Sergio Medina of Royal Coda “I’m trying not to be so chaotic with my song structures.”
Alt-rock trio Royal Coda had partnered with Substream for the exclusive premiere of their new track, “Breathe Correct”. Fans can listen to the track below. This this the third single off of the bands forthcoming self-titled debut album out April 27th via Blue Swan Records.
Formed in Sacramento, Royal Coda features Kurt Travis (Dance Gavin Dance, A Lot Like Birds), Sergio Medina (Stolas, Sianvar, Eidola), and Joseph Arrington (A Lot Like Birds, Sianvar). This is Travis and Arrington’s first project together since Travis’ departure from A Lot Like Birds. Now, along with Medina, they have come together to create the dream alt-rock supergroup.
How did you first get in to music? Who or what turned you onto rock?
Sergio Medina: My dad is a really big music fan of all genres. He would play a lot of different records, especially classic rock. That really got me started on music.
What got you started playing music and how old were you?
Sergio: I was about 9 years old when I first picked up a guitar. It was steel string acoustic that was at my uncles house.
Have you always been creative?
Sergio: I think so. I did visual arts in middle school, along with orchestra. Went to a performing arts high school for classical guitar. I’ve always had an interest in art, for sure.
What was your local scene like in the beginning, was there a particular band you aspired to be like, favorite local bands back then, favorite local bands now?
Sergio: The local scene I grew up in was awesome. There were a lot of shows when I was in high school. One of the first times I saw live music was at a local showcase. There wasn’t a specific local band I looked up to, but I saw tours that came through Vegas with bands I wanted to be like. I knew I wanted to play energetic music.
What was your mission statement with the new record? Was there a specific goal when writing the record?
Sergio: I just wanted to write something to a traditional song structure. I wanted to create something I haven’t already done. I don’t know if I pulled that off. It was an experiment from the beginning, and I’m still trying to see the results from it.
You recorded at VuDu Studios in Port Jefferson, NY with Dominic Nastasi and Mike Watts. What led you to working with them and what did they bring to the recording process?
Sergio: I had done a record with Mike Watts in the summer of 2016 with an old band of mine called Stolas. I had a great time there. I loved working at that studio. It’s a very creative environment to be in. We all worked very well with Dom and Watts.
How has your approach to songwriting changed over the years?
Sergio: I’m trying not to be so chaotic with my song structures. I want things to be interesting, yet hold the listeners attention. I also have started to bring the beginnings of a song into existence with different instruments with the help of my home demo station, rather than collecting riffs on the guitar.
What makes a good Royal Coda song?
Sergio: I don’t know how to answer that yet. I don’t know if I know the answer.
What advice would you give to a band just getting started? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
Sergio: Understand that it’s very difficult, but it’s the only thing worth doing if you truly love doing it. And that advice transcends career choice. It can be anything you want to see out of your future. Whether it be music, school, etc. If you know you really want to do something in life, it’s the only thing worth spending your time on.
What does music mean to you?
Sergio: That’s another hard one to answer. My whole life basically revolves around music. To boil it down to a few words or phrases doesn’t do what it means to me justice.
Top 5 albums or songs released in the last 12 months and all time?
Sergio: I haven’t been listening to enough music to say 5 from the last year that really struck me as my favorites. I’ve been listening to a lot of Sufjan Stevens, Mitski, Alt-J, Foals, Portugal. The Man.