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Meet Salvador Gutierrez Aguirre and Jaime Zendejas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Salvador Gutierrez Aguirre and Jaime Zendejas.

Salvador and Jaime, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Wooo! Where to start? Jaime and myself (Hi! I’m Sal.) began this journey back in September of 2017, that day is a little fuzzy now that we’ve been working together for so long! The project The Order of The Diamond actually began as a way for me to put out some music that I had been sitting on for quite some time and Jaime was gracious enough to agree to help me out. A bit of background to the name, I decided to name the band OOTD due to my love and deep appreciation for the tv show “Steven Universe”, shout out to Rebecca Sugar for such an amazing show. The music composition on the show is fantastic and the show really helped inform how Jaime and myself carry ourselves, which is as an empathetic band. A lot of the music I had been writing was so deeply connected to how I was feeling through the years and watching the show gave me the courage to share my art. So, for that, Rebecca Sugar, I am thankful! (If she’s reading this ^_^)

Anyway, Jaime was part of another band at that time, Sounds Like Disco (shout out!), with a friend of ours and previous bandmate, Sergio German. The two of them along with another amazing friend and talented musician, Jocelyn Aguilera from ELLA (shout out!), were with me every step of the way of the journey I and Jaime are still currently part of, thankfully. We put out an EP early 2018 called “Obey the Diamond” and things just sort of kept rolling over the months. But, all of this that we do now really has been driven by multiple people over the last few months and we would not be where we are without our friends Miguel Lopez (Sounds Like Disco), Rouha Sadighi (our current bassist), Jose Placencia (Lydian Arrow), Amanda Duran (bandmate/composer), Frankie Perez (current Mexico City Heartbreak/bandmate), Rudy Torres (Mexico City Heartbreak/bandmate), and Kristen Michael (Best Supporting Actress). We’d also like to thank Norma Alvarez, Kimberly Salazar, and Brenda Diaz (ELLA).

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
So, as musicians, we try to create art that is relatable to anyone who decides to listen to it. that being said, the music that we’ve written over the last two years has been such a labor of love and intention for both Jaime and myself as we decided to use a “trauma-informed, musical therapy” approach to our writing. For both of us, the importance of what we were doing back when we started to what we are currently doing now is that we also want to connect to our music in a personal way. We often take time to just sit and check in long before we even touch our instruments, sort of as a way to connect with each other before connecting with each other through our music. To be quite honest, the check-in is often where we find inspiration to write/perform. It has become our ritual before and after shows and is the way we carry ourselves with folks outside of our band as well, which has been amazing for us.

I think the importance of us doing using our method, to us, is that it keeps us accountable to each other and others who hear our music. We want folks to connect to our music in their own way but the way that we communicate what we feel is still driven by us. Music for us by us, kind of thing. In all honesty, I personally took this opportunity to try to replicate something that Rebecca Sugar has been doing a phenominal job with her music on Steven Universe, through our own music/inspirations/experiences.

As we continue doing what we do as musicians, Jaime and myself hope that folks find their own courage and inspiration through their own means. I think a lot of what we want folks to know about how we choose to inspire others is through just modeling our behaviors in hopes that folks will follow along or find a path of their own. Ultimately, we just want people to know, if you are around either Jaime or myself, and need space to chat/check-in/speak your truth, we’re hear for it. You heard us pour our hearts and souls on-stage, tell us your stories too, we welcome them.

Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
I mean, we’re in a world where literally anything is available at the touch of a button. In that, we recognize that being recognized or even acknowledged as musicians in such a competitive market is suuuuuper tough. Just as easy as it is to put music out, it’s just as easy to be overlooked due to so much music being made available daily.

I wouldn’t say that life is easier or harder now as a performance artist but it is much different than how Jaime, who played drums for Pistoleros (shout out!) and I as a drummer for Undeclared (shout out!), back in the early 2000s remember it being. Being that he and I come from the South Central LA Punk/Ska scene, promoting shows back then was just mass-producing flyers and handing them out at school. We lived for the weekend house shows, in hopes that the LAPD wouldn’t raid them before we went on. Back then, THAT was the difficulty! Finding a spot where the neighbors didn’t mind kids enjoying music and staying off the streets.

Advice on helping art and artists? Buy that t-shirt your friend designed and printed. Donate to friends projects, whether its time/markers/pens/paints/canvases/etc. Share flyers for events, even if you can’t make it, you can influence your personal network to help support your friend, ’cause that’s a contribution. Buy their music and share it. Just the same way you support blockbuster films and big bands that are around once a year, support the homies. Support your family.

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
We are on social media and music platforms! Instagram @order_of_the_diamond_official, Facebook “The Order of The Diamond”, Twitter @OOT_Diamond, and music platforms like Spotify and Bandcamp as “The Order of the Diamond”.

Supporting our work is as easy as sharing your stories via these platforms! When we post feel free to comment or share anything with us. We play shows pretty regularly, so definitely follow us on social media platforms, but meeting folks is really where the inspiration comes from for us. We don’t measure success through how many folks listen but more so how many folks are willing to share and build community with us.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
626 Night Market photo: @housenguyen
Sound The Groove Live photo: @ayamephoto
All others: @lilfuego, @just_sal_o_o, and @werahera
(All Instagram handles)

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