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Exclusive Interview: The Rise of Pancho & the Wizards

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Local Legends, Pancho & the Wizards stand out as one of the loudest voices in San Luis Obispo's music scene.


With five years under their belt, the DIY torchbearers have continuously given back to the community by hosting house shows and slaying stages with notable acts like FIDLAR, the Garden, and Hooveriii.

Like many other bands who enter the rabbit hole that is psychedelic garage rock, Pancho & the Wizards started out as an outlet for expression. Another jam band honoring the rock gods, according to vocalist/guitarist Tristan Wildey, "that was kind of the joke. I mean I'm not that good at jamming, but I was like let's be the Mucho Wizard Jam Band."

Over the years, around 10 people have contributed to the group; however, the current incarnation with Keegan and Trevor is a bit more serious. Taking time to focus on writing new songs and getting them out to the people, Pancho is ready to break out of the local scene and start performing abroad.

Diving deeper into the fuzzy, spaced-out tones of bands like Frankie & the Witch Fingers and King Tuff, Pancho & the Wizards have really started to chip away at uncovering their own sound.

Their most recent album, Cemetery, is a solid nod in that direction.

Released on vinyl in collaboration with the 805 beer company, Cemetery is the much needed fuel for any headbanger's journey. Don't be surprised if it becomes the spring board that lets them take their tunes on the road.

I had the chance of catching up with vocalist Tristan Wildey before his set at a local house show. You know, back when DIY shows actually happened...pre social distancing.


Here's what he had to say:

Q: So you’ve released your most recent album, “Cemetery” on vinyl? A: Yeah, this is technically kind of a soft release for our physical record. We have vinyl that we’re selling today. We released the album digitally online through Spotify and Apple Music a few months ago, but the records just came in, so that’s exciting. That’s why we’re here tonight. Q: How’d you go about getting the record pressed? A: Well actually, we’re friends with the people at the 805 beer company. One of the guys from Firestone Walker came out to one of our shows and he knew we were about to come out with an album, so he suggested that they release it for us on vinyl.

So they funded the project and then in exchange, they get to use each of the songs from the album in a commercial or something. They also got like a hundred of them to keep and give away for promo. Q: From what I know, you guys started up as kind of a jam band back in 2015... A: Yea, that was kind of the joke. Well I mean I’m not that good at jamming, but I was like, let’s be the Mucho Wizard Jam Band. It was actually different people than what it is now. It was before Keagan’s time, he was my friend and we’d hang out, but a bunch of people have been in the band.