¡Los Padrinos! are a band from Léon, Mexico. Their music is inspired by power pop of the 70s and pop music of the 60s. They have just released their first LP Lo Que Vendrá, which means “what will come”. In this post, I’ll review the album and interview the band! Let’s go!
León band ¡Los Padrinos! (which translates to The Godfathers) were founded a decade ago and have released their first album on 12 May.
The album was recorded in 2016 in Guanajuato and produced by Carlo Olmos. The band say that the songs are not just about the halcyon days of the 60s and 70s, but also about the future, and fighting cynicism, apathy, and indifference in today’s climate.
The album is a beautiful mix of garage, power pop, blues rock, and more. The lyrics remind me a bit of The Jam with its talking about the modern world and its mod imagery. You won’t regret buying this album and you’ll love the catchiness of the songs. All the tracks are solid and put a modern twist on the classic sounds of 40-50 years ago. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you should listen to this album.
Track by Track:
The album starts off with an energetic ’70s power pop influenced track “Pop Matters!” The next song, “Los Flecos” (The Fringe) is quite different, with a deeper, blues rock sound and with organs. Third track is “Sinrazón” (No reason) which has a little rockabilly in it and it’s upbeat. “La Pinta Completa” (Full Pint) has a raw garage sound to it. “Crosley Bermuda” has a beautiful California pop sound to it and name drops some classics of the 60s for a retro feel. Another vinyl reference is found in the next track, “45 RPM”, it makes me look forward to a future vinyl release of the album – it’s a beautiful homage to the format. “Todo Sigue Igual” (It all remains the same) has a bit of a Hawaiian surf vibe to it, with beautiful lyrics. The title track has a raw, punk feel and the lyrics are about being tired of normal music with it’s non-melodic words, just wanting to know what is true and what will come. This track stands out in today’s music world, true to the lyrics. The next track, “Si Hay Lluvia es Mejor” (If it’s raining it’s better) was released with a music video and it’s a beautiful song that reminds me of the Monkees. It’s a song that I can relate a lot to, living in a rainy country and when I lived in a warm climate – the chorus roughly translates to “If it’s raining, it’s better because I can wear my coat and the umbrella you gave me when we were friends”.
“Los Gritos” (Screams) mixes a Latin vibe with 60s pop vocals. “Caja de Tiempo” (Time Box) has a ska feel to it, reminding me a bit of The Specials and The Beat. I love the keyboards on the song and the syncopated beat of the song. “Pop (T)Art” has lyrics that the young and young at heart can relate to, one of them that stands out to me translates to “I do not want more. I wasn’t born to change the world. If I die…” “I was not born to cry. What can I be for you? Someone sophisticated and elegant? Someone you can laugh with? I could try.”
The album concludes with “Pequeño Círculo de Amigos” (Small circle of friends), a slower, beautiful song that has themes of youth and wanting to fit in and reminds me a bit of Jimmy from Quadrophenia.
You can stream it on Spotify too!
Tell me about yourselves. What are the band members names and where are you from?
ESTEBAN: We’re four now: Esteban, Banzi, Don Camisa and Daniel. Plus Alain Tchido on keyboards on the record and sometimes live. Banzi plays bass and sings. Don Camisa plays guitar. Daniel plays drums. I play guitar and sing and play the fool. Alain Tchido plays keyboards on some songs. On other songs, it’s Banzi or me who do it. We all live in Leon. Banzi lives in Guanajuato, half an hour away by car.
BANZI: I was born in Mexico City but I moved to Guanajuato early in my life. I’ve lived there since. I’ve always loved music. When I was 9, my parents got me a small keyboard and I played by ear the songs I liked. I learned guitar at 12. I’ve kept on ever since. I’m a huge funk fan!
ESTEBAN: Daniel and Don Camisa are brothers. They’re from Mexico City too, but they moved to Leon son enough to be considered leoneses. I was born a panza verde and we all love this city. It can be awful sometimes but, hey, it’s home.
How did the band get their start?
ESTEBAN: We started playing in 2006! We were only three. Time has made us change. Daniel and I have been in the band ever since. Then Don Camisa joined. Then Banzi joined. This line-up has been working together for the past six years, more or less. With the 2006 line-up we recorded an EP, El hombre globo lo sabrá, in 2008.
Angie’s Note: For non-Spanish speakers, “El hombre globo lo sabrá” translates to The balloon man will know [it].
BANZI: I played in two prior bands before ¡Los Padrinos! I met them while playing with our respective bands. I was always a fan, so when they offered me to join I said yes immediately! I was born to be a padrino.
DON CAMISA: Sometimes they invited me to play in rehearsals… until I passed the 36 shaolin chambers test and I got my place in the band!
What does the title of the LP mean literally and symbolically?
BANZI: It is our desperate cry to the world: we want to make meaningful music, to make people shiver, cry, laugh and dance. We believe in music.
ESTEBAN: We may be naïve, but we don’t care, we do believe. Literally, it means “what will come”. It’s about hope. It’s also the title of one of our songs – the chorus goes: “I want to know what’s true, what’s a lie and what will come”. I think it summarises our attitude towards music and life.
DON CAMISA: Well, lo que vendrá, what will come… It’s basically The-Future-Of-Music!
Tell me about the album artwork. What does the picture symbolise/mean?
BANZI: Nostalgia for times gone.
ESTEBAN: It is an old picture taken by my father when he was young. It’s my father’s first car, an early 70’s second-hand Valiant Duster. My grandmother is inside the car. The kid is a neighbour who practically lived with my family: he was a neighbour but his own family was always almost absent, so my grandmother kind of adopted him. I found the picture while looking for some personal history in a time of depression. I just loved it because it is a moment of happiness: the kid, the lady, the car. It looks very retro but it’s a hopeful scene; it’s part nostalgic but part stirring. When looking for a cover, we felt it very appropriate for what we wanted to say with the album.
What was the process of writing and recording songs for the new LP?
ESTEBAN: Some songs were written eight years ago or so. Some were just rearranged. We have been playing this material live for the past years, searching for the right arrangement and feeling. Carlo Olmos, the producer, understands just how the song should sound.
BANZI: Even some of the titles and lyrics changed. Some chords… It was a new creative process.
ESTEBAN: In terms of songwriting, it’s Banzi and me who do most of the material. I tend to play with chords and words until something pops up. Sometimes songs just come. When I take it as an effort, it just doesn’t work.
What music inspired the new LP?
BANZI: It’s hard to say, because we tend to listen to a lot of music. But I have to say Beatles, beach Boys, blues, soul, 70’s and 80’s pop, some 90’s stuff…
DON CAMISA: That and tontipop and some bossa nova and power pop and Britpop and Corn Pops…
ESTEBAN: We wanted to make songs. Old fashioned songs with a structure, with a chorus, three or four minute statements. We only cared about that. Songs are meaningful.
Do you have any interesting stories about recording the album?
BANZI: We had it all while recording! Fire, water, damaged hard-drives, marathon-sessions, exhausting days, frustration… But it all united us as a band.
ESTEBAN: We recorded in a cabin in the outsides of Guanajuato city during the weekends in 2016. Lots of things happened! During a huge storm, the studio was flooded – luckily no equipment was damaged but we had to remove tons of mud. Once a snake got into the studio at night! We didn’t get to see it but Carlo, who owns the cabin, did spend a scary time. Oh, the first weekend we recorded there was a huge fire in the hill in front of the studio!
Is it possible that it will be released on vinyl in the future?
DON CAMISA: Yes, please!
BANZI: We’re planning on a crowdfunding campaign to get the money. We need to have this on vinyl.
ESTEBAN: It has to happen. We’ll sort that out.
Any future touring plans?
BANZI: Not yet, but we’re ready for everything. We’d love to go out and tour the album!
DON CAMISA: All aboard!