By Emma Hug Rosenstein| July 5, 2023
📸: shot by Jon Vazquez

The Nashville-based indie group, Post Sex Nachos, are as polished as seasoned musical veterans but have a distinct youthful vibe. Their sound is intermixed with hints of pop, rock, and funk. Listening to their music is like taking a journey through your youth and picking up different meanings and messages through each song along the way. The band is composed of Sammy Elfy (vocals and rhythm), Mitch Broddon (lead guitar), Chase Mueller (bass), Kevin Jerez (keys), and Hunter Pendleton (drums). Their songs are defined by realistic lyrics mixed with upbeat dance rhythms. They sing about relationships, adulthood, and life changes but keep things fun with playful melodies. One factor is undeniable: their music will make you move, whether that’s a foot tap, a head nod to the central beat, or a sweaty night full of dancing with friends. 

Originally formed in Columbia, Missouri, the band is a very close-knit group of friends tethered as co-workers – together they are as tight as the crack of a whip. 

We sat down with Post Sex Nachos before their show at the Bowery Ballroom on June 29th, where they answered a few questions for the groovement. 

How did you all originally meet and how did you form the band?
Hunter: We met and we were all in one of those big group chats that colleges so often have. Sammy and Chase knew each other. They’re a year older than me, and they had been jamming for a little while. Sammy sent a message into the big group chat like, ‘hey, we need someone to play drums.’ I played drums a little bit when I was younger, so I sort of lied and was like yeah I can play drums, just looking to make friends. We started jamming, and then the rest is history, I suppose.

Chase: Try to make friends, and you got co-workers.

Hunter: We added Mitch like the week before our first show.

Mitch: I lied and said I played keys. Sammy asked if I would play keys on “Coffee,” one of our songs that was out at the time for the first show. I kind of just kept sticking around and seeing what else I could do. I was a music major at the time, and I was taking a piano class like, ‘I know the keys.’ I don’t. Not well. I figured it out and faked it until I made it. Then I picked up a guitar, and they were like ‘why don’t you just play that.’

Chase: With Kevin, we were lucky enough to go to the grand opening to the Long John Silvers in town where he was first in line. We were casual goers and thought maybe we’ll be the first 50 in line.

Sammy: He sat in the same booth all day.

Kevin: Alright, I’m going to speak for myself. They pulled me out of impending retirement. I had been playing music in Columbia [Missouri] for a long time. I stopped due to Covid and being kind of done with music for a while. I had a music friend on socials who put out a message looking for a keyboardist. My girlfriend saw it and was like, ‘hey you’re pretty miserable coming home from work every day. So how about you go to that rehearsal?’ For a week I said no. Another week goes by, and I hit them up, went to rehearsal and fell madly in love. 

How far along was that from the start of playing as a band together?
Mitch: It was after about two years. Since then, it’s been about another two years.

Hunter: In the middle of recording our first album, we found out that the University of Missouri was shutting down because of Covid. For the first 18 months after we released music, we were either home, remote learning, and not really able to play shows. It was sort of a slow ramp back to playing shows. Our first tour we did, a lot of venues had people sit at tables, masks and pods, and that was kind of it. Really the first two years trying to do it was during lockdown, and that made things pretty difficult.

Sammy: It gave us a different outlook cause we got to play a bunch of cool shows that would not have happened if it wasn’t for the circumstances. The Blue Note, our hometown’s biggest venue, we got to play that as like our seventh show because we could sell 150 tickets, and that’s how many people they were letting in. We got the experience of getting to practice for a year before we got to play a lot of shows for real. Really figuring out what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it. And then failing. And then trying again, and then failing. And then still trying and still failing. 

You brought up Covid while playing music earlier, but can you talk about some of the challenges you overcame starting out in college and trying to pursue music?
Hunter: Honestly, logistics of trying to balance: I think this is universal for a lot of bands, balancing work, school and devoting time to rehearsing. Brainstorming how to build the band and grow an audience, it’s sort of a boring answer but figuring out how to do music in a sustainable way. One, so we don’t get burnt out. But two, we needed to support ourselves.

Sammy: Every three weeks someone gets sick or there would be a scare. It was a lot of unknown at the time. 

What is the origin of the name?
Chase: It’s somewhat of a long story. We tell it in five parts. Cause really it’s a five chapter story. We haven’t had the name officially for as long as we’ve been a group. We were going to do this one-off in Arkansas. It already sucks we’re going to Arkansas, but halfway there we’re in southern Missouri. It was our minivan Jolene; it broke down. We’re a couple hundred miles out in the middle of nowhere.

Kevin: I’ll pick it up. I had agreed to come to the rehearsal and a few weeks go by for the next gig. With me joining, we were like, “should we rename the band or re-examine the name?”

Sammy: Once Kevin gets in the van and joins us, there was a–I don’t know what you call it–maybe a superstition thing, but we were like, ‘this guy feels right.’ That moment will come back later. Kevin gets in, and we’re talking about meeting. At this point, he had only come to three practices, so we were still getting to know him. Every so often, he would hit us with something unexpected that we are like, ‘who are you?’ Like Kevin said that he has had every gaming console from 1994 on. We were talking about some of the games he had played on the GameCube. And one of them was Donkey Kong.

Hunter: Donkey Kong, wonderful game. One of my favorite parts of that game specifically is the cross compatibility with GameCube and Wii games. We started talking about other Wii games. I pulled up a game that is very near and dear to my heart as a child, which is Cooking Mama. One of my favorite parts of Cooking Mama was to make nachos. Reminiscing as a child, making those virtual nachos. We were driving, it was nighttime and late, very pensive and getting deep and thinking about growing up, maturing and reflecting on that. Thinking about my favorite game in my childhood, and now I’m older. It just got super deep.

Mitch: That’s where Hunter was relating the innocence of nachos to his adulthood, where things like sex happen and blending the two. I think it’s really nice to wrap up what we’re about. We’re childish adults and have a business to run, and we like chips and cheese. 

So did you just throw the name out then?
Hunter: Yeah, someone was talking about the innocence of childhood and the contrast between being an adult, the problems and some of the good things. Somehow someone said something about nachos after sex, that’s a crazy thing I never thought would happen in my lifetime.

Chase: Keep in mind we’re stranded at this point, we had nothing to talk about.

Hunter: It got thrown out there, and we looked at each other and were like alright. 

What was the first show the group played?
Chase: I believe it was a sorority party.

Sammy: It was a perfect tune up gig for our bigger Blue Note show the next day. We were like, if there’s a good time to test out these songs and also Guns N’ Roses covers, we could do it there. And sorority gigs pay well. As college students, we were rich for a day. 

How did the crowd react? 
Kevin: A lot of happy dads. It was my first two shows back-to-back. It was really cool to see the two modes of the band and get a feel for how this is going to go. At the fundraising event there’s no stage, we were playing on the ground. Then three songs in dads, just a sea of heads nodding in approval. The next day at The Blue Note, I thought we killed it. For my first show, I was blown away by how well we did. All I could think is I wish the dads were here. 

Do you feel you’re more inspired by the Nashville scene than Missouri because of the people and influences there?
Sammy: I would say 100% for me personally, yes. 

Kevin: That was the big influence for the move, to be around people who are driven. Being around people who want to be making things is really helpful.

Sammy: And care about it. 

What’s your songwriting process?
Sammy: There are generally two formulas. The one that the band comes up with instrumentals on the spot at a practice and then we build around, and lyrics come later. The other form is I bring a form and lyrics to the band, and we flesh it out as a group. That’s pretty much the way it’s kind of been. Or someone will bring a specific line, and we’ll hammer that out.

Chase: No one being better or worse than the other. Regardless of who brings what over the years, the process has been more collaborative than anything else now. Everyone gets to add their own taste to each of the songs now. 

You released your first album in 2020 self titled Post Sex Nachos. Your second album followed in 2021, Grandpa Slinks, and the third album came out in 2022, Your Second Favorite Boy Band. Out of those three albums, is there a specific song that is your favorite to play live or have special memories attached?
Hunter: The first one that jumps out is the last song on the third album, “Wishing You The Best,” which is almost always the song that we close with. It has a pretty complex backstory of what the song is about. That one stands out to me.

Chase: “You Got Me Fallin” is a great song live.

Sammy: I love “Midwest Daze.”

Kevin: The song that got me to go to the rehearsal and get the gig, the song that caught me, was “Nothing’s Gonna Change.” For me, it’s pretty basic, but the keyboard part sounded really fun and kind of challenging, and I really wanted to give it a shot. 

Your latest EP, Keep Moving, includes three songs “Keep Moving,” “Changes,” and “Growing Old.” Based on the titles, the EP seems to have to do with getting older and maybe embracing adulthood. Can you give an insight into the inspiration of the album?
Sammy: “Growing Old” we worked on during our West Coast tour. We were looking for something to fill a time slot, so I had a kind of fleshed out demo, that was pretty bad, of “Growing Old.” A lot of the signifiers are similar, just different sounds. We worked it out at a Guitar Center practice space. That song at the time, I had written the lyrics two weeks before we went on the road to show them eventually. We just moved out of our last house in Columbia, and we were kind of homeless for this period of time when we went on the West Coast tour, because we were waiting to move into our place in Nashville. There was a lot of change happening at one time. It was just a bunch of stuff, we hadn’t experienced before, and it came through in the lyrics. Once we brought it together as a band was when that song got the spark. We were all feeling what the lyrics were trying to say. The best part of that EP was this moment in Burbank where we were recording it. For the song “Changes,” when Kevin sat down at the keyboard, we had a form and lyrics for this song and a fleshed out idea. Hunter had a solid drum part, Mitch and I had a cute little dueling guitar thing and Chase had his bassline figured out. But we didn’t know what to do for Kev yet.

Kevin: It was very happenstance. It was supposed to be a drum day, Hunter knocked out all his drums parts so fast we could get to other creative stuff. I sat down at the keyboard, and it was a really simple thing, but being in that space was really special and all the missing pieces of those three songs that we didn’t have were created in that space. It got tied together in that space. We were having a lot of fun and the songs reflected a lot. For topics that are so introspective and heavy those songs are very uplifting.

A few months ago you hosted a music festival called Nachofest in Missouri. How did that idea first come about?
Chase: Our managers were the ones really pushing for it. Nachofest was always the idea on their end. We were a little hesitant at first. Columbia is our hometown, and we have a wonderful support base there. We still thought hosting our own music festival is a bit of a jump. It was. But it was successful by all means outside of a little rain. We put together a really cool line up and local vendors.

Have any of you ever hosted and planned a big event before?
Hunter: No, it was our first time.

Can you talk about the process of recruiting musicians to play and organizing the event?
Hunter: We were responsible for finding the artists to play, finding the vendors. The team had the nuts and bolts, and we were like the big picture. We kind of pulled from our circle and got a fun bill together. Threw a festival outdoors in Missouri in April which was a mistake because it did rain.

Plans to make a second annual Nachofest?
Sammy: We’re in talks. 

Can you give some insight into tour life and how you balance traveling, working and keeping each other sane? 
Chase: We love it. We tell our agent, more shows, more shows please. 

Kevin: When we’re not touring, all we want to be doing is touring. It takes maybe a week after we get off the road for us to miss touring. 

What’s your favorite part of touring?
Kevin: Locations, people, energy.

Hunter: Meeting new people.

Chase: It’s really cool cause since we’ve all left college, no one really wants to stick around in Missouri, and we have friends sprawling across the US. We get to have these small reunions with friends from high school, college, and people we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Now we’re on a yearly basis of seeing those people.

Hunter: There’s definitely challenges to it too, I would say. I’ve had friends who are also musicians who are thinking about touring. I always say if you don’t like spending most of the time in the car and then like sleeping on the floor, that’s most of what touring is.

Sammy: We have the most gracious hosts.

Kevin: We have so many wonderful family and friends that have put us up, feed us and offer us the kind of hospitality that makes us take a step back. It’s almost too much sometimes the amount of care and love we get. And all we can do is tell them if it wasn’t for you, it would be so much harder. 

Is there anything you want people to take away from your music?
Sammy: In a word, dance. If you listen to the lyrics, most of it is not really what you would picture when listening to a dance song. The music makes you feel energized and movement-centric. A lot of the lyrics, even if it’s vague sometimes, it’s about tough shit.

Connect with Post Sex Nachos on Spotify, Instagram, TikTok and their website.

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