please tell us about your art.
This is such a loaded question aha. Well first, we make music. Fun, Dancy, tropical themed indie-pop. We focus on having a great time and developing tunes to make people feel at ease. And although the music sounds very catchy and poppy on the surface, we pack underlying messages about personal struggles, love, family, dreams, and the yearning for more in the lyrics and tone. We want people to feel that this music is relatable and comforting. We are at-home musicians talking about the reality we live in.

If someone is able to connect to the art that means we have accomplished our goals. If someone is able to walk away with a smile or even a ‘wow that was pretty good,’ it means we’re doing our jobs. But quite frankly, if no one was listening, if no one was buying tickets to our show, we would still be in our rooms jamming together. Because music is more than gaining fans. It’s our release.

Everything we do in our music is intentional. Every chord, every lick, every piece of artwork. We do this, not only for ourselves, but for those who wish to look even deeper; we always leave something to be discovered (so keep your eyes peeled). The artwork for our album, BLOOM, shows us neck-deep in a “sea” of palm trees. This was meant to represent the duality of our surroundings. While we make beach music, we really live on a farm in the Redlands. The cover shot was composed at a tree farm, right next to a nursery owned by Damian’s family. We even made the palms blue instead of green to make it look like water from far away. The bloody hand that’s placed over Damian’s neck is a metaphor for all the hard work that was done not only by us, but by our families as well. “Being born from a family of migrant workers, you’d never think you would ever get the chance to explore the states, playing packed venues with your music. If it weren’t for all the work they did before me, I would have never even gotten the chance to do this.”-Damian Gutierrez

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
Since the dawn of man, art has been there. We don’t believe it has changed roles at all since its inception. In fact, we think the role of an artist has only become more important. We are now the faces of the world. People are identifying with artist more and more each day. We now have generations of kids that look up and are inspired by the messages they hear and see. Of course, it’s only one piece of the pie, but we think artists carry the burden of mass influence.

For us, we don’t always dabble in political messages in our music, but, we do push ourselves to write about our reality and things closes to us. Our city, its people, its struggles. And as artists we are always changing and growing, so maybe we will be inspired to create a whole project based on world movements and politics. It’s hard to say because you just never know what’s going to cross your mind or touch your heart.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can find our album BLOOM on any streaming platform anywhere around the world. A simple “Cannibal Kids” in the search bar will bring us right up.

As far as supporting us, you can come out to shows, follow us on any social media platform with the handle @Cannibalkids, purchase our album online anywhere, and get some merch from us. We’re still working on our online store, so for now, the best way to get merch is at our shows locally or on the road. We talk cash and credit…so no excuses haha!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
-Brianna Piedra

-Erik Rodriguez

Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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