The summertime heat is alive. I enjoy my iced chai while I prepare for my next interview with local San Jose musician Israel Sanchez. We met on the 2nd floor of Caffe Frascati right before the open mic starts where he will be performing. Music has always been around him from the toy xylophone to the guitar he received as a child. Music resurfaced in his teenage years. He was glued to skateboarding as he grew up and no one could take that away from him. At age 15, his parents noticed the only thing that could get him off his skateboard was music. Now he is pursuing music full-time, playing shows all around the Bay Area and representing ESSJ no matter where he travels to. Israel shares his musical journey and what it was like growing up in San Jose. Read on to get to know more about Israel.
The Coffeehouse Invite: What's up Israel? Thanks for taking the time to be our next feature! Tell us what you do.
Israel Sanchez: Israel Sanchez is an American Songwriter. I have released a catalog of material within the last 2 years. The full length ‘Wide Awake’ which could be found at israelsanchezmusic.bandcamp.com and Street-Light Records in San Jose. I also released the ‘Ssnake GenusS’ EP, the ‘Killer’ EP as well as the ‘Amaranth’ Demo. Before the end of this year I plan on releasing my second full length ‘Amaranth.’
The Coffeehouse Invite: What made you decide you wanted to do music full-time? What were you doing prior?
Israel Sanchez: I have always had the calling towards pursuing music full time and fought with it all my life. I was letting my thoughts and dreams/desires become dominated by average aspirations, simply caused by the fears of uncertainty. I realized one day during one of my shifts working at a restaurant (which I was very happy working at) that this feeling pulling me towards letting music consume me and my life decisions would never leave me. I decided then it was time to quit my job and have no fall back plan, I must make music my Plan A B & C. I don’t look back, I feel it’s all connected leading me to the present.
The Coffeehouse Invite: You name The Smashing Pumpkins as one of your influences. What song do you connect to most and why?
Israel Sanchez: Mayonaise. (That's how they spell it) That song always will be one of the top most influential songs ever written to me. That song just captured me right off the top, from there intro, to the heavy guitars with that amazing feedback thing they do.. all the way to how the song comes back full circle to reference the intro in their outro. When I first heard that song, I was convinced that I wanted to play guitar in a rock band. Did i mention the drony dark massive sound they produce? Every time i hear that song it’s over for me.
The Coffeehouse Invite: Your song "Dig" is featured in our CHI Exclusive Performance. Can you tell us more about why you wrote this song and the creative process in writing it?
Israel Sanchez: Dig... That song encompasses the feeling of what it feels like inside my body to have this massive fire of passion and inspiration to march forward in pursuit of my dream. I visualize a dense jungle, with me in the center forcing my way through to find a way out. The drum beat loops, creating a trance like state of a will to propel myself forward regardless of what obstacles I may face. It’s the burning desire to succeed. It also illustrates being ignored at the beginning of my journey or not taken seriously but having the perseverance to continue through the journey and always believing in myself. As for the creative process, I simply let the energy channel itself through me. Basically I stay out of the way of the music as much as I can and try not to overthink why I’m writing whatever is coming out. A sort of freestyle.
The Coffeehouse Invite: Great to hear artists representing their own city! What do you want to say that represents the best of growing up and living in East Side San Jose?
Israel Sanchez: East Side San Jose. Everytime I visit the east i get flashbacks. I love the diversity. Its strong skateboarding scene. It definitely shapes you into being laser focused and to have respect. To have a strong sense of originality. I learned so much about hospitality, and how to make the most of what you have, how to work to make something overlooked into something beneficial. Improvisation. How to make something out of nothing.
The Coffeehouse Invite: What do you foresee for the arts and music scene in San Jose?
Israel Sanchez: They are at a tipping point. It’s definitely a thriving community. I foresee San Jose becoming a monster player in the Arts & Music scene. I will do all that I can to contribute and help bridge gaps. It’s happening as we speak.
The Coffeehouse Invite: What 3 tips would you give others who would like to pursue music full-time?
Israel Sanchez: Absolutely none. When you are ready, the music will pursue you. You wont be able to escape its grasp. Soon it will consume all of your thoughts and desires. Only then will you receive the 3 tips and then CHI will come searching for you to be interviewed and questioned.
The Coffeehouse Invite: What are your current projects and upcoming shows for September and continuing on?
Israel Sanchez: I am always working triple time, so as of now I am hyper focused on shows. I love performing and creating awareness of my brand. I am also working on my second full length. I know that it is now not really necessary to be releasing a full length album. I could just be throwing out another EP. Independent full lengths are not popular. But the full length is important to me because it's calling me. I know it’s going to be solid and will be proud to share it. As for the shows, check my website. I always update it.
The Coffeehouse Invite: At CHI we encourage others to reach out and find people to collaborate with. Are you looking for anyone to work with? If so let, our CHI community know.
Israel Sanchez: Yes. Anyone interested in knowing how to get there music out there contact me. I have a lot of friends in the music scene. I would be happy to point you in the right direction. Thanks for having me.
Music Video Release Update: Watch "Amaranth" by Israel Sanchez