It’s not every day that a garage band made up of local high school-age kids gets mentioned in the pages of Rolling Stone, but that’s what happen last month when Destroy Boys showed up in a cover story about Green Day and the group’s new record “Revolution Radio.”
Who exactly are Destroy Boys and why was Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong recently wearing their T-shirt in a photo on his Instagram account? The following primer on the band will answer those questions and more.
Who are Destroy Boys?
Vi Mayugba, 16, vocalist Alexia Roditis, 17, and drummer Ethan Knight, 17. The musicians don’t attend the same high school. Mayugba goes to The Met Sacramento, Roditis goes Rio Americano and Knight, who went to John F. Kennedy High School, now works at Sutterville Bicycle Co.
What does their name mean?
Mayugba says she wrote “destroy boys” on the chalkboard wall in her bedroom during a period of relationship troubles. The liner notes to “Sorry, Mom” the group’s debut album, include a dedication to “people who we write diss songs about,” and judging by their lyrics, that’s mostly directed at boys or grown men who behave like boys.
What kind of music do they play?
Brash, fast, hyper-hormonal melodic garage rock that can suggest a feminist influence, but don’t call it feminist punk. Mayugba and Roditis may let their leg and armpit hair grow, and their vibe might feel like the nth wave of riot grrrl, but gender politics is not their prime directive. “We’re feminist and we’re punk and we play punk music while being feminist but we don’t sing about feminist issues,” Mayugba says.
How many records have they put out?
Mayugba and Roditis formed Destroy Boys last year and released a digital EP of acoustic songs called “Mom Jeans.” They deleted the EP after adding Knight to the lineup. The band released another EP called “Grimester” in April. Local music journalists have spotlighted them as the next generation of young punk, comparing them to successful Sacramento punk duo Dog Party. “Sorry, Mom” released in August, included several revamped recordings from “Grimester” but sustained the group’s frenetic lo-fi energy. “We don’t want the album to be viewed as a serious thing,” Knight said. “We spent a lot of time and effort doing it, but like it’s fun, too. We don’t care that much.”
Where can I hear their music?
“Grimester” and “Sorry, Mom” are available via Destroy Boys’ Bandcamp page (destroyboys.bandcamp.com) The trio plays regularly in Sacramento and in the Bay Area.
What one song best captures their attitude and sound?
The early hit with peers and coffee shop crowds was called “I Think We Should Make Out With Other People.” Roditis said she thinks it resonated because of its honesty and humor. To hear the girls dissing dudes, look to “No Respect” or “I Threw Glass at My Friend’s Eye and Now I’m on Probation.”
How did they get their start?
Mayugba met Roditis through mutual friends. Originally Roditis was going to drum while Mayugba sang and played guitar. That changed though once Mayugba heard Roditis sing. “I was sitting on the couch and Vi was looking at me from the bed,” Roditis recently recalled. “She’s like “dude, what are you thinking? Why are you going to be our drummer? You’re going to be our vocalist. You’re gonna make me famous, dude! You’re gonna make us famous!”
How did they get connected with Green Day?
It started at the famous Berkeley club 924 Gilman Street, where Green Day used to play in the early ’90s. Destroy Boys played a few shows there with Jakob Danger, a band headed by Armstrong’s eldest son, Jakob. Mayugba and Roditis later met the Green Day frontman, and at a show there in August, Armstrong’s wife asked the group for a Destroy Boys T-shirt. They were out of them, but decided to deliver a shirt to Armstrong at his used-instrument store Broken Guitars days later. “We get to Broken Guitars, and he’s getting interviewed by (a writer for) Rolling Stone,” Knight says. That’s how they ended up in the magazine.
Is Green Day a big influence on the band?
Sure, but there are others as well. It was Mayugba who introduced Roditis to punk, mostly ’80s bands such as the Misfits and Operation Ivy, with the latter resonating most with Roditis. Destroy Boys also is influenced by their contemporaries, which include Dog Party and groups on Uncool Records, an artist collective that has taken Destroy Boys under its wing. Uncool Records includes Jakob Danger as well as SWMRS, a band featuring Armstrong’s youngest son, Joey.
What’s next for Destroy Boys?
Besides graduating from high school? The trio is working on their next record and planning a tour for spring break. The hope is to get “on a label eventually,” Roditis said. “(We’re) putting out all this music and doing shirts because we want to be able to do this without having to do anything else as a job. The end goal is to be 19 and not need a job.”
What: The trio performs on a bill that includes Early Times and The Skirts.
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15
Where: Harlow’s (2708 J St., Sacramento)