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The Black Heartthrobs are a four-piece melodic garage rock band from Culver City. Punk bassist for Osker (Epitaph), DavidBenitez switched to vocals/guitar and is joined by Jane Greely, Mark Yates and Diana Salier. David studied songwriting from 70’s power pop icons Peter Case (Plimsouls) and Berton Averre (The Knack). Irreverent lyrics and catchy choruses abound in their indie white collar rock.

Nice Guitar

I bought a nice guitar today

Better than my shitty one

It cost more than I’d like to say

More than a paycheck

I don’t want to touch it

I’ll just keep it in its cage

Yesterday was my birthday

I did Bikram yoga,

A green drink, and a veggie plate

Chased it with a beer

And I don’t want to hear

How I’m getting up in age

And I’m gonna die like a comet up in space

And I’m gonna wipe the red paint off the devil’s face

And since I’ve got you here I’m going to tell you it’s ok

It’s all ok

Went down a list of friends to call

Never pushed the button

Sat down and watch kids at the mall

Hustling with their clothes

Picking their dirty nose

Trying to get home warm and safe

And I’m gonna die like a comet up in space

And I’m gonna wipe the red paint off the devil’s face

And since I’ve got you here I’m going to tell you it’s ok

It’s all ok

When there’s no one in your corner

And there’s no one in the room

It’s just one foot in front of the other

Like a dumb mother fucker

And you’re still painting by numbers

And singing the same tune

And you hope for something better

But there’s no one better than you

And I’m gonna die like a comic on the stage

And I’m gonna cry when I see them purdy gates

And since I’ve got your ear I’m going to tell you it’s ok

It’s all ok

What are your favorite lyrics from your latest single?

I love the line in the chorus, “I’m going to wipe the red paint off the devil’s face.” Jane actually lived that line. We did a 2 hour sensory deprivation tank session in Westwood, CA. It’s very strange. Entering a small room, taking off all your clothes, and then floating in complete darkness in an even smaller room. It’s bizarre. All you are left with is your mind. While floating Jane had the image of a large devilish face staring at her. She reached out her hand and started wiping off the red paint. Instant chorus! Just add water/chords.

What kind of pull did you feel about making the single?

The impetus for the song came from my friend Mike Telega (check out his music!). Mike periodically emails me Craigslist posts for insanely expensive acoustics. I mean, I love my $200 70’s Yamaha red label guitar, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve always wondered if a nice Martin might be the ticket. So I started fantasizing that I actually got one and the song started writing itself. You have to be careful what you write about though. The following year on my birthday, I did end up buying a Martin D-18 so it was kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Are all your writing sessions collaborative or do you go off on your own? Do you have a preference?

I prefer to write alone. Most of my songs are based on my real life with a dash of hyperbole. When I collaborate with a songwriter, I’m a little too uptight to offer up lyrics about my life. I just imagine I’d get a weird look or they couldn’t sympathize. It’s hard getting rejected in person. In a new song, I have the lyrics, “It’s hard kicking the habit. Two fingers make a rabbit.” Pitching those lines to someone else would NOT go over well. But to me, it’s gold.

Do you ever compare the work you bring to the table?

All! The! Time!!! It used to be stifling. When I’m inspired by great songwriting like Simon and Garfunkel’s song America or Bridge Over Troubled Water, everything I write will sound like a ditch witch. I’ve learned to not do that. Now when I listen to songs, I find myself thinking… “oh, that’s a good line” or “that one sucks. I’d never do that.” It’s hard to turn off. Some people think that a critical voice can stop you from enjoying music, but I actually think my enjoyment gets deeper from it.

What is standard practice when it comes to if the song is really finished?

It’s finished when I write all the lyrics down in a Word doc. Haha! That really makes it feel official to me. Recording and overdubbing… that’s a different story.

What was the goal for making the latest track?

To write about something incredibly personal and still make it relatable to everyone.

Challenges to the new music that no one would know about?

I challenged myself to use swear words. I’ve always avoided them. In the past, I thought cussing was a way of not being descriptive. But that’s not true. So I leaned into it. That’s why this songs uses “shitty,” and “MOTHERFUCKER.”

Favorite memory in the making of this music?

I loved writing this song and playing the demo for my songwriting class with Berton Averre of The Knack. I was completely shut down and nervous while my fellow songwriters listened to it for the first time. I thought they were going to think I was nuts, suicidal, or both. That creative nerve-racking feeling is the best! Everyone should do that drug.

Is there anything off the table when it comes to bringing yourselves into your music?

Nothing! Probably the only thing is if I think the song is substandard. I have to really love the song to release it.

Leave us on a high note! And share some good news!

Cigarette Juice! Our album Back To Zero is out on vinyl and we are doing a US West coast tour in Sept. 2022.

Socials PLEASE:

The Black Heartthrobs website –

Our latest video -

Youtube channel -

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