“Our first band, I was fifteen, you were eighteen,” says Daniel Quintanilla, bassist and vocalist of Adult Books. He’s referring to Nick Winfrey, the band’s guitarist and vocalist and main poodle aficionado, who, I’m pretty sure, taught Quintanilla how to drive. Together with drummer M.M. Sina, who lived a block away from Winfrey in Orange County when they were growing up, Adult Books has become a band of brothers. They’ve been playing together “for at least a decade,” and just last March released their official debut, Running from the Blows, on Lolipop and Burger Records. Now, with the new addition of Jeff Fribourg on synth and guitar, Adult Books is claiming some much deserved recognition.
I caught up with Adult Books last month at the Troubadour before their set, and somehow convinced them to sneak into the back alley and talk to me about their recent Texas tour, floating in rivers, and poodle tattoos. –Maya Eslami
WHAT YOUTH: You guys went on a mini tour to Texas last month. How was it?
DAN QUINTANILLA: It was really fun.
NICK WINFREY: It was short. It was supposed to be longer, but the H-Town Beer Fest got moved so we just chilled.
Tell me about the beer fest?
NW: The whole reason we did this tour was to go to this Houston beer fest. And then it got moved to a month later.
DQ: We were like, “We’re already on tour… We’re here.” And they were just like, “Sorry.”
That’s fucked. Are you gonna go back?
DQ: They said they’re gonna fly us back in.
NW: We originally were like, “Alright well we came all the way to Houston, you have to pay us.” And they said, “If you come back in a month we’ll pay you.”
DQ: They said, “We’ll fly you out and pay you and do all this stuff.” They were like, “Get a hotel on us, and we’ll reimburse you guys tomorrow.” We were like, “Alright!” And got a nice hotel, and then yeah.
Did they reimburse you?
DQ: No. They were like, “This is still pending.”
Despite the beer fest and all that, was it still fun?
DQ: Yeah, we had a lot of fun.
JEFF FRIBOURG: Tour was sick. We went swimming a bunch. We went to a lazy river that was super rad.
What is a lazy river?
NW: We got off the freeway at this spot that said “River.” And then started following signs that said “Inner tubes.” And you go to this big inner tube rental place, and then you rent an inner tube. We got a bunch of beer. And then you float down the river for an hour.
DQ: And then a bus picks you up.
NW: And they take you back up.
Where was this?
DQ: In San Marcos. Between Austin and San Antonio.
NW: And it was so fun. We did it twice.
DQ: We got burned.
JF: Yeah, we all got pretty sunburned and suntired.
DQ: There were so many people floating in the river, it was like a giant party.
Did you guys play other shows between then?
DQ: Yeah, we did El Paso, San Antonio, Austin.
Were you promoting the new album?
DQ: It was a good excuse to promote the new album. But yeah, we were going out to that festival, and we were like, we might as well go back and hit it again and combine everything, because we’re in Texas so much. It would’ve worked out really nice. It’ll still work out really nice if they pay us.
JF: It was good for me. I got a bunch of shows in.
DQ: Yeah, he got some practice in.
You guys wanna kick him out already?
JF: Tonight’s my last show.
NW: Jeff’s going away party.
JF: I’m really stoked. We got the Buttertones to play.
DQ: Kim and the Created. Thanks guys for doing his last show.
No but seriously. How do you like playing with Jeff?
NW: It’s great. Jeff was one of our first friends in LA.
JF: I met you guys at-
DQ: Lot 1.
NW: The Smell? Or Lot 1.
JF: I actually really met you guys the first night of your first tour with Drinking Flowers. You guys came and stayed with me, and then [Nick] moved in a month later. That was the first time you guys came to my house and we all really got to hang out.
DQ: Wyatt Blair and Thomas from Mr. Elevator, they lived together with Jeff, and we played in LA at this warehouse, and they were like, “Yeah you can stay at our house, no problem.” Cuz we were living in Orange County at the time, and going up the next day to San Francisco. And we go, “So should we just meet you there?” and they’re like, “We’re not gonna be there, but our roommate Jeff will be, he wont care.” So we went there with like ten people and Jeff was just forced to hang out with us.
NW: But then six months later, I ended up moving there.
Do you guys still live together?
NW: No, but we lived there for three years.
JF: Yeah, we lived there for a long time. And then I moved- tried to move across the country, and then didn’t, and just moved in with my girlfriend.
NW: We had a going away party.
DQ: Yeah he had a going away party and a flyer and everything and he was back in a month. It was a PR stunt.
JF: My stock went up so much.
DQ: That was a good idea.
JF: Yeah, we should do that again.
Nick, I heard you really like poodles.
NW: I grew up in a family of poodles. Not like- my mom wasn’t a poodle. My mom had a poodle when she was a kid, and I grew up with three poodles. They’re nice, they’re fluffy, you can squish their hair.
Dan, do you like poodles?
DQ: They’re okay. I’ve grown to like them since being in this band.
You guys have a t-shirt with a poodle on it.
NW: There’s been a couple. We did a Minor Threat rip off that used a poodle instead of the sheep.
DQ: Yeah, I like poodles. They’re smart.
JF: We like dogs.
DQ: I have a dog. Jeff has a cute dog, Bowie.
JF: She’s terrier, but she’s a total mutt that people say might be part poodle, which is probably how I got in the band.
DQ: Cameron Allen of Froth actually got a poodle that Nick drew tattooed [on himself].
Were you stoked Nick?
NW: Yeah I was stoked. He was on that Lolipop tour and was like, “Dude draw me a tattoo.”
JF: That was a Froth [tour] tattoo. We went into someone’s apartment in New York and I got a Dirt Dress tattoo and he got an Adult Books tattoo.
DQ: Cameron will get any tattoo if you pay for it.
Good to know.
Listen to Adult Books ‘Running from the Blows’ if you know what’s good for you.