Bassist on Bassist Q&A: Kinseli Baricuatro and Marcus Bell

On powering the scene's rhythm section, fueled by lip gloss and tequila cranberries

(l-r) Mid-20s four-string extraordinaires Marcus Bell and Kinseli Baricuatro (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Legend has it a park in Austin's Wells Branch suburb produced a literal well of four-string talent. Kinseli Baricuatro and Marcus Bell – North Austin natives both in the running for Best Bassist at the Austin Music Awards (open at until Jan. 30) for the second year in a row – grew up just blocks from each other, stomping around the same outdoor spaces.

Ex-aspiring band director Baricuatro, 26, boasts a résumé of work with Lainey Gonzales, Lady Dan, and Nayome, among several other young Austin indie acts. The self-described "creature" of pop troupe Indoor Creature, 25-year-old Bell is a similarly storied musician (with Prixmo, Deezie Brown, and his own project Omni) – and popped up on the local radar at nearly the same time as Baricuatro.

"Just so close, but it's fate that we're here now," Bell describes of their uncrossed paths until around 2018. The Chronicle invited the twin flames to question each other regarding onstage habits, ire for now-defunct Drag venue Love Goat, and, naturally, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Kinseli Baricuatro: Marcus, what would the ingredients in your taco be?

Marcus Bell: Well, I'm gonna throw you a loop right here. Eggs … fajita steak. And honestly, I'm inspired by the potato thin things [pointing to his Cherrywood Coffeehouse taco covered in shoestring potatoes], and cheese. All you need is one of these tacos before the gig and you're good the rest of the night. What's yours?

KB: The regular Kinseli taco would be ground beef, pico, avocado crema, actual avocados, like a little ranch-type sauce … Let's just put lettuce, for the sake of greens. Like a little salad. And then the Dirty Kinseli would be queso instead of shredded cheese.

MB: Dirty Kinseli!

Austin Chronicle: Do you remember when you two first met?

KB: I remember seeing you for the first time. It was when Indoor Creature wasn't Indoor Creature-ing yet. Like, y'all didn't have the following that y'all have [now] yet. It had to have been one of your first shows, maybe. I don't remember, but I remember you.

MB: The first time I saw you was with a band as well, but you're just in so many bands that I can't fucking remember.

KB: I bet it was either Socha or Springful at the time.

MB: Socha! Yes, yes, yes. That must have been at least three or four years ago … What about your weirdest gig? Or dare I say, worst gig?

“That feels like GTA. Like, the part where they have the dialogue, ‘Mission passed: Played a gig and didn’t get that distracted.’”   – Kinseli Baricuatro

KB: I had this jam with Springful. First of all, the bartender wasn't there. It was at Love Goat, which isn't there anymore. Like three people were there. This guy [played] after us. His song was like [electronic-pop voice], "I love music, music love." It was so cheeky, but also I was here for it. His spirit was speaking to me a little bit. There's some people where you don't know if they're actually people. They're just like bits in the simulation …

MB: NPCs [non-player characters]?

KB: Yeah, literally NPCs. It felt like he was an NPC. What about you?

MB: Love Goat was such a problem. You know how Love Goat had those big fucking showcases during South By, with a bunch of bands everywhere? The sound guy was not there. The bartenders were disappearing. Frequently. So the craziest part, though: Midsong, midset, this dude, he's drunk, stumbling, walks up the stairs and starts walking onstage while we're playing. He knocks over one of the PA systems or one of the amps. We don't know what to do.

You know how they have like a fence separating us from falling over [the balcony] on the second story? He broke that, and then jumped off of it onto the lower level. I walk over there while I'm playing, look over, and there's a bike. He's alive, and he has a bike? I'm not even exaggerating. He's riding on the roof and then he just rides it off the fucking roof.

KB: What happened?

MB: It's not like that big of a drop, I'm sure he survived. We just kept playing, like, "That was nuts. Sorry about the fence." Then, I'm talking to this girl after the gig, and she's like, "Yeah, that was my ex-boyfriend. He came here because we just broke up, and I'm here with another dude that he knows, and that guy that I'm with is actually working the door." It was a whole love-conundrum triangle.

KB: That feels like GTA [Grand Theft Auto]. Like, the part where they have the dialogue, "Mission passed: Played a gig and didn't get that distracted."

MB: These are literally Sims. And we killed it. Never played there again … What is your signature stage move, besides just playing bass?

KB: Oh, I don't know. I really don't know.

MB: I do.

KB: What is it? I mean, it could be the lip gloss, but that could be a phase.

MB: Have you ever seen Kinseli do that live? Have you ever seen Kinseli do that shit? That's your signature move, I think.

KB: I do love lip gloss. Because, I feel genuinely naked, like I forgot my lip gloss in the car. I only have the balm on me right now. I'm probably known for messing with my hair, because I have a lot. But it feels cringey to label those things as "cool."

MB: You can't call it "cool," but people notice. I think it's natural, like a tic, you know? It happens onstage, midsong. On beat. On tempo. We don't miss a note.

KB: Because it'll be the whole bridge. No bass in the bridge, then I'll put it on.

MB: For me, I always have a drink onstage with me. I get like a tequila cranberry. When I have a little chance, I'll kneel down, get a drink. People are like, "Dude, you do that all the time. It's so fucking cool." I'm like, "I'm just trying to rush, because I'm parched, and want to get an extra boost for this part I'm about to come back in on."

KB: If you could play bass for any famous person, who?

MB: Toro y Moi.

KB: I think for me, Raveena. Wouldn't that be cute? Can we @ Raveena?

MB: Raveena totally makes sense. It just makes sense.

KB: OK, wait. One quirky question: What kind of bender would you be – like air, fire, earth, water? I think fire.

MB: I love this question. 100%, a firebender. If I'm not a firebender, I'm an airbender.

KB: I think I'm an airbender. Well, you are also an Aries, and I'm an Aquarius, which is air.

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Kinseli Baricuatro, Marcus Bell, Lainey Gonzales, Lady Dan, Nayome, Indoor Creature, Prixmo, Deezie Brown, Omni, Toro y Moi, Raveena

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