In late 2016, Saving Damsels changed their name to Son Of Hwéeldi. Saving Damsels got its start in Spring 2007 when lead vocalist and guitarist JJ Otero started writing music about his role in making many bad choices that eventually led him to be single, facing jail time, and in financial despair. After months of counseling and more songwriting, Otero soon had a collection of “earnest, honest, and original” songs and set about collecting a band.
JJ Otero, songwriter, lead vocalist & guitarist – Born and raised in Torreon (Na’ Neelzhiin), 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 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. J.J. Otero is a Reverend Guitars, Heil Pro Sound Microphones, and Armor Gold cables endorser.
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.
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.
Pax Garcia, percussions.