By Nicholas Jason Lopez
When Demi The Daredevil’s lead singer and founder Jovan Ortiz suddenly passed away, drummer Jeff Azar had no choice but to find his voice to keep the curtains from a premature close.
With a fusion of creepy theatrics and alternative pop to crate a signature sound that has been described by fans as “unique, relatable and edgy, yet playful,” the latest single “Talk Therapy” is bound to land on a playlist near you.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with Azar about “Talk Therapy” and more.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jeff Azar – Honestly, not a whole lot. I’ve always been a hermit. I had put a small pause on playing live before it happened. I was lucky enough to not be impacted too bad.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Jeff Azar – Right now, I’m listening through the playlists on Spotify that Demi was added to. Lots of alt-rock. There’s just so much music now. On my down time, I still listen to soft jazz or classical.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that you knew you wanted to pursue music?
Jeff Azar – I fell out of pursuing music a few times, so there’s different moments, but the first one was coming back home from freshman year in college and the original lead singer had made new songs that I really felt were special. I knew it wasn’t something to throw away.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
Jeff Azar – Plenty of inner problems, but I’d say insomnia and quitting vaping.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Jeff Azar – I have a hammock now, which is surprisingly so relaxing! Hear the birds or crickets in silence, see the sky through the tree leaves… I guess nature is where I go.
Music Bugle – What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Jeff Azar – It’s either the idea of limiting beliefs, to listen to affirmations, or to give thanks and that what you give is what you get.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?
Jeff Azar – I’m glad you asked this, ’cause it makes me realize there’s still a lot of shame associated with where I come from. I think the lower middle class upbringing, violence in the household and freedom to be creative in my youth makes me feel like I was able to be real. There are some folks who got so pressured to live a certain facade and prescribed a route to success and that kept them from being able to be real.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for from the rest of 2021?
Jeff Azar – Keep connecting with a certain type of person and give them hope. I get what they are goin’ through and I can help.
Music Bugle – Does social media help or hurt musicians?
Jeff Azar – Helps for exposure and hurts if they fall into the trap of prioritizing that over making better songs. I’ve done it.
Music Bugle – What was your most memorable moment while at a show?
Jeff Azar – Probably playing the Ernie Ball Stage at Warped Tour.