We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikki Mixon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nikki, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
Abraham – I am from Houston, Texas. From a young age I was exposed to music through my grandfather who was an active musician when he was younger. I would watch him play guitar and piano pretty much everyday. It wasn’t until I was much older that I started playing myself but my grandpa was for sure a huge inspiration that I appreciated much more the older I became. My family was very strict and religious back in the day and as a closeted gay kid that for sure had negative effects on me growing up. I maybe didn’t know it at the time but listening to aggressive music was a sort of emotional outlet for me. Throughout my life I have always been open to new music and artists who are experimenting and blurring the lines between genres and making the overall music world a more diverse and inclusive place for all people.

Nikki – I was born and raised in los Angeles and I have always been surrounded by music and drawn to it to the point it got me in trouble. My mother was very strict when it came to me attending shows because of the area I grew up In and the way she perceived me . LA has always been a music city and my dad used to go see metal bands and artists when he was younger and I was always attracted to guitar based music and always will be. If it wasn’t for my dad and the community of “rockers” I grew up, I probably would not be so into music as I am now. As an adult, I have embraced creating music as a safe space to express my trauma and release internal struggles in a healthy and creative way.

zach –  I’m from San Antonio, but I grew up in Houston. I was raised around music and was lucky that my parents loved going to shows. I would often get to tag along and see some inspiring drummers. I knew right away I wanted to be in that environment. I got my first drums at 10 and was in a band by 12; playing NFG covers at the local pool and laser tag spot. It’s been my main passion since. I’ve been able to make some amazing friends and family through the music community.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We like to coin ourselves “dreamy rockers”. We enjoy pushing the boundaries of typical shoegaze and intrigue different audiences. We enjoy the aesthetics of things from the darker, more morose angle. Using pagan inspiration and inner reflection of life and trauma to evoke feelings along with emotional chords. A lot of our songs actually started off as aggressive, distorted riffs that we take and either play slower, or we see how they sound with a clean tone going through our pedal boards. We have both a male and female singing both with extremely different vocal styles and range so that also contributes to our overall dynamic and opens up a lot of possibilities when it comes to writing. We try and cover the entire spectrum of shoegaze while letting all of our other influences naturally bleed through so that hopefully no matter what style of music someone is into they can find something they like in what we play. It hasn’t been an easy road and covid has definitely thrown us a curve ball but nonetheless we feel we are growing everyday in a productive way. We have a new active member (Zach our drummer) who is excited and we are so eager to create and bond with him. We are very positive and are always wanting to write and create; nothing can stop us. We have had a very transformative chapter of our lives this year and we hope people see the authenticity of our newest music and the see we are just living out our truth transparently and hope they can relate to us. The biggest lesson we have learned through these trying times and keep your friends close and check in with them. Life has been hard and we all need to support each other and help each other grow.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d take them to get breakfast/brunch at El Coffee Shop in downtown houston every morning. Chilaquiles + Hasbrown tacos and lattes with oat milk! Isabella Vasquez (chef) created the greatest breakfast menu and salsa that Houston has to offer. Then, we’d go to Granel Bodega to shop around for Yerberia goods and some candles or crystals. After that, maybe go to the Fine Arts Museum and walk around to view the latest installations. For dinner, go to Al’s Quick Stop for a Gyro and Fries, best gyro meat you’ll have plus everyone there is so nice. If possible, go to Rudyards for a show (if covid wasn’t a thing)!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Abraham – I want to give a shoutout to DKFM Radio for doing an amazing job keeping the shoegaze scene engaged and connected to one another through amazing interviews, live footage, and social media presence. The have connected us to so many other artist in the scene and are great at making it all feel like a legit connected movement. Every show they are involved in feels so much special and supported.

Nikki – I want to give a shout out to Maria Haaga who is my close friend and kindred spirit. She took me into her wing and helped with DA/ZE in ways I don’t know if I could ever repay. She has believed in me since the day she met me and if it wasn’t for her I feel I would not have the confidence I have no to take the band as a serious but loving path in my life.

Zach – I want to give a shout out to my boy Mike Miller. He’s been my best bud since jump street. When we were 16, we jumped my isuzu rodeo (big flex) about a foot off the ground on a main neighborhood road. It was amazing and terrifying at the same time… He just had a baby girl, so shout out to little Ava too!

Website: https://dazetx.bandcamp.com
Instagram: https://instagram.com/daze_tx
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dazetx
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DAZETX/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kptsCgii-oo
Other: dazetxband@gmail.com

Image Credits
Jon Garrido, @Stevenson

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.