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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Inter SG chapter.

The Blue Leaves is a band that has gone all around the island sharing their love towards their unique genre of music. Engulfing the room with melodic guitar tunes and slow drumbeats, I knew this band would be one I’d jam to. With songs by the Artic Monkeys, The Neighborhood and Cage the Elephant in their setlist, they’ll definitely have your attention all night long. 

On one warm Monday night, I had the opportunity to talk to the members of the band about their journey. Andrés Nieves, Mike Vázquez and Cristian Levi all received us with a warmwelcome and sang us a song by the end of this exclusive interview.

Who are they and where did they all meet?

The mastermind behind this concept is Mike Vázquez, the current bass player and back-up vocalist of the band. He was a student from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, San Germán Campus who graduated from Hotel Administration in 2019. 

Andrés Nieves, a current undergraduate student studying Music in the UIPR, San Germán Campus is the second member of the band. He is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist. In his private life, he tells us he “…plays a lot of things and writes a lot of stuff” and he experiments with revamping and building his own instruments.

As part of their concentration they both had to join the university choir. Through their fondness of music, they quickly became friends. 

What they told me about ‘The Blue Leaves’. 

Mike Vázquez explained that while he still had the idea of a band in his head, he thought of the name after watching the movie ‘Kill Bill’. In one scene, where the protagonist has her eyes set on killing the antagonist, who is in a Japanese bar called ‘The House of the Blue Leaves’. “This is the climax of the movie… I thought the name was super cool and would fit a band” Vázquez said.

With this, he started his Soundcloud account under the name ‘Mike and the Blue Leaves’. Although, it was later on changed to  ‘The Blue Leaves’ when the rest of the members joined. “In hopes to make it more inclusive for the members” Vázquez said. With only a few songs in their account they quickly started to organize their band, recruit members, organize song lists and book shows.

Andrés Nieves explained how their music is mostly inspired by the “indie spectrum”.

Despite the members different styles of writing songs, they still manage to stay on track to their style and tone, arranging in accordance to the music they love and admire.

What they told me about this year’s festival. 

Last February, the band  organized their first music festival called “Sun Music Festival” which took place in Villa Tavara in San Germán. 

Mike Vázquez told us it was a “…harsh process…” looking for sponsors, sound equipment and other bands that could play that night. The tedious work the two members had to go through was suffocating, but they managed to pull through and complete the festival with positive feedback. In just one month, they had managed to have bands such as: Ceiba, Imágenes, Difusión, Espuelérico and Korea Central play for a crowd of rock n’ roll lovers. 

Andrés Nieves tells us: “It was a good experience, but it was also a learning experience”. He added that “There are things we would definitely do differently. With that being said it was a hell of a good time during the festival but there are things I will do differently next time.”

Although tempting, for the time being there will be no other festival until the band and setlist is complete. 

During this interview, I noticed that not only does their “More relaxed, more wavy” music set them apart from other rock n’ roll bands in the west, but their attitude towards their music, style and tone is a wonderful balance between laid back and professionalism. While we can still appreciate their harder rock songs, we can also move to the slow surfer groove this band can provoke to their audience.

The team couldn’t help but head bang their heads back and forth while we heard them interpret the Scooby Doo theme song in acoustic guitars. The attitude these young college students possess towards their music is one to admire.

For more information about the band follow their Instagram: @theblueleavespr

Mariana Ferrer

Inter SG '22

Student with BA in English and a minor in Communications. Current writer and Social Media Manager of HC Inter SG.
Hi! My name is Nacelyn and I'm majoring in political science. I joined the HC Inter SG chapter about two years ago and have since continued to develop my writing skills. My writing interests include politics and social issues, among other things. Besides writing, I currently serve as co-correspondent for the chapter.