J.J. Otero, songwriter, lead vocalist & rhythm guitar
Born and raised in Torreon, New Mexico, J.J. started playing the guitar at 17-years old. When he was 35 he found himself in the midst of a painful breakup and other challenging life changes and so he turned to music to help “soften the blow, ground myself, and express myself.” His major musical influence is “AM Rez Radio”, which is as likely to be playing Credence Clearwater and the Rolling Stones as it is The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac.
Joe Pacheco, bass guitar
Born and raised in Isleta Pueblo, Joe started playing the saxophone in middle school, picking up the bass guitar his senior year of high school. He joined Saving Damsels in 2007. Joe says he gets most of his inspiration from the music of the 70s, 80s and 90s and from the late Cliff Burton, bass guitarist for Metallica. But his greatest source of inspiration and support is his mother, says Joe. “Without my mother’s undying support, I would have never succeeded in my music. She was there to support me and my siblings . . . so thanks Mom!” Of being in the band Joe says he loves the chemistry, songs and friendships between the band members.
Chuck Hawley, lead guitar
Born in Las Cruces and graduating from Socorro High School, Chuck joined Saving Damsels in October, 2009. He plays lead guitar for the band but his first love is the piano, learning it an early age before moving onto the trombone in middle school and the guitar in high school. He’s played for New Mexico bands such as Splinter Fish, Animal Opera and Mucho Buddha. He cites his musical influences as Pink Floyd, the Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule as well as Blues/Rock.
“My parents would sing around the house,” says Chuck. “I just gravitated towards it. My mom says I’d listen to music as a toddler and just lay down next to the stereo, listening. I’ve definitely always been fascinated and captivated by music.”
Doug Bellen, keyboards
Born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan, Doug has called Albuquerque home for the last 15 years. He joined Saving Damsels in the fall of 2009. Doug comes from a musical family and was classically trained in the French Horn for orchestra. However as a kid he always wanted to play the keyboards in an 80’s power pop band and after learning the French Horn and experimenting with guitar, he finally rediscovered his love for keyboards.
“One of my favorite influences is She Blinded Me With Science [song by British musician, Thomas Dolby], but I like a weird mish mash of stuff and I think my music is better for it,” says Doug.