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Forever Miles

Updated: Apr 3

Interview takes place on February 29, 2024 at Forever Miles' rehearsal space in Houston, TX


When it comes to what holds Forever Miles together, it’s all about their love for each other.


At least that’s the clear message I received while sitting on their bohemian rehearsal space floor, listening to every conversation circle back to how deeply they all cared for the other members in the room. It is palpable how much they all feel the band is a family - which is unironically true for members AJ Martinez (lead vocals, guitar) and Andrew Martinez (drums), who started the band over a decade ago as brothers who found passion in playing music at a young age in a musical household. Andrew recalls, “Our dad kept instruments in our living room and I got to see him teach AJ how to play guitar when I was around the age of four, and I was just drawn toward the drumset. I don’t know what I would’ve picked up if instruments weren’t always around me.”


Andrew and AJ Martinez on the floor of their rehearsal studio

After deciding in 2017 to fully dedicate themselves to music, the two went through a few different band members before the 2020 pandemic took things through a divine turnaround, leading them to reconnect with Sergio Vazquez Puglisi (bass) while playing at local Houston venue 1810 Ojeman. “I went to high school with Alex, who books for 1810 Ojeman, and he let us practice there during COVID. We’d buy out the bar for a whole night, and Sergio was there [filling in on bass], which was him joining us,” AJ explained, “Alex is what made Ojeman what it is now. He’s the reason why they started booking people and having a stage. It’s a safe haven there to just be yourself.”


Rochelle Sloan and Sergio Vazquez Puglisi on the floor of their rehearsal studio

Shortly after, Rochelle Sloan (trumpet),  joined in one song while jamming with the band, ultimately realizing she wanted to join in for a full set. “We were all playing in different bands,” Sergio added, “destiny put us together. It was meant to be.” Rochelle even learned keys to add more parts to songs, and by the time venues started to open back up again the band couldn’t stop writing music together - culminating in the ‘Sundancing’ record that’s out now on all streaming platforms.


Sergio and Rochelle coming on board was as if the decade-long Forever Miles mystery finally had all its stars aligned, and they haven’t looked back since. “I wanted us to have a very healthy, productive way of expressing ourselves,” says AJ, “If there’s ever an issue, we will treat it with love. We’ve always got to remember why we walked into the room in the first place. Besides the music, we’re just trying, and we’re humans, and at the end of the day, we’re just best friends. It’s the most family-oriented thing I’ve ever been a part of.”


When talking about musical influences, each member lit up to express what they uniquely bring into the mix - Rochelle with her funk/house/latin pop origins, Sergio with his love for funk, Andrew with post-hard rock, and AJ with soul/R&B. As for individual origins, Sergio was born in Houston but raised in Argentina, Rochelle was born in Austin but studied music in Dallas, and AJ & Andrew both grew up in Houston. “I feel so free on stage with this band. They let me open my wings and fly,” Sergio endearingly added, “love is on top of everything we do so that’s why we make it work. It’s really hard to find such great friendships like this.”



Regarding the Houston music scene, Rochelle recalled, “When I first got to Houston what clicked for me was how much diversity there was. There was so much cool stuff going on and I was sold.” The band all went on to talk about how open the scene seems to be; even though there are so many different genres and nuances, everybody still helps each other out. They also like to emphasize local musicians being transparent, highlighting that it’s not hard to do it yourself and follow your passions. Sergio stated, “I’d love to see more unity in Houston. Why spread out when we can all be together and embrace everybody’s differences?”


There is something about Forever Miles and their ability to bring so much from their own unique personalities and influences and alchemize it into the funky-alt-rock fusion that makes up their sound, all while oozing with so much genuine love and care for one other. What they create, reflects the essence of the Houston music scene. This city is home to an eclectic and diverse variation of sounds, and Forever Miles gives us a taste of that just by being authentic to themselves and open to what they can create together. 


As for what’s coming next, the band is going on a tour of Japan in July! “When we get there, it’s going to be one of the most surreal moments. To be able to say that we worked really hard to get there and to have the most incredible people beside me to do it with - it’s the coolest feeling”, AJ, who does most of the band’s bookings, said. The most stirring aspect of it is that they’re taking the initiative to create the musical career and lifestyle they want, all by their own means. They’re truly such an inspiring group to be around and to listen to. Make sure to grab tickets to their Japan fundraising show at White Oak Music Hall on March 15th, showcasing local Houston bands: The Turnaways, Diptera, ABRY, The Inhxlers, and SCRIPTS.


For booking information, email forevermilesband@gmail.com.


Photos by Luz Rodriguez

Story by Kimya Fotovat



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