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Mazzy Star was an American alternative rock band formed in Santa Monica in 1989 from the group Opal, a collaboration of guitarist David Roback and bassist Kendra Smith. Smith’s friend Hope Sandoval became the group’s vocalist when Smith left the band.
Mazzy Star is probably best known for the song “Fade into You” which brought the band some success in the early to mid 1990s and was the group’s biggest mainstream hit, earning radio and MTV airplay. Roback and Sandoval were the creative center of the band, with Sandoval writing most of the lyrics and Roback composing most of the music.
Besides vocals, Sandoval plays harmonica, percussions, and xylophone, and occasionally plays the guitar. She writes nearly all the lyrics, with occasional input from David Roback.
Hope Sandoval was born in 1966 and grew up in East L.A. in a Mexican-American family. She started her career with her high-school friend Sylvia Gomez (who later played on She Hangs Brightly) in a band called Going Home, a folk duo formed in 1986. Hope and Sylvia admired Kendra Smith as a teenage Dream Syndicate fan. Gomez handed Smith a demo tape which was performed by Sandoval on vocals and Gomez on guitar. Roback offered to produce some recordings for them and they went into the studio and recorded an album that to this day has yet to be released. Sandoval and Gomez played gigs in California throughout the mid 1980s.
During the Opal tour in December 1987, Smith left the band. Roback called Sandoval to see if she would be interested in taking Smith’s place in Opal. They found Kendra and had some discussions. They did two more shows together, but then Smith flew home. Keith Mitchell flew home as well, and the next day he got back with Sandoval.
Sandoval reveals: :”For me recording is better. Live, I just get really nervous. Once you’re on-stage, you’re expected to perform. I don’t do that. I always feel awkward about just standing there and not speaking to the audience. It’s difficult for me.” – Musician magazine
In 2000, Sandoval joined with Colm Ó Cíosóig (formerly of My Bloody Valentine) to form Hope Sandoval & the Warm Inventions. The project retained the laid-back, slowcore sound of Mazzy Star. In 2001 Sandoval issued her first EP with the Warm Inventions, At the Doorway Again, and followed it up with her debut full-length album, Bavarian Fruit Bread, a year later. She has also contributed on several songs by other artists, such as The Jesus & Mary Chain, Chemical Brothers, Bert Jansch, and Death In Vegas.