Photo by Olya Repalovskaia.
As the second anniversary of TuffGnarl.com rapidly approaches, a great plethora of fantastic bands will be playing our party at Churchill’s on the 22nd. As I examined the list to pick which band I wanted to interview for the annual night of debauch, only one stood out that I was not reluctant (pun intended) to sit with.
Formerly known as Desistance, Reluctance is now the resurrected brainchild of Richard “Rictor” Buznego teaming up with Dwayne of Bulletproof Tiger and Diego. As I sat with the trio post practice for the upcoming festivities, we spoke of music, coming of age in South Florida, and how Robert Townsend should be in every movie as the hero. Enjoy the scotch fueled discussion with our friends in Reluctance.
Tuffgnarl.com: What are you most looking forward to, other than your set, at our 2nd annual Night of Debauchery?
Dwayne: I’m really looking forward to playing. I am really excited about this band and it’s going to be our first show so I think it’ll be fun..
I said other than playing. Question fail. Rictor, go!
Rictor: You know, I’m really stoked to check out Pre-Tenses. That band looks like it’s got a killer line-up with 100 years combined of punk rock experience vs. our maybe 20 years.
Diego: I’m stoked to finish our set, load my stuff in the car and proceed to get drunk with Dwayne for his birthday.
Once again, celebrating your birthday at the ‘Hills. How many does this one make and is it becoming that sad Ron Burgandy-esq party where its the same old thing?
Dwayne: This I believe is the 6th birthday spent in Lil’ Haiti and it’s not sad at all, still the best party in town.
With other projects like Obey the Giant and Bulletproof Tiger going on, what made you guys decide to come together and reignite the Desistance flame into the new incarnation as Reluctance?
Rictor: While the other bands are great, this has always been my baby. I have always taken charge creatively with this, writing the music and lyrics, but of course I bring it to the guys and we make it happen as a collective. Once Erik [“Fontiluz” Dukes] moved away and Homer disappeared off the face of the earth, I still wanted to do this. I had always wanted to play with Dwayne. I mean come on, look at our first record and Dwayne’s face is actually the cover art.
Working together has been great though. Diego and Dwayne have not only replicated the original songs but in certain aspects made improvements upon them. We instantly clicked together musically making it so much easier. We have been relentless with practice, preparing for this show and going through the set multiple times in order to prepare.
It’s definitely not the same band. There is a more musically to it, not just straight, fast punk yelling as it was. There’s backing vocals now and I get to sing a bit versus the very dumbed down, simple layouts that were there before. There’s more to it which is why the name has changed. It’s evolution.
Why “Reluctance” as the name?
Rictor: I always wanted to start a band called “Rictor and the Reluctants”, but I didn’t want to be that guy, like Prince.
Would that make Diego your Micki Free?
(Collective ohs and pondering noises)
I’m only asking because he has the longest hair here so it could be like when everyone thought there was that hot girl in Shalimar and people were like “No man, that’s Micki Free!”
Rictor: No no I would say Diego is the Scott Reynolds to my Bill Stevenson, of course making Dwayne my Karl Alvarez.
With the changes that have been made with the lineup, what are the influences you pull from now that everyone has gotten older and tastes have changes over the years?
Rictor: A lot of the new songs reflect things like sobriety, my stepchildren or songs about online dating, much like on the first record. It’s funny that as we get older, the more we pay attention to things like politics, the less it actually comes into the music.
Dwayne: We are all older and we’ve been to the rodeo or show, whatever you want to call it before. It’s so much easier when you have everyone involved very into it and everyone wants to make it happen. Doesn’t feel like work or a chore to come play music with these guys. We’ve practiced around 15 times in three weeks, so when I say it’s not hard to work with these guys, there is the proof.
Diego: For me, being 11 years old and all, I got into punk playing Tony Hawk 2. That made my influences bands like Lagwagon. There are so many musicians that are in Miami more concerned with Instagraming or Facebooking than writing songs, so I’m glad we walked into a good amount of songs already existing but being able to expand on it from there.
How many songs are there now and how many will you be playing Saturday?
There are 15 total and we will probably play around 12 or 13 songs. A lot of what we did was revamp the songs of “Is Futile.”
How big of an influence is Sponge?
Rictor: I dunno. I mean, when your trudging through life, its miles to go before I sleep.
Dwayne, would you say Reluctance came together in a world of human wreckage?
Diego, are you lost? Are you found? Can you not touch the ground? I guess I am asking if you are buried by the sound?
Diego: I prefer the magic eraser myself.
This week the NWA biopic came out. If there was a Reluctance biopic, who would play you?
Dwayne: I think I’d go with Zac Efron.
Rictor: Dwayne would be played by Colin Farrel, Diego would be played by Adrien Brody, and I would be played by Kurt Russell.. Actually, Erik Dukes would be played by Kurt Russell playing Snake Plissken. I would be played by Colin Firth.
Dwayne: Rictor would be played by young Vince Vaughn circa Swingers.
I got Diego. The guy who played Dorian Grey in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Stuart Townsend.
Rictor: You mean Robert Townsend, The Meteor Man?
You know what let’s scrap this whole interview and talk about Meteor Man.
Rictor: Bill Cosby in that with his space-ludes.
Dwayne: What happened to Robert Townsend?
I mean, he was Meteor Man. What else needed to happen?
Rictor: Meteor Man vs. Blankman, who wins?
I’m gonna have to say Meteor Man because he beat up a Don Cheadle sporting died blonde hair.
Dwayne: Good call.
If you were coming Straight Outta somewhere, where would it be?
Would you say you were Straight Outta Lo-Cash?
Rictor: I would say collectively as a band we are straight out of lo-cash.
Diego: I don’t know what that is.
(What proceeded after that statement was ridicule and demanding that Diego the “11 year old” go home and watch CB4, followed by another 30 minutes of endless hypothetical sequels being made to movies in which we all picked Robert Townsend AKA Meteor Man to portray all hero roles.)
Follow Reluctance on Facebook.
TuffGnarl.com’s 2nd Annual Rock & Roll Debauch is this Saturday, August 22 at Churchill’s Pub (5501 NE Second Ave, Miami, FL). The show starts at 7 p.m. Admission costs $8 at the door. Use the hashtag #Debauch2015 to follow or talk about this event on social media.
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