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If the desert-rock gods of Kyuss had a baby with the members of the band Primus … you’d get Sleazy Cortez.

The local outfit that features bassist Derek Timmons, guitarist Nick Hales and drummer Damian Garcia has played a long list of shows over the past year—and released the album Trailer Trash Blues late in 2017.

But Sleazy Cortez actually goes back some years … eight years, to be exact, when Timmons was part of Robotic Humans with Lalo Beat, and a jam session with Nick Hales indirectly led to the creation of Sleazy Cortez.

“We’ve existed since 2010, although not consecutively,” Derek Timmons said during an interview on the patio of The Hood Bar and Pizza. “There are some big gaps where we were busy with other bands, but we would still jam. That was back in the days when we had Lalo Beats on drums. Lalo and I were in Robotic Humans at the time, and we started jamming, and we had a gig come up at the Red Barn, and we were unable to do it as Robotic Humans. We were like, ‘Let’s just do it as Sleazy Cortez, even though we don’t have any songs.’ We went there and made it up on the spot, and there were a bunch of people groovin’ and loving the songs. We decided to go ahead and put some songs together.”

The songs on Trailer Trash Blues have existed for years. Former drummer Lalo Beats even came back to help finish and style them.

“A lot of those songs have existed since I was living in Indiana years and years ago—not exactly as they are now, but mostly fully formed,” Timmons said.

Drummer Damian Garcia was praised by Hales and Timmons during the interview as bringing more groove and funk to the band—elements which have helped them stand out in the local music scene.

“It was very complicated for me to switch between Lalo’s drums and mine. … He was more metal, and that was what he was doing in Robotic Humans,” Garcia said. “When I heard this, I was obviously going to try to imitate his style, given it was already there, but I threw some of my own style into it. The way I emphasize that is to add accents on the songs and bring them out more. I added more feeling and more groove to them.”

The album actually sat collecting dust for a long period of time.

“It was recorded back during the fall of 2015,” Hales said. “From the time we started, it took about five years to actually come from, ‘Hey, we played this random-ass show with no fucking songs,’ to a whole full-length EP.”

Timmons said the delay was due, in part, to Sleazy Cortez being put on the backburner.

“It was everyone’s part-time thing for a while,” Timmons said. “We had that whole album already done, and then didn’t play for a year before we got back together and got it together the way that it finally came together. Every song except ‘Backwoods Woman’ was already like it was for the album. But we would play ‘Bud the C.H.U.D.’ however we wanted. We would be like, ‘We should at least determine how long we’re going to play that one,’ instead of 15 minutes one time, and seven minutes the next time.”

Timmons was frustrated—amusingly so—the day he received their initial shipment of CDs late last year after he spotted a defect in the artwork on the cover. He declared that as long as they and others had been waiting for the album, they were willing to wait longer for it to be perfect.

“The cover is still not perfect, though,” he said. “We’ll probably do another pressing of it, given it bothers me when shit isn’t right. It’s good now, but later, it’ll be better.”

Songs like “Mountain Man”—about a guy who owns a marijuana farm who shoots trespassers—as well as “Beat Up Your Mom” make some people raise their eyebrows.

“We don’t advocate anything we sing about,” Timmons said. “We like to sing about picking up high school girls from the bowling alley, killing people trespassing on a drug farm, and backwoods prostitutes. It’s more fun to sing about them than get involved in any of those things in real life. People can do whatever they want with our music, but I feel I’m not responsible, even if I said to do it.”

Sleazy Cortez will perform with Throw the Goat and Bossfight at 9 p.m., Friday, June 1, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Admission is free. For more information on Sleazy Cortez, visit sleazycortez.bandcamp.com.

Published in Previews

Sleazy Cortez has started to capture the attention of the local music scene. The band recently released an LP, Trailer Trash Blues, and now plays regularly at venues such as The Hood Bar and Pizza. Sitting behind the drums is Damian Garcia, one of the best local drummers I’ve seen, thanks to his incredible style and technique. For more information, visit sleazycortez.bandcamp.com. Garcia was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

Tool in Salt Lake City, Utah.

What was the first album you owned?

Tool, Ænima.

What bands are you listening to right now?

I’m really digging Animals as Leaders.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Country music. I just can’t seem to like it.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Nirvana, when they did MTV Unplugged

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I want to say Warpaint.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Red Rocks Amphitheatre (near Morrison, Colo.).

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

The Sky is Fallin’,” Queens of the Stone Age.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

System of a Down. It was the first band that got me into rock.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Danny Carey from Tool: What is your favorite rudiment to play?

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Molotov, “Puto.”

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Tool, Ænima.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Animals as Leaders, “Arithmophobia.” (Scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

I’ve watched several of Sleazy Cortez’s recent performances—and the band keeps getting better and better. While Derek Timmons handles bass and vocal duties, Nick Hales plays a mean guitar, and his solos are actually quite impressive. For more information on Sleazy Cortez, visit sleazycortez.bandcamp.com. Hales was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

The first concert I remember attending was the Steve Miller Band at Fantasy (Springs) when I was 11 or 12. I totally met Brian Setzer in the front row without even knowing who he was at the time!

What was the first album you owned?

Nirvana’s Nevermind. It only took me a couple of weeks’ allowance, because I bought it new, like a dumbass.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Johnny Winter, Deftones, Spirit Caravan, Hendrix, Lamb of God, Destiny Potato, and Type O Negative. I’m all over the place lately.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Most new rap and country, but I love old rap and old country.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Slipknot for sure. I’m still disappointed in myself for not seeing them yet.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Oh, that would have to be Lana Del Rey.

What’s your favorite music venue?

I might have to say Pappy and Harriet’s outdoor stage. The sound is always balanced, and your ears won’t bleed afterward.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“In this great future, you can’t forget your past,” “No Woman No Cry,” Bob Marley.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Tenacious D. They were the reasons I started playing guitar.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

To Billy Joe Armstrong: “Do you have the time to listen to me whine?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Nine Inch Nails, “Heresy.”

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

If I gotta pick one, it might be Queen’s A Night at the Opera. I’ve got my Top 5 for every genre, though.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Backwoods Woman” by Sleazy Cortez. Listen at sleazycortez.bandcamp.com or on Spotify. (Or scroll down to hear it.)

Published in The Lucky 13

Derek Timmons is well-known in the local music scene for his time with Robotic Humans, but he’s now playing bass in Sleazy Cortez with Nick Hales and Robotic Humans drummer Luiz Carranza. He also performs with the newly formed Death in Pretty Wrapping, with Michael Keeth and House of Broken Promises members Arthur Seay and Mike Cancino. For more information on Sleazy Cortez, visit sleazycortez.bandcamp.com. Here are Timmons’ answers to the Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

Nine Inch Nails with A Perfect Circle back in May 2000.

What was the first album you owned?

The first tape I bought with my own money was Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails. Before that, I was into my parents’ tapes: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Halen, Queen, ZZ Top, etc.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Within the last few days, I’ve listened to High on Fire, Om, Bill Withers, and House of Pain.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Lame radio rap where there’s no real music, and the guy can’t even rap, either. I also hate pop country.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

1970s ZZ Top, early ’90s White Zombie, ’70s Misfits, early ’70s Black Sabbath, and, of course, Jimi Hendrix.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I don’t really feel guilty about it, but I suppose I’d have to say the pure nostalgic pleasure of early ’90s radio rap, like Vanilla Ice or Snow.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Probably The Hood. I get to see tons of good bands there for cheap. It was definitely better before they moved the stage all awkward and changed their treatment of bands for the worse, but, hey, I still have a good time every time I go. As far as a real, legit venue, El Cid in Silver Lake is bad-ass.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

When I bought Welcome to Sky Valley from Kyuss at the Piggy Banc Pawn Shop in Vincennes, Ind., for $1 one day after band practice, it set me on a musical journey that moved me 2,000 miles across the country, so that’s gotta be one specific instance.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Lemmy: “Can we party?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Tiny Tim, “Tiptoe Through the Tulips.” Take that, bereaved friends and family!

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Damn, I’d probably get shot by the time I narrowed it down to my Top 10!

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Bill Withers, “Harlem.” (Scroll down to hear it!)

Published in The Lucky 13

Sleazy Cortez is “a newish three-piece band in the Coachella Valley,” according to the band’s only-occasionally updated Facebook page. “(The band features) rock and riffs, psychedelic funk and beyond, with a strong focus on improvisation. DIG IT.” Dig it yourself at 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23, at Plan B Live Entertainment and Cocktails, 32025 Monterey Ave., in Thousand Palms. There is no cover. Also on the bill: Right On, Right On. For more information on the band, check out that aforementioned Facebook page; for more on Plan B, visit www.myplanbbar.com. One of those three Sleazy Cortez members is Indio’s Derek Timmons, 29, who installs Murphy beds by day, and plays around town in bands including Sleazy Cortez and the Town Troubles by night. Here are Timmons’ answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle in St. Louis, 2000.

What was the first album you owned?

Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine, was probably the first cassette I purchased for myself after thoroughly absorbing my parents’ Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Queen, Elton John, Van Halen, etc. … Dang, I might have purchased Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer first, actually. D’oh!

What bands are you listening to right now?

New albums I’ve been hung up on are the latest ones by Baroness, Red Fang, The Sword, Clutch, Rob Zombie, Hank III, Vista Chino, Blaak Heat Shujaa, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and Monster Magnet. I’ve been on a Misfits kick as of late, too, and posthumous Hendrix.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Most pop, especially pop country; emo; and hip hop with no musicians present.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

I am super-stoked to see Monster Magnet on Nov. 27 at House of Blues in L.A., especially now that they have Chris Kosnik from The Atomic Bitchwax on bass.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Can’t even admit to it.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Right now, The Hood in Palm Desert, to be honest. That’s where I’ve been getting my musical rocks off the most lately.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Can’t get you out of my head,” by Kylie Minogue.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Kyuss, among others. But when I bought (Welcome to) Sky Valley on cassette from the Piggy-Banc Pawn Shop in Vincennes, Ind., after band practice one day in high school, I found a kind of music that I didn’t even realize was what I had been attempting to play in my garage.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

“Like, how’d you get so awesome at playing the bass, bro?” to Les Claypool.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Hmm. “Break on Through (to the Other Side)” by The Doors? Or maybe it would be more fun for my family and friends if it was “Everything Dies” by Type O Negative. Or maybe “Buried in the Backyard” by Cannibal Corpse.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

That’s a tough one. ZZ Top’s First Album? That’s not my favorite at all, but it is a damn good one. Sky Valley from Kyuss? The Elephant Riders or Jam Room from Clutch? Suck on This from Primus? La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1 from White Zombie? This is an unfair question.

What song should everyone listen to right now

“N.I.B.” by Primus with Ozzy from Nativity in Black II. (Scroll down to hear it.) Or better yet, something by someone playing at your local bar—especially if it happens to be Sleazy Cortez, Town Troubles, Robotic Humans or Las Feas.

Published in The Lucky 13