From Doggies to Porta Potties: Spare Parts for Broken Hearts
We were set to meet Spare Parts in a fairly sketch business district near Long Beach. G-Maps was telling us we had arrived, but all we could see was a warehouse full of bikers. Confusion set in, but after texting the lead singer, Sarah, we found the place. After meeting them, we were brought into their practice space. Not the largest space, but I’ve seen a lot smaller. Humble digs for a humble band.
How did you find us?
Sarah Green (Vocals, Guitar, sometimes Bass): I found you by stalking around the internet at other bands that we know of or have heard of and you guys did some work with them I don’t remember, there were two bands that were familiar to me, and I just liked the style of your website.
That’s pretty much what WE do. Stalk bands that we know and branch out from there.
How did you get your start?
SG: As a band it was like seven years ago, this month. Laurita was in a band on the Warped Tour and I flew out there to drive that band across the country. She was playing with this drummer who was really good. When they came back to LA, that band disbanded and I hit up Laurita and she hit up Tasha, who was our first drummer. We got an hourly rehearsal space in LA and we started jamming together… And then Mike joined us. How long has it been?
Mike Vallejo (Drums): Four years, yeah.
Where did the band name come from?
SG: It came from the arduous process of trying to figure out band names that aren’t taken, which is impossible these days cos there are so many great bands taking really great band names. It was an accident. Laurita and I thought this song said ‘Spare parts for broken hearts’ it did not say that. It said ‘Spare parts for broken up’
Laurita Guaico (Guitar, Bass): ‘Spare parts, broken up’
SG: Something weird. But the ring of [Spare Parts for Broken Hearts] seems to sound good.
How would you describe your sound?
LG: What was the comparison someone just made? Cranberries vs. …
SG: It was The Cranberries vs. The Deftones.
LG: I like it.
SG: It has elements of being chunky and heavy. There’s a lot of low end, sonically. I think song writing… The Cranberries had some catchy songs – only one hit, but a good one. That’s all you need.
SG: …Linger is the only one that matters.
It’s the one that lingers.
SG: That’s right! I think we try to incorporate a sense of, in song writing, stuff that’s palatable. Things, people that get stuck with you. I like that element of it, but again it’s heavy underneath that. It’s a weird Lilith Fair meets Metal Tour.
LG: Mayhem Tour?
SG: Yeah! Yeah! Lilith vs. Mayhem! That’s what we are.
Would you say Cranberries and Deftones are inspirations for you?
SG: Yeah, I think so. We all listen to some of the same music and very different music. I think that people like to define something so they can understand it, and so those two references seem to make sense at this point.
What is your experience as a woman in a male-dominated scene?
LG: Well now-a-days it’s getting better. I was really inspired by this show we just played called Play Like A Girl. The level of musicianship in these females and their confidence was just great, and I think they’re getting a lot of support and encouragement… I don’t know if it was just that night, it was very magical and I was so happy. Like wow! This is the direction that it’s possibly headed! For females… I don’t know how to explain it but I was just in awe by every female musician that played that night. They were just amazing. Back a few years ago, maybe ten years ago, it was more challenging. I felt like I had to prove myself a little bit more. Like I can compete and I can play as good as you, and I’m not just a cute girl on stage or a novelty thing. Every once in a while you got a little respect like ‘oh my god, you guys are actually good!’ or ‘Check out your gear! You know what you’re doing!’ you know, like ‘That’s awesome that you know how to tune!’… So I don’t know if I answered the question, but I just keep thinking of that show. It was amazing.
SG: Well yeah, we kind of get put in the genre, and we put ourselves in the genre of alternative rock or post grunge which has always been male-dominated. But like you said, the music industry is – everything is male-dominated, LIFE is male-dominated. So it requires women to create a support system, and that takes time to level up with, but it’s somewhere to start. Women have been doing that in all realms throughout history. With music, though, what is cool, what we were saying about Play Like A Girl. It’s a platform where if you’re a dude and you’re gonna be there, or you’re gonna play in a band with a woman, you got to be a certain kind of dude. It requires you to be that. So not only are we providing a platform for women and supporting each other, but we are growing men to be men. Which is awesome, and there are definitely those kind of men involved. Which is really cool. It’s cool that good human beings are supporting women in art. There’s definitely a shift starting from the ground up.
LG: I’m excited about this – especially this platform they have providing a place for women to play and it’s just like every band we’ve seen is awesome! So good, so talented! Love it!
Because of the date (4/20), what are your opinions on the culture?
MV: Yeah, [I smoke] every once in a while. I’ll admit it. Probably shouldn’t put that out there, but not a big deal. It’s funny because when we play a show we don’t really get blasted before we play. For me, it feels like the rhythm is off and stuff. In college there’s this one time where we totally got stoned. We were playing, and everything sounded so amazing when we recorded it. Then when we listened to it the next day like we were like wow. So ever since then I don’t really do it before we play. But every once in a while…
SG: I don’t participate, but I love holidays, and I do think that marijuana is the gateway drug to very good thoughts.
Do any of you have jobs or is this your main source of income?
SG: My most current job accomplishment was winning season three of top chef. I’m totally fucking kidding! No, I just do bookkeeping sometimes.
MV: I work for a life insurance company.
LG: I work as a server at a wine bar, and I work as a bartender at a restaurant.
Do any of you have hobbies outside of music?
LG: I work with dogs, and rescue dogs. Now actually doing more training where we rehabilitate rescue dogs so they’re more adoptable. If they have any personality issues, aggression or anxiety, we kind of work it out and the chances of them being returned are less when we work out some of the issues. That’s something I’ve been passionate about since I was a kid, but the last couple of years I’ve really gotten involved in more on the behavioral side, dog psychology, and how to help them better. A lot of them are just neglected and the lack of respect that humans, not all humans, have for animals or any living thing just really, really makes me sad that humans can be that disrespectful to life. Anyways it’s been my giving back; my being of service to animals and helping them out.
MV: I was gonna say we all have dogs. We love dogs. That’s the prerequisite for the band. I do electronic stuff outside the band as a hobby. My own stuff is under MicroGiant, just using computer stuff and recording on my own.
SG: I like bike riding, skateboarding, coloring books, breaking things, and I really do spend most of my free time either riding my BMX bike or making music. Either writing for this band or I have a little side solo thing called Syd and The Saints. Just writing material that doesn’t fit alternative rock and roll just for fun. Learning how to produce music a little bit. But mostly bike riding.
You’re all dog people. What is your favorite breed?
LG: Pit Bulls. I mean, that’s not really a breed it’s an umbrella for a kind of dog like Shepards and Terriers or poodle mixes. I used to be scared of [Pit Bulls], and those were the ones that needed a lot of help, that are misunderstood. So I actually fostering a Pit Bull and ended up adopting her and she’s amazing, and I love the breed now.
MV: I have to say Lab, we have a Labrador. Growing up my family has always had small dogs, and we’d always rescue smaller dogs. I’ve always wanted a bigger dog. So we finally got one and she’s awesome! Her name’s Lexi, yeah. Best thing ever.
SG: I don’t really know anything about dogs. So I don’t know what my favorite breed is. I just like dogs that are independent and take care of themselves. I like that in any species, but her name is Madonna. She’s awesome.
Favorite film / genre?
LG: My go-to, when I’m inspired it opens up a whole other selection of movies. My go-to, when I’m busy or off or I want to do stuff around the house, I like romantic comedies, and I love music documentaries. My favorite movie that I can watch over and over again is Elf. [Natly and I look at each other because it’s one of our favorites Christmas movies] What? It just makes me feel good and it funny because you can they’re showing it on TV in April for Easter. Elf gets played throughout the whole year and when I feel crappy, I put it on and I don’t know it just makes me laugh. Anything with Will Ferrell pretty much, but Elf is my go-to.
MV: I think my all-time favorite is, this is kind of cheesy, but The Matrix. I love The Matrix, I could watch it all the time. I grew up reading Marvel Comics, so I love Marvel movies too.
What’s your favorite Marvel movie?
MV: As a kid, I grew up reading Captain America a lot, so I love Captain America and Doctor Strange. I love Doctor Strange too. But you know, X-Men too are big ones. Fantastic Four. Seems like all the Major ones they’ve made are the ones I’ve read. Which is pretty sweet.
SG: My all-time favorite movie is this old skateboarding film with Christian Slater called Gleaming the Cube, and I grew up watching that. It was filmed in parts of Orange County near Disneyland. I grew up around that area, so it was cool to see it in a movie. It’s out of print so you can’t see it, but I have a copy. Other than that, I like really boring things. I’ll watch Ted Talks over and over again I like anything where I can learn something. I don’t really like to watch too much TV. Documentaries, I like documentaries. Mostly just informative, self-help bullshit.
Are you excited for Bill Nye’s new show?
SG: I know who Bill Nye is, but I will probably not be watching that. Is it – No, I don’t want to learn about science! I want to learn about sadness!
He’s gonna save the world.
SG: I think that’s possible, actually.
If anyone could save the world it’d be him.
SG: Yeah, I heard that guy’s smart.
MV: Yeah, he can talk. He can put any nay-sayers down. It’s great.
SG: Maybe I’ll check that out.
What’s the farthest you’ve toured?
LG: Canada. Us two. [Signals to Sarah]
MV: We went up to Washington?
LG: Washington. Me and Mike. And Canada. What about Relish, what’s the farthest we went with Relish? Arizona maybe?
SG: That’s not very far. In this band, the furthest we’ve gone I think is San Francisco.
Do you have any show stories?
LG: We’re pretty predictable.
SG: We’re responsible. I mean, we trash things, we play hard and heavy, but we’re a fairly responsible band… Actually, that’s not true. I take that all back.
MV: Nothing real crazy scary or nutty ever happened.
LG: We saw three coyotes in one night.
SG: It was WILD! That was a big night for us.
MV: That was an omen, actually.
LG: The only thing I can think of is me making an ass of myself when I got wasted in San Diego and I crashed into that bike. I don’t remember much though. From what I’m told, I lost a shoe.
MV: Oh Yeah! When you guys were friggin’ doing donuts in the parking lot with the tour van, wasn’t it?
SG: Oh, that was nothing!
LG: With the porta potty?
SG: That’s a good story!
LG: [inaudible]… everyone took their clothes off and then the trailer…
SG: Ok, alright, now… One time on the Warped Tour, we had an RV and we roped a porta potty, full, to the back of it. Somebody was sleeping in the bed in the back of the RV. Someone rode on top of the porta potty and someone rode on the back of the ladder towards the roof, and they took off and whipped the porta potty around the parking lot and it rained shit on everybody that was standing there! I have a video.
MV: That’s a good one. I can’t top that one. Shit flying everywhere.
Is the video on YouTube?
LG: I think there is a video somewhere.
SG: I feel like I saw it somewhere. – It is on YouTube! It’s just private.
SG: We have a show at The Echo on May 27th. It is the one year anniversary of Play Like a Girl. We’ll be playing with a band called Kitten and a band called Iress, and a bunch of other bands, and some great DJs from other great female-fronted bands. There’s all kinds of weird stuff they’re doing that day, it’s like a whole-day festival. Then we’ll have a mini-tour with some SoCal dates in June. Then we’ll try to get back into recording in the summer.
Speaking of recording, are you working on an album?
LG: That would be a dream to do a full album.
SG: Yeah. It’s expensive, I love full records. They’re just a challenge to make. You got to constantly be putting out content, but no. To answer your question, it will probably just be an EP. It’s what we can do now. Definitely the goal is to make a full record for sure.
Recommended Song: EVER