Bay Area punks Destroy Boys bring a new noise to the Sad Summer Fest
By Ida V. Eskamani
Originally published in the Orlando Weekly.
It's a goddamn sad summer indeed, and Destroy Boys are headed to the City Beautiful to soundtrack it. These Bay Area punks are opening up the Sad Summer Fest package tour in amphitheaters and outdoor spaces around the country, headlined by pop-punk stalwarts All Time Low and also featuring the Story So Far, the Maine, Movements and Grayscale. We here at Orlando Weekly urge you to be sad safely — bring your mask and get vaccinated.
Destroy Boys is a project rooted in the unyielding friendship of singer Alexia Roditis and guitarist Violet Mayugba that began in 2015. While watching ducks in a pond somewhere in San Francisco, Mayugba shared with us the band's origin story over the phone. "I was 15 and they were about to turn 16," remembers Mayugba. "I was really f'd up ... I didn't like anybody so I didn't like Alexia at first but they were so persistent and so kind and sweet that I immediately just couldn't resist."
Roditis' resolve may have spurred the friendship, but it was Mayugba's determination that inspired the band. "They had never listened to punk, and that was all I listened to. So I'm like 'Oh my god, I gotta show you all these bands!'" Mayugba recalls.
Mayugba proceeded to share seminal punk tracks with Roditis, the strongest foundation a friendship can find. Green Day, Operation Ivy, Rancid, Misfits and Black Flag were exchanged. Roditis was hooked, and the two decided to start a band.
When Roditis brought forward what would be the first Destroy Boys track, epically titled "I Think I Should Makeout With Other People," Mayugba saw magic.
"It was so good," says Mayugba. "I just looked at them like, 'You're the key ... You're gonna start the best band ever, you're gonna sing.' And they [Roditis] were like, 'I don't wanna sing!' and I'm like 'You have to!'"
It's this ability to see and bring out the best in each other that serves as the foundation for the members of Destroy Boys. Bringing drummer Narsai Malik into the mix, combined with Roditis' haunting melodies and Mayugba's killer shredding, Destroy Boys are steadily on the rise, earning them loyal fans and high critical praise.
As a femme-led band in a male-dominated scene, they've faced plenty of preconceived notions and assumptions. "We get judged more instantly than any other band would," Mayugba says. "I don't see that judgement coming to a four-piece white-guy punk band. ... We have to prove ourselves one hundred times more often than any band in that category would. It's hard but also, we did it, we proved ourselves."
The band hasn't slowed down a bit, even in the face of a never-ending global pandemic. Their album Open Mouth, Open Heart is set for release on Oct. 8 through Hopeless Records. Their just-released single, "Locker Room Bully," is a gloriously defiant banger that only heightens anticipation for the upcoming full-length. Roditis sings with a seething ferocity in between whirlwind breakdowns: "I hate biting my tongue when I know what's right/And I don't like being mean, but I won't run from a fight."
With Sad Summer Fest ahead, a new record, and soon their first-ever headlining tour, Destroy Boys are equal parts humble and hungry. "The most important value to me is to always stay very humble because I'm very familiar with the concept that everything can disappear in a moment," says Mayugba. "Everything we're doing right now was my dream from two years ago. And now it's not enough. I'm so happy and grateful ... but I'm always looking for the next stage."
With this tour being their first-ever Florida stint, Mayugba is also on a quest only the Sunshine State can fulfill. "I love alligators," enthuses Mayugba, "just anything that's just brainless and dinosaur-esque."
We assured the artist that in addition to a raging pandemic (get ya vaxx, wear ya mask!) there is no shortage of brainless dinosaurs here.
Ida is an Iranian-American from Florida who grew up with the Beatles, and came of age in the pit. She will talk to you about music for as long as you will pretend to listen. She is founder of Bandifesto, a little blog with a big heart.