May 2017 - Turn It Up: Life After Beard


Fans of the local band, Beard, we always enjoyed what the band had to give us. So it wasn’t a surprise that we wanted to find out what makes them tick. What did surprise us is that Beard decided to disband in January of this year. But since, as musicians, music flows through their veins, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to find out what it was like being a member of Beard and what life after the band had in store. Mauricio Paez (Vocals, Guitar), Abel Robledo (Drums), and Karie Morgan (Guitar) were cool enough to take part.

Mauricio Paez (Vocals, Guitar)

What is life after Beard like?

Life has been good. Karie and I have a post-punk/alternative-rock duo called The Talking Hours, which has been going strong. We started the duo towards the last stages of Beard. We have already recorded our first, self-titled EP and have been playing locally and touring as much as we can. We have recently joined with the local label, "Orange Whip Records," which is run by Jay Collins of Rock Jong Il. Orange Whip Records is releasing a vinyl 7" for us this summer, and we will hopefully be working with them for our full-length release later this year. Jay is one of the coolest people on the scene, and he is so focused on taking Albuquerque's music scene to the national and world level. I am so excited about The Talking Hours and excited on what the future may bring.

What was it like working together?

Working together was for the most part great. Of course, like any other band, we would have our differences here and there, but most of the time it just worked perfectly. We always tried to have fun, which is very important.

What do you feel is missing in the New Mexico music scene?

An audience. Band-driven, live music is in such a funk. It's not what people go out for anymore. So many talented bands and musicians are out here playing to empty floors on a nightly basis. I am always hoping it will rise again. If you are a fan of live music, just get out there as much as you can and drag a friend along.

Now that you have gone your separate ways, what plans do you have?

Karie and I are completely focused on The Talking Hours. It's our project, and we can do anything we want with it. There is a freedom in that, and we plan to take it to the top.

Do you have any upcoming gigs?

We do. We have shows in New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona coming up at the moment. Best place for people to check our schedule would be our website: www.thetalkinghours.com.

What do you miss being together as a band?

Hanging out at our shows. That was always the most fun. My bandmates are the type of people (that) will be friends for life, whether we are making music together or not. We may make more music in the future. You can never count that out. Right now is just not the time.

Abel Robledo (Drums)

What is life after Beard like?

For a bit, it was not fun. I didn't think I wanted to play drums anymore.

What was it like working together?

When we hit the stage or the studio...we connected— it was magic. I hope to share that again some day. Maybe just for a visit some time.

What do you feel is missing in the New Mexico music scene?

Unity. Don't be afraid to support your friends.

Now that you have gone your separate ways, what plans do you have?

I was all in on playing guitar and looking to get some recording done. But then came STARBOT. A good friend, Nate Candelaria, needed a fill-in drummer for one show. After one jam session, I was hooked! We got to talking, and I met the other half—Mr. Travis Wozniak. This starts my new chapter as the drummer in STARBOT. We are working on a great set of songs and can't wait to share them with you. So keep your eyes and ears open!

Do you have any upcoming gigs?

Yes. April 18 with Talking Hours at Moonlight, and April 19 with Hell or High Water at Launchpad.

What do you miss being together as a band?

My friends, Karie, Mo, and Dave...all the people that came out and supported us every time and made the shows.

Karie Morgan (Guitar)

What is life after Beard like?

Life, for the most part, has been good. Musically, Mo and I have been focusing on our 2-piece project, The Talking Hours. There was a period in my life when I was playing in two or three bands at a time. Being able to focus on just one has been a nice change of pace for me. I consider myself lucky to still be a part of a project that has a developing level of momentum behind it. If I didn't have that when Beard disbanded, I think life would have proved to be more difficult.

What was it like working together?

We had our struggles and differences from time to time, which I think is expected within any type of relationship. That was all trumped, though, when we'd get in a room together to create and write music. There was nothing quite like that feeling when everything just fell into place, simultaneously. There was a magic about it. I think my favorite part about Beard was our live shows. It was almost always a hot, sloppy mess, but we had a connection with each other. We created an energy together that made me, and hopefully others, feel free.

What do you feel is missing in the New Mexico music scene?

A consistent audience. Getting people to come out to shows, simply for the show, seems to be becoming more and more of a struggle. I also feel that we are lacking in places for bands to play. Don't get me wrong; the local venues and house venues we have here are fantastic, and I'm eternally grateful they are available to us as musicians. However, I think the scene could benefit from having more available options. Mixing it up a little more could help more people be reached.

Now that you have gone your separate ways, what plans do you have?

My only plan is to focus all of my musical energy into The Talking Hours. We want to see how far we can push the limits of genre and our own abilities between just the two of us. The challenge is real, but I love the amount of creative freedom we allow ourselves to have. Some exciting recording opportunities are coming up for us over the next couple months, and I can't wait to see what comes of it all!

Do you have any upcoming gigs?

We do! Both local and out of state. The best place to go to see what we are up to is our website: www.thetalkinghours.com.

What do you miss being together as a band?

Personally, I miss playing guitar from time to time. Collectively, I miss feeling that musical connection with Dave and Abel and getting to spend more time with them. There is a great learning opportunity that comes with playing with other musicians, both on a creative level and a personal level. They are great guys and I'm lucky to have been able to share the stage with them.

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