Interview—The Paranoyds/Fernando & The Teenage Narcs Talk Split Release: Part One

The Paranoyds in Los Agneles, CA. Photos by James Juarez.

We caught up with LA’s The Paranoyds to discuss their upcoming split release with punk heartthrobs Fernando & The Teenage Narcs, out Aug. 12 via Loose Grip Records.

At a quaint recording studio in Boyle Heights, we met up with The Paranoyds to talk about their split release with Fernando & The Teenage Narcs . We’ve talked about them before and how much we dug After You—their golden, garage punk gem of a first release. This Friday, they have a follow-up coming out in the form of a split release tape via Oakland’s DIY label, Loose Grip Records, which is in the process of relocating to a new Los Angeles headquarters.

Between takes, we got to talking with The Paranoyds—Laila Hashemi, Lexi Funston, David Ruiz, and Staz Lindes— about what they’ve been up to, their new split release and party this Friday, and to get the dirt on Fernando & The Teenage Narcs.

Last time we checked in with y’all you were gearing up for an east coast tour with DIIV. How was that?

It was so great. Driving everyday to a new city with your best friends, playing for excited people every night was the ultimate dream. We also had some down time to do some fun activities like going on a swamp tour in New Orleans and visiting Motown in Detroit. Also the DIIV guys were the best and hanging out with them was fun. Hopefully we get to tour again soon!

So what are you up to these days?

We’ve been recording and working on new stuff! That’s like every bands answer to that question, but it’s true.

True. What are you most excited about for the release party?

It’s gonna be big party! Super stoked to have the Hard Feelings crew DJing hot fire tracks and all the tight bands playing. The Blind Spot is such a cool venue. We really like playing there. They do the coolest projections.

Definitely, that place is rad. So there’s a rumor on the internet that y’all once went to a Fernando show just to boo. Is that true?

It was when they played at Raging Waters in San Dimas so the drive was long as hell. In our defense they really sucked.

Who’s your favorite Wild Wing member in Fernando & The Teen Narcs?


Sorry, Max. Anyway, I’ve been wondering about Fernando, in particular. There’s such a mystery to the name. Can you tell us what you know?

Ahh, yes the story of Fernando…It all starts with his grandfather, Zachary Zacharius Fernandum Lewis. He was a small-town, simple man, raised in Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi. He asked for his grade-school sweetheart’s hand in marriage, but she eventually left him with their only child after he took in another dog (he would go on to own 37 dogs during the Great Depression alone).  He worked hard for the money, (so hard for it honey) and raised little Vindiesel Lewis on his own. Vindiesel went on to be a baseball booker in the Big City, New York, and married a pretty young girl, Misha. Vindiesel and Misha gave birth to Fernando on June 6, 1966. Vindiesel, a man who made a living off superstitions and gut feelings, took his son’s birth date (6/6/66)  to be a bad omen. Boy, was he right.

Wow, great story. Are they your favorite band?

We’d prefer not to say.


While recording The Paranoyds’ songs for this split, we heard that Vinny did a crap job on your tracks just so that the Fernando ones would sound better. How do you feel about that?

Who’s Vinny?

Haha. So tell us your side of how the split release came about? 

Big Ed [Taylor] from Loose Grip asked if we were down, and we were all ‘Ya brah’ and he was like, ‘Aight, fasho sounds good.’ Then we went to this TOP SECRET LOCATION, where Vinny has recorded himself as Vaguess, Denim Skull and a few others. It was basically this giant warehouse. All the instruments were recorded live onto a four-track, which was cool in capturing the live essence of the band. They sound warm and when we listen to them, it feels like we’re wearing our favorite sweaters.

Yeah, the live quality of The Paranoyds is something to admire, and it’s crazy to think that you escaped the recording process for so long. What’s cool is that the party for the new split happens this Friday, marking the second physical release by y’all. But after that, what’s next for The Paranoyds?

We just finished up recording a few tracks with Zoe from No Parents and we hope to release a 7 inch soon! Hopefully, we can tour again in 2017, ya know, the usual band stuff. Maybe make Fernando and The Teenage Narcs eat our dirt.

Cool, so exciting! Can you describe Fernando & The Teen Narcs in one word?

Lexi: Teenagers.

David: Skinny-jeans.

Staz: Reverb-drenched.

Laila: Bottled water.

Have you heard good things about Fernando & The Teen Narcs?

None, we’ve heard they’re not that great live…

Well, I guess we’ll find out on Friday!


Get a taste of the new release with “Egg Salad” via Highland Park TV.

All images Copyright © James Juarez.

THIS FRIDAY—We are hosting The Paranoyds/Fernando & The Teenage Narcs split release party at The Blindspot w/ Wild Wing, Denim Skull, and DJs Hard Feelings Records crew. 8pm, 21+, $6.