TAMPA — Five young men brought together by a love of music, each bringing something different to the table, merging minds to create a sound all their own. That’s Miróux’s story. Or at least, the one the band tells on a steamy summer evening before a show at the Crowbar in Ybor City.
Kevin Mendel rocks lead guitar, Sebastian Siaca anchors on bass, Jazz Goodwin sets the beat on drums, Jesse Daw embellishes on keys and Jonah Hollander steers on vocals and guitar.
The band, in its first iteration, began in 2015 with Hollander and an entirely different group of people. They had a small run and played 97x’s Backyard BBQ in 2016. Soon after, Hollander found Siaca and the group put out their 2017 EP “Transparent,” cementing their alt electro-pop sound. But when some of the band members went off to college, they took a hiatus.
Hollander and Daw started producing music together at St. Petersburg College’s Music Industry Recording Arts program, won a competition and decided to keep the gig going. Hollander met Goodwin in college, too, and they found Mendel through word-of-mouth.
“We kind of made a new group in a sense,” Hollander says, “But it’s the same …”
“Essence,” Mendel offers. Hollander nods.
Miróux’s sound is reminiscent of classic bands like the Beach Boys and the Strokes, other five-men groups that mingle a variety of styles. More recently, they’ve looked to Young the Giant and Foster the People for inspiration.
They were just starting to get things going when the pandemic halted Tampa Bay’s live music industry in 2020. Miróux — Hollander’s middle name with a “u” and “x” added for fanciness, he says — took the time to develop their skills, then played their first show with the current members in 2021 at a college house party. They only scaled up from there, performing at Tampa’s Brass Mug and then St. Petersburg’s crown jewel, Jannus Live.
“Jannus Live has been a small, local dream of mine to play ever since I was young. Little did we know a month or two months later we’d be playing Amalie Arena for 20,000 people,” Hollander says.
That’s right: A new band with less than 7,000 monthly listeners on Spotify got a gig at a venue home to some of the biggest names in music. How? Earlier this year, Miróux submitted a clip of themselves performing to an online contest. The winners would get to perform as Bon Jovi’s opener for their Tampa show in April.
“A month and a half goes by. It’s 12 o’clock at night, two days before their show at Amalie and I got the email confirmed and it’s like, we’re freaking out,” Siaca recalls.
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“I had to call my parents and wake them up,” Daw says.
The band jumped into planning mode. They dropped everything, did a rehearsal that day and checked to make sure all their equipment would work for a setup that intense. Before nerves could set in, they were backing a U-Haul straight into the building, watching crew members with color-coded hardhats unload for them. But they weren’t intimidated.
“I mean, we can play a 10-person venue or we can play a 10,000-person venue,” Hollander says. “It’s like driving a car. You have to be cognizant of what you’re doing. You have to be aware. But you’re also enjoying the music. You’re enjoying the ride, you know?”
Their next show takes them back to more humble roots. The band is returning to Jannus Live on Aug. 22, when they’ll open for Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness at 97X’s Shindig. This time, they have a brand new single to show off.
“Like This” pulls you in with clear vocals and guitar picking, quickly intensifying with a strong bass line and techno undertones. It’s got memorable lyrics and a grooving tempo that’ll have you cranking the volume and rolling down the windows in the car. The influence of EDM comes through but doesn’t overwhelm the care and creativity of the composition. It could easily be a radio hit.
It didn’t come easy, though. The song has been in the works since 2017, a project started with the old band and put to the side.
“It was a totally different song. It didn’t sound anything like it really besides the chorus. The chorus is the thing that really stuck from the start. And the hook,” Siaca says.
They’re still figuring out their writing process, but now they try to get songs done as fast as they can when inspiration strikes. Miróux’s sound continues to evolve, too, as the group becomes more proficient as musicians.
The band wants to put out a large EP or an album later this year or in early 2023. But it’s a balancing act. Miróux is their main project, but each member has their hands in other pots. Hollander and Daw produce music for clients, Siaca is a bassist for hire, and Mendel dabbles in software engineering. Goodwin has been in the producing game for the longest. They may not meet up and rehearse on a set schedule, but they find time and they’re consistent.
“I think we sound better than we ever have,” Hollander says.
Next on the to-do list: Get a manager and an agent, maybe plan a tour or make it on the festival circuit and book gigs such as Lollapalooza, Coachella, Bonnaroo or Okeechobee. They seem a little hesitant about breaking into the TikTok music scene, but acknowledge it’s almost a necessity these days. Continuing to build their following on social media, in general, is always on their minds. (They have that Bon Jovi show to thank for a boost in their Instagram following.)
“Nowadays, people can find clips of you playing live or see videos of it and stuff. They don’t actually have to be there in person to be like, ‘Oh, this is a band I’d want to go see,’” Daw says.
Still, playing live shows to cheering local crowds is what Miróux loves to do.
“It’s so exhilarating, it’s so fun,” Hollander says. “I would do it every day of my life if I could. I’m hoping to.”
If you go
Miróux plays Jannus Live, 200 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg, at 7 p.m. Aug. 22. jannuslive.com. Tickets start at $25. Buy them here. Looking for other ways to support and keep up with the band? Follow their Spotify, Instagram or Facebook.