“People really like to talk negatively about the current state of music; especially the electronic element. Artists like Fela Kuti, CAN, Pink Floyd, Black Flag and D'Angelo have affected our lives just as much as the work of Little Dragon, Kanye West and Daft Punk: It's all there! The truth is that we’re actually inspired by the old and the new, all at the same time." – Julio Tavarez
The black and the white begins, as a spontaneous collaboration between Julio Tavarez and long time friend and producer Justin Kaupp. It represents a new chapter in Tavarez's music, after the unfortunate demise of his previous band (New York Indy band favourite) ‘As Tall As Lions’.
Featuring lush sonic landscapes and chaotic bombastic exploratory electro-production, the music takes on a new kind of edge. Mixed with Julio’s uniquely passionate and uncompromising vocals the black and white gives us something new.
"My vision has always been clear to me. It was just time to record the music I was always meant to record and Justin helped bring those ideas to life. I love music that physically moves me” – Julio Tavarez
In late 2011 as the project starts to come together, Julio decides to reach out to high school friend and drummer Cliff Sarcona. Julio and Cliff have been playing together since they were 16 and who better than turn to than the former ‘As Tall As Lions’ sticks man for help.
New York was inspiring for the new band and they quickly became productive, writing songs such as ‘Future’ and ‘Unravelling’ in a short period of time.
However, it wasn’t until their 2012 move to Los Angeles that the band really started to take shape. More songs started to flow and by the end of the year they were ready to start performing.
Cliff and Julio have always shared what moves them and while they love writing music, they are both at their best when performing. In Jan 2013 they officially announce the new project to the world as ‘the black and the white’.
"Performing live is where we thrive. We want our audience to be uplifted and to leave feeling inspired" – Cliff Sarcona
Back by local radio support from KROQ, Alt 987 and XM, the band release their debut EP ‘Futures’ in August 2013. The black and the white immediately gain a solid local fanbase and some immediate social media attention. To date they have more than 140,000 plays and over 30,0000 followers on SoundCloud.
In early 2014 the lure of the studio became too much to resist, so the band headed back to New York to join forces with Kaupp once again and write some new material. All of a sudden the guys have found a new voice, a new sound, something really special. The music has evolved.
On returning to LA and armed with some new songs, it is clear that writing has become the focus. They continue where they left off in New York and a chance meeting with producers Alex James and Harry Sommerdahl, leads them into an experimental studio session. They emerge a few hours later with a new single called ‘Torn Up’.
Tavarez and Sarcona decide that it is time to rehearse a new setup. They reach out to long time friend and bass player Mario Gomez. Locked in rehearsals for a few months, the band figure out how to perform as a 3-piece, having formally in 2013 been a 5-piece outfit.
With shows booked and new music on the way, this is an exciting time for a band who have finally found their feet. 2015 is going to be a great year.