They don’t call Milwaukee the “Hollywood of Southeastern Wisconsin” for nothing . We’ve got our fair share of locally born, bred, or based celebrities, and The Squeaky Curd is sitting down with them at local watering holes to talk love songs, brandy Old Fashioneds, sisterhood, and Milwaukee. Oh, and don’t miss a special surprise at the bottom of this article…
It only took us four tries on a wet, winter, Tuesday night to find a bar that was open for us to chat; thankfully, the new Fixture Pizza Pub in Walker’s Point provided a warm spot to find out a bit more about local sister-duo Victoriah and Gabriela of the band REYNA. A move 8 years ago from El Paso, TX to Milwaukee and a few years honing their musical skills locally as Vic and Gab lead to REYNA. They’re now entering their second year under that moniker with new sounds and new songs but the same driving feelings.
The Squeaky Curd: As a Milwaukeean, where do I probably know you from?
REYNA: We write love songs, we play shows around town, we try to make the world a better place through music.
TSC: In your opinion, what would you like me to know you for?
REYNA: We feel like we’re part of the great Milwaukee community. We’ve been around, done so many crazy things.
TSC: What’s your connection to Milwaukee?
REYNA: We moved here with our family from Texas 8 years ago. When we first came here, we were kind of lonely; we made the mistake of staying home too much.
Now, Milwaukee is our home. We’re connected to the city and to the people here. We still run into and remember people we saw at our first show.
TSC: What makes Milwaukee a desirable place for you to live and work?
REYNA: People are so nice here. I know that sounds corny, but (Milwaukeeans) genuinely want you to do well. It’s like, if one person from Milwaukee makes it, everyone is excited.
Plus, there’s really good drinks and beer.
TSC: What’s your favorite thing to do in Milwaukee?
REYNA (Vic): Try out different featured drinks at bars. There’s just so many cool places to try.
(Gab): See movies at the Oriental Theatre. It’s so beautiful and historic.
TSC: What’s your favorite song to play live?
REYNA (Gab): I’d say Magazines.
It was a shit-show recording process, really difficult writing. We sat in a room on a bed with no back support all day. But it was our our first time with a female producer, Susie, and we were just kind of rooting for it to turn out well. It turned out great, and it’s fun to sing.
TSC: What are you drinking?
REYNA (Gab): We’re both drinking brandy Old Fashioned sweets. My obsession comes from Madmen. I want to be Don Draper.
(Vic): I had a bad experience with too much Miller Lite at a Packer game, so I quickly switched to a different local drink instead.
(Writer’s Note: The Squeaky Curd holds the opinion that there is no such thing as “too much” Miller Lite.)
TSC: Is it difficult being in a band or business with a sibling?
REYNA (Gab): It can be hard, but it can be so nice too. I can give Vic a look in the studio (*sisterly-glare across the table*) and she knows what I’m thinking.
TSC: If you could have a beer with one other local celebrity, who would it be?
REYNA (Gab): Milverine, definitely. I’d want to ask him, ‘Why do you do what you do and love it so much?’
(Vic): Will Ferrell. He’s local because of the Old Milwaukee commercials, right? I’d bring him a cold one.
TSC: If you could say one thing to someone just moving to Milwaukee today…
REYNA: Get out, take a chance. People are responsive. People from Milwaukee want to make other people love Milwaukee, and so it’s an easy place to make friends.
REYNA will be writing more songs this coming spring with eyes on a possible album and/or tour, but as of today The Squeaky Curd is beyond excited to be the first place in Milwaukee that you can check out their BRAND NEW song, Matinee:
(Vic): This new song’s about redemption, coming out of trouble spots. Kind of, ‘You’ll see me shining, liberated’.