The Point Grooves the Night Away at Local Live, Feb. 25 2024

The Point Grooves the Night Away at Local Live, Feb. 25 2024

February 25, 2024 in Local Live

by dj lemonhead

The Point took to the airwaves last Sunday to deliver an immensely creative slate of music which is most accurately described as jazz-fusion but transcends genre boundaries. Guitarist Jack Montesinos, keyboardist and bassist Joe Roddy and drummer Nico Leophonte make up the trio. While Jack and Joe are only in their early 20s, the two have been playing together since middle school, laying the foundation for the band's instrumental prowess today. Their funky, often improvised, rhythms mesh well with Nico's drumming in the mix.

A trip through The Point’s discography reveals their influences outside of jazz: hip hop, dub and psych, to name a few. The band’s unique start as a duo recreating hip hop beats and samples allowed them to approach their fusion sound from a unique angle.

Because of this tradition, the band specializes in borrowing elements from the diverse music they consume and reworking these into their songs. The product is a danceable, groovy sound that is guaranteed to have audience members on their feet.

The Point recently released their first single since 2022, "Leaving," which is a predecessor to the band's upcoming album Maldito Animal.

Read our interview with The Point below.

Q: Could you please introduce yourselves, tell us what you do in the band and give us your favorite appetizer?

Joe: My name is Joe Roddy. I play keys and bass. I’ll probably have to go with a french fry.

Jack: My name is Jack Montesinos. My favorite appetizer is brussels sprouts.

Joe: Oh, that’s a good one. That’s healthier than a french fry.

Nico: What do you play?

Jack: Oh, I play the guitar.

Nico: Hey, I’m Nico Leophonte. I play drums. I’m going to go with a kale salad with parmesan.

Q: If you were to describe the sound of your band to someone who has never heard The Point before, what would you say?

Nico: I would think of one word: exotic.

Joe: Maybe organ.

Jack: Lots of organ.

Joe: Sometimes too much organ.

Joe: Trio, I guess. We’re a trio.

Q: Would you describe yourself as any specific genre?

Jack: We always put alternative.

Joe: Dance - I don’t know if that’s a genre.

Jack: Not house music, but you can dance to it.

Q: You just had a single come out on Friday - what was that like for y'all? What was the process of making that song?

Jack: Well, we've been playing it for a year now. We recorded it at Beto Martinez's studio, Lechehouse Music. He's in bands like Grupo Fantasma and Money Chicha. He helped us a lot with the sound, and Nico has a studio, too, called Alnico Recording Studio. We're spending a lot of time in there and recording. We just kind of made it up on the spot one day and then kept playing it. That's really it.

Q: Is that how your songwriting process normally goes?

Joe: It's pretty spontaneous, I would say. Sometimes we will come up with a song when we're playing live - something like a groove or a lick - and then we'll build off of that over time. Sometimes, Jack will come and be like, "I've got a song," and we'll just sit down and learn it. Sometimes I do, too. So it's pretty spontaneous. Whatever happens.

The Point - Jack by Abraham Vidal

Photos by Abraham Vidal.

Q: You also have an album coming out soon, right? "Leaving" is the first single from this album?

Jack: Yeah, it'll be on the first side of the album. It's called Maldito Animal, which is coming out May 10.

Q: How long have you guys been working on the album?

Joe: We recorded it over the span of a couple months, starting last fall. Some of the songs are a little old. We've just been playing them for so long, and they're not out, so we thought we might as well record them.

Q: You guys have four other albums out already, which is pretty impressive. How do you think your music has evolved over time, from the first album to your new project coming out?

Jack: When we started, we were just coming out of freshman year of high school, so we started this group to make and sell hip hop beats. It was just [me and Jack], and we did that throughout all of high school. We just played beat shows, backed up rappers and recorded a lot. Almost towards the pandemic, we started playing at this club called C-Boy's on South Congress. We played there every week, or whenever we could, with a drummer, Alberto Taylor, and we'd been playing with him since we were little kids, so it was cool. We did covers for years and formed this weird sound that way, but it all comes from doing hip hop and trying to recreate samples.

Joe: Originally, when it started, the live band was trying to recreate iconic samples and stuff like that while playing live.

Q: Are there any specific bands or artists who have been super influential on your music?

Joe: Definitely a lot. We listen to a lot of people and pull from everything - anything that we can, anything we like. Khun Narin is a band that I really like. I found out about them a little after COVID hit, when everyone started listening to new music. It's just stuff like that: stuff that I've never heard before, stuff that we've never heard before. It's really mind blowing to hear for the first time, and we try to capture that feeling sometimes.

Q: How did you become this specific trio, with Nico in the mix?

Joe: We all met Nico at C-Boy's. We had been playing with Alberto, and [Nico] recorded our EP that we put out in 2022, Berto's Banquet, at his studio. It sounded really good, and we just ended up playing together and developing the sound all the time.

Nico: I was going to the C-Boy's gig to see another band, actually. I got there early, and I saw them. The drummer has been a longtime friend, and I'm very fond of him. He's a very smart person - a great drummer - and he was there playing with these two guys. The sound was so spectacular already. I went to see Alberto in the summer, and I told him, "You know what, I'm not doing anything. Come to the studio if you want, and let's record this." Just like that, they came one afternoon and played together, and they let me do whatever I wanted with it. I mixed it. I sent it back, and they said, "We like it. We're gonna put it out." And boom. Our friend Drew Scherger did the artwork, and he also did the artwork for the new record. That's how we met. Then one day, Jack called me to sub for Alberto because he couldn't do a gig, and we played, and it felt really good.

the point- nico by abraham vidal

Photos by Abraham Vidal.

Q: How did each of you get into making music?

Nico: I grew up in France. I came here in 1995 to discover the town because I'd heard of it, and I fell in love with it. I stayed, and I played with many different bands then opened my studio about 13 years ago. Yeah, I just played with all the bands that allowed me to play with them.

Joe: My grandma put me in piano lessons when I was super young, and music's always been in my family because my dad is a musician - Ted Roddy. I played piano up until I met Jack, honestly, because he's a really good guitar player. When we first started hanging out, I had just gotten my first guitar. So I was playing that, and that's how we became friends in middle school because we went to Lamar.

Jack: I played drums as my first instrument. My dad's coworker gave me lessons. Then I had to get rid of the drums because I was using his, and he needed them for a gig. I never had drums again, so I started playing guitar when I was 10. That same year, I started gigging and playing blues around Austin a lot with this gospel band, The Original Bells of Joy. They're not around anymore, but I played with them a lot in East Austin when I was growing up.

Q: Do y'all have any kind of pre-show rituals or routines you go through, or is it just whatever goes?

Jack: Talk a little s--- and find the bathroom and the water. No, not really. We just kind of sit there.

Q: And what about post-show? Same thing?

Jack: Pretty much we just talk about the set. "Dude that was sick!"

Nico: One thing: afterwards we don't critique the show. We just say, "Man, that was fun." That's it. Because it's very improv, we let go. So that's it; it kind of dissipates. That's the end of the night. We get paid, hopefully.

Q: Have you ever been on tour before?

Joe: No.

Q: Is that something you see yourself doing in the future, or are you good with sticking in Austin?

Joe: We'll definitely fly the coop.

Jack: I think we've only done Texas: Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, here. We're gonna do a little duo tour in May for four days. We're going to Marfa and all the towns around Marfa, just playing ambient music. So it's gonna be nothing like what you heard.

Q: Do y'all have any favorite venues to play in Austin?

Joe: I would say C-Boy's is probably first because it's kind of how we formulated what we are now. Continental Club, too.

Nico: Yeah. The Gallery, above the Continental Club. Which other place did we play? We played at Far Out.

Jack: Far Out Lounge is cool. I like outdoor at Far Out.

Q: What other Austin bands would you love to play a show with right now?

Jack: It's hard, there's a lot. I love that band CAZAYOUX, and we're gonna play with them on March 8 for their release show.

Joe: They're really fun to watch; there's like 10 people in it.

the point - joe by abraham vidal

Photos by Abraham Vidal.

Q: Do you have any specific artists or music you listen to that someone else wouldn't expect? Something that's outside of your normal genres?

Jack: I like Charlie XCX a lot. I like reggaeton.

Joe: I really like banda.

Jack: Rosalía.

Joe: Rosalía's great.

Nico: I like Mexican music like Los Panchos - the very traditional trio. It's very romantic. We like that stuff from the ‘50s.

Q: Do you have a least favorite venue in Austin, somewhere that you've had a bad experience before?

Nico: I won't say the name because I respect these people too much. But it's a venue where they have many bands every day, and they don't have a drum set. I find that very sad because the drummer has to carry his stuff. They actually have a bass amp, which is the biggest insult. They have a bass amp and not a drum set. That's why I don't play that venue anymore, because every club in Austin has a great drum set.

Jack: I'm not really into playing places where everyone in the audience is just there to get loaded and hook up. They usually hate our music. I don't know, Austin's got a lot of good venues. It makes everyone else look like a one-horse town.

Q: If you had to recommend one song - maybe something that's your favorite right now or something you've been listening to a lot - what song would you give us?

Joe: Off the top of my head, there's an Italian song called "Non E'Niente" by Catherine Spaak, and that's one of my favorite songs of all time. It sounds very French. It's from the '60s, but it sounds very regal, almost like Roy Orbison.

Jack: I would say this song called "Papatya" by Çiçek Taksi. They're a new band, but they do traditional Turkish folk music with an accordion, clarinet, double bass and, I think, guitar.

Joe: They're awesome.

Jack: I really like Çiçek Taksi.

Nico: I think I will go with the single we just released. Listen to "Leaving." It's ready for you to enjoy.

Jack: This guy's out of control.

Find The Point here:

The Point's upcoming shows:

March 8 - Sahara Lounge Austin

March 14 - C-Boy's Austin

The Point. Group Photo - Abraham Vidal

Photo by Abraham Vidal.

Musicians: Joe Roddy - keyboard, bass, vocals; Jack Montesinos - guitar, vocals; Nico Leophonte - Drums


Production Manager: Simón Marulanda-Mesa; Set Design Director: Cooper Stephenson;

Audio Director: Aiden Sharabba; Audio Interns: Nathan Crews, Ethan Rangel;

Video Directors: Zahra Ahmed, Cassie Quintela;

Photo Directors: Trevor Keig, Abraham Vidal; Photo Intern: Galilea Gutierrez;

TSTV Producer: Michael Norris, Darren Puccala;

Interviewers: Morgan Lenamond, Rayna Sevilla;

Volunteers: Rhian Jackson, Rob Paine, Krista McLeod, Brianna Padron, Kailyn Bagtas, Andrea Ramirez, Alyse Stiles,

All Photo's thanks to KVRX's Abraham Vidal.

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