Meet the kids of South Florida indie band, Cannibal Kids

July 3, 2017
Tamica Jean-Charles

article1Photo taken from the Cannibal Kids website.

After a slight hiatus, local indie band Cannibal Kids are taking back the Miami music scene.

Cannibal Kids offer a coastal indie-vibe as heard in their songs ‘Troubled Mind’ and ‘Graphing’. The Homestead-bound band have a sound so mature, it sounds similar to other popular indie bands like Hippo Campus or Local Natives. This band is not the type of band that’s going to flop within a year or two, Cannibal Kid’s have an incredible sound that will not go unnoticed.

Cannibal Kids set out on a dream to pursue a passion all the members has. The band first began with Gutierrez and Diaz, back when the two were at the end of middle school where they would discuss their different music interests. “We would sit around and talk about music all day even though we were on opposite sides of the music spectrum,” says Gutierrez, “he liked a much harder sound and I like more acoustic singer-songwriter type stuff. But we were always like ‘Dude let’s make music! Let’s just do something.’ And we said that for a whole school year.”

Later on, Gutierrez would soon meet Faulkingham in their church band. The three used to be involved in another band, No Compromise, but soon made the switch to “re-brand as a new project with a new name and new sound.” The former bassist of that band left and Hernandez soon came along.

Gutierrez was inspired by other acoustic and indie musicians such as Glen Hansard and Two Door Cinema Club. The lead vocalist expressed his infatuation for Glen Hansard’s performance’s and how the musician is able to bring a “magic” on stage using just an acoustic guitar. “I would just think how does he do it? How do you do that? So that pushed me to become a performer.” says the vocalist.

All the members have a past with music. Faulkingham and Hernandez were involved in their old high school marching and jazz band. Diaz originally began to the violin but soon transitioned into playing the drums.

The name, Cannibal Kids, originated from an experience that Gutierrez, Diaz and Faulkingham had with an abandoned juvenile detention center somewhere in south Miami (I was told not to disclose the exact location of the campus). The center had shut down due to several accounts of abuse, runaways and other acts of error and unprofessionalism.

“We went inside and all of the files were still there and were still wrapped in classified tape. So we take out a folder and it’s about this kid, who we will call Jimmy, and we’re going through his records and towards the end we find his ‘reasons for detention and punishments’ and one of the pages said attempted cannibalism.” states Gutierrez.

“We went through a bunch of different names and were thinking, what would be a good name? And then Dustin comes out and says Cannibal Kids and it just fit perfectly.” So yes, thanks to ‘Jimmy’ the band was able to find a name to the new chapter of their music career.

Since that one faithful night, Cannibal Kids began playing shows all around south Florida. The band was fortunate enough to land incredible gigs such as Warped Tour and the Hard Rock hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Although doing so can be tough for an up and coming band. South Florida may be a lively metropolitan area, but for bands it’s not quite so easy to make themselves known in the music industry.

article2(From left to right) Luke Faulkingham, Dustin Diaz, Jordon Hernandez and Damian Gutierrez discuss what it’s like to be an up and coming band in Miami.

“It’s hard to make any noise in the music industry, especially down here. Just because this really isn’t a music mega city. We’re all the way in Homestead, so it’s a drive to even get to the south Florida music scene which is usually in Miami or Kendall. We’re like the outliers.” says the band, “ And it is difficult to get a booking agent or a manager or even to get people to help you move up. It’s hard to get people with legitimacy who really know how to work and know what they’re doing. Anybody can call themselves a booker.”

The music scene in south Florida may not be as bustling as other metropolitan areas, but bands do tend to stick together. Many play shows collaborate and play shows, which makes it easier to find and discover other local bands.

Along with the relationships between the local bands, the fan bases are just as strong if not stronger. After playing a gig at a local high school in Miami back in 2016, the band were able to gain some serious fans than continue to support. “Some of them are our biggest fans and they’re so hardcore. They come to like 95% of our shows and they’re there.”

“We’re all just up here having fun,” says Faulkingham, “we’re hoping us having fun will go into the crowd and [fans] can have as good of a time we’re having on stage.”

Gutierrez further talks about how performing is where he feels the most confident.

As fun as performing and being in a band may be, it doesn’t come that easy. It is imperative for a band to remain focused and persevere through any obstacle that comes their way. “In the first year of any bands life, that is [where you can see the most progress] and it becomes really easy to get lost in the first year.” warns Gutierrez, “It’s your first year you start off you play shows, you get merch, you get fans, you see your [social media] get bigger. But after that, it’s pure pushing and it’s self discipline; how dedicated are you?”

Cannibal Kids were signed to World Records back on Jan. 4, 2016.
The band had been together for a year before signing their contract with the record company.

To be active and successful in a constantly changing industry such as music, it’s important to stay determined. Cannibal Kids realized this and dedicated as much time and effort possible into their project.

Gutierrez faced an extremely hard obstacle-deciding whether or not to stay in Miami with his band or go to college elsewhere. “That fork in the road was a big decision that every high school band has to face after graduation.” says Gutierrez, “What is your goal? What are you trying to do in this industry?” The band chose to remain committed to their dreams and stayed in Miami post high school.

Cannibal Kid’s hard work and never ending tenacity for their music has paid off greatly. The band’s continuous support for one another is shown when making merch, setting gigs and of course, writing and producing songs.

In their latest single, Troubled Mind, the song delves into having an anxiety about the future. Gutierrez wrote the lyrics to talk about his life post-graduation when he was unemployed and not taking any classes. Growing up in a single parent household, Gutierrez and his family were struggling to make ends meet at the time. “It’s a song about telling my mom and my family that things are going to be okay.” says Gutierrez, “I wanted to tell my family I wanted to take on the responsibility for the ‘troubled minds’ of this and take it on and become the breadwinner of this family.”

Cannibal Kids have a dream to accomplish. After staying under the radar for a little bit, the band will continue to expand out of south Florida and conquer whatever needed in order to achieve success. The band hopes to create new merch, videos and more content by the end of the year.

“Being an artist, you’re like a culture maker-and there’s something really special about being a part of something like that.”

You can check out Cannibal Kids latest single on SpotifyiTunes and Soundcloud. If you would like to learn more about upcoming shows and tours, hit up their website.

Article Courtesy of This is Tamica