Girls just wanna rock in Destroy Boys
The teen band focuses on the music, not ideology
When a flier for a recent show labeled Destroy Boys as “feminist punk,” it inspired a serious discussion between the Sacramento band’s members about the direction of their music.
To be clear, Destroy Boys includes two girls who carry very strong feminist ideals throughout their day-to-day lives. Still, the three-piece garage-rock band says it’s not trying to take down the patriarchy through its music—and it’s not quite a punk band either.
“We have a punk rock attitude and we are a band of feminists, but we don’t write songs about [feminism],” explains vocalist Alexia Roditis, sitting cross-legged in drummer Ethan Knight’s driveway after band practice. “Neither one of us shaves our legs. I don’t wear a bra ever and neither do they. We do a lot of these feminist things, but none of us sing about it.”
Rather, the three 16-year-old best friends write songs about relationships, breakups and boys who are “sus,” a.k.a. suspect.
Guitarist Vi Mayugba and Roditis share songwriting duties, with Roditis adding her chatty, expressive vocal style. Their debut EP, Grimester, is made up of four songs recorded in about five hours with the help of Noah Campos of surf-pop band the Bottom Feeders.
On first listen, Grimester isn’t punk nor is it a platform to share feminist ideals. Instead, the four honest tracks document the ups and downs of teenage life with peaks of bubbly personality, inside jokes and even a little angst.
“They’re all different and I like how garage rock is pretty open with that,” Mayugba says.
Destroy Boys rehearse at Knight’s house—rather, his parents’ place. He began taking drum lessons simply because he loved music. But, his mom threatened to quit paying for lessons unless he joined a band, so he called Mayugba.
Mayugba is the daughter of musicians Sonny and Lynn Mayugba. Sonny played with Sacramento alternative rock band Phallucy, which included Abe Cunningham of the Deftones. Lynn is the vocalist of the Skirts, the recently reunited all-female rock band.
Meanwhile, Roditis admittedly was too shy at first to sing in front of others for most of her life. Even with her theater background and love of musicals, she spent most of her time doing sound design at Rio Americano High School. You know, backstage work.
“I think what really helped me was having the support from Vi that I was a good singer,” Roditis says. “There’s a lot of freedom that comes with singing and being a vocalist. It’s a great outlet for being silly and expressive and loud where I wouldn’t normally be offstage.”
Each member of Destroy Boys is passionate about careers in music. Mayugba, in particular, is a bit of a die-hard when it comes to making a name for her band in this hard-knock business.
“Music is what I do. It’s what I’m going to do. I have no other career plan. The second I found music I was done,” Mayugba says. “If I get to 30 and I haven’t succeeded yet, I’m probably just going to run under a semi.”
Let’s hope not.