Eclectic Soundtrax Podcast, Ep. 67: Tarantula Mountain

Eclectic Soundtrax Podcast, Ep. 67: Tarantula Mountain

On this episode, Eclectic Soundtrax hosts Skunk Manhattan and Victor Ramos are joined by John “JB” Mendez and Jasmine Jew, members of the Austin-based heavy alternative rock band, Tarantula Mountain. The duo are currently riding high off the release of their debut album, Virgo Sunday, recorded locally at Antimatter Studios.

The two originally met in their hometown of Brownsville, TX, later relocating to Austin.

JB, being a longtime songwriter and guitar tech, was working at Strait Music, performing under the name ‘Tombstone Union’ before he and Jasmine joined forces. After a successful audition (Jasmine only had six weeks to learn bass before her first live show!!), the couple-turned-band found their footing playing shows around ATX. Eventually, Jasmine took up vocal duties and the band took on the moniker ‘Tarantula Mountain’. Drummer Marc Coronado then came along, (also known from the band The Crowned and from his professional video work) at the Austin School of Music. Turns out, all three band members work there: JB and Marc are both instructors, while Jasmine holds down the title of Director of Operations for the music school.

In this ESP installment, get to know the band through their impressive wall of leather bound books (a new concept to Skunk), the origins of the band and their evolution over the past few years! Also mentioned are Tarantula Mountain’s Guitar Hero and grunge rock influences, concepts on the art of teaching and transcribing music, their affinity for boxing and martial arts, the band’s songwriting process, as well as the fact that both Jasmine and JB produce visual art! Check out John’s original art here. And, of course, there’s Netflix, food preferences and Bermuda Triangle bands. We had some six degrees discoveries on this episode: JB played in a band with a longtime musical colleague of Skunk, and Blaine Matte and Jasmine is kin to John Jew (of Penny Rock Productions), who works with our former guests Budro Partida and Adam Salinas. Penny Rock has done a couple of Tarantula Mountain’s music videos, too!

Tarantula Mountain links: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Spotify | Apple Music

About the podcasters

Skunk Manhattan: 

Skunk is a musician, primarily known as the frontman and guitarist for eclectic heavy-rock band A Good Rogering. Since moving to Austin in 2004, he has recorded and performed with a wide variety of bands and solo artists over a career spanning more than 20 years and has shared the stage with notable acts, such as Skid Row, Marty Friedman, Uli Jon Roth, George Lynch and Metal Church among others. Skunk not only works as a performing musician and recording artist, but also as a producer and music teacher. With two decades of insight into what it means to be a professional musician and a passion for not only music, but comedy and general chatter, Skunk was quick to jump at the opportunity to co-host a podcast with longtime friend, Victor Ramos. 

Victor Ramos: 

A Texas native, Victor’s early musical influences are a mixture of classic rock albums played by his Vietnam vet father and a whole lot of ‘the Fab Four’ via his Beatles-loving mother. Sprinkle in some classic country and Motown, and you have a man that would say “¿que?” when other Tejanos would ask what his favorite cumbia was. After a stint in the Marines, Victor moved to Austin in 2000 and began working in the tech industry. He met Skunk in a Spanish class in 2005 and the two discovered a shared passion for not only beer, but music. After years of collectively attending concerts and talking music, the idea to start a podcast centering around such topics seemed like a logical endeavor. 

Eclectic Soundtrax links: Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

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