As both singer-songwriters and self-proclaimed television addicts, Golda Inquito and fellow band member Gertie Meza found the inspiration for their band’s name within one of their favorite shows. Inquito and Meza decided to call their band Durwood, a word that turned up countless times during episodes of “Bewitched.”
“It was one of the nicknames that Endora would use for Darrin Stephens because she didn’t like him very much. The one that she used most commonly was Durwood,” Meza said.
Inquito, a UCLA alumna, and Meza, who said they laughed hysterically each time the Durwood nickname was used, recently released their self-titled debut album.
In 1993, Inquito graduated from UCLA with a degree in political science, changing her major three times along the way. She said her undergraduate studies helped her hone her writing and analytical skills and, after graduating, she moved to the Philippines for three years to do theater.
“When I was in college, I didn’t have anything figured out at all,” Inquito said. “I was initially on the acting side, and then some acting friends of mine invited me to a party to sing, and I met Gertie.”
The two first met through mutual friends at a jam session, shortly after Inquito returned from the Philippines, and ended up in the same all-girl band, Boo Boo Kitty (named after a stuffed cat from the sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” which ran in the 1970s and 1980s). Upon that band’s dissolution, Inquito and Meza decided to stick together and formed Durwood.
“When we were in the other band, it was a whole different dynamic,” Inquito said. “When we formed Durwood, we discovered that there was a lot of our individual taste(s) that really meshed together.”
The Durwood duo said they understand each other’s strengths and were exposed to similar musical influences, including the Beatles, Queen and the Everly Brothers.
Both Inquito and Meza write their own music and lyrics, sing lead vocals and harmonize on almost every track. Meza, who started playing the guitar at the age of 12, uses this instrument to provide an acoustic background on the album.
The melody of each song is comprised of acoustic or electric guitar and drums or piano accompaniment. Some portions, such as the beginning of “Changing Speed,” sound like the guitar melodies of pop artists such as Taylor Swift, but the well-placed harmonies showcase the maturity with which the duo approaches their music. Inquito said they are influenced by multiple genres, and many categorize them as an indie rock or pop group.
The lyrics on this album are also highly personal. Inquito said the lyrics are often based on their experiences working together, such as in the case of “Not So Far Behind,” which includes lyrics such as “Dreams have no room for doubt.”
“I had an idea that was so raw (for that song) that I had no idea what it would sound like,” Inquito said. “Gertie came over and listened to it and started playing her guitar, and in a couple of hours, we had finished one of our favorite songs on the album. When that happens, you just have to go with it and not interrupt the flow.”
The lyrics of other songs reflect the very moment at which inspiration struck Durwood. “Alone in Her Dream,” for example, refers to a Los Angeles rainstorm that Inquito got stuck in, humming a melody that Meza had shared with her during the downpour.
Glenn Sura-vech, co-producer of the album, said he feels very proud of the way in which Inquito and Meza have taken their time to develop as musicians, rather than simply chasing fame.
“Sometimes your career doesn’t take off right away ““ not everybody is that lucky,” Suravech said. “But if you take your time and grow with the art that you’re creating, you will still have pride in what you’ve done.”
Inquito said their pride stems from the belief that there is a power in music and their attempt to maintain an element of positivity in their songs.
“We take everything from a realistic perspective,” Inquito said. “There are melancholy songs on the album, but there is also hopefulness while we’re experiencing the sadness.”
Durwood will take on the challenge of going on the road and performing live in the coming months ““ the perfect next step as they burst onto the music scene in Southern California, Suravech said.
“You get a little tougher when you perform live,” Suravech said. “Every artist goes through a process of change, and they’re going to start to mature as performers.”
For Inquito and Meza, pursuing their passion and being in a constantly creative mode has made this process a fulfilling journey.
“It is so worthwhile to do what you love to do,” Inquito said. “There is always an opportunity ““ you just have to grab it.”