by Jennifer Cuevas
The sound of music is constantly changing, attracting and even creating new audiences with the change, as well. But what about revolutionizing the sounds of pop, heavy metal, rock, ska and punk? Would the average person who listens to alternative music pay attention if it was all “en Español”?
The pop, rock, ska, punk “en Español” is not a new idea, making its entry to the United States around the late 1980s. The music, that crosses over many categories, is a movement which stemmed largely from the streets of Los Angeles. And in many cases, these sounds combine the traditional sounds of Latino music, like salsa, cumbias and Rancheras.
Last Friday, at Jordan’s Neighborhood Grill in Pomona, approximately 80 people showed up to support the scene, sponsored by Hugo Gutierrez, from “The Globe” store in Pomona.
Unlike the stereotype of Latino music, no one was in “Tex-Mex” garb, wearing cowboy boots with cowboy hats or even dressed conservative. Nearly everybody who attended was alternative style-including gothic and punk.
Cal State Fullerton junior Veronica Sanchez said, “The truth is that many people, especially those who are not natives of the language, are scared away because the music is sung, screamed and even rapped in Spanish. To me this scene erases many stereotypes.”
“Another reason why I like this music and the scene, is because I get to be around people who understand my culture and language,” said Sanchez.
Five bands performed, some of which have performed at popular clubs such as The House of Blues in West Hollywood and the Opium Den. The list included Pastilla [‘Pill’], Seres [‘Beings’], Lado Izquierdo [‘Left Side’], Presdeyet and Silent Grey.
Playing rock and ska were headliners Pastilla, consisting of four members. On lead vocals and guitar were Victor Monroy and his brother Adrian Monroy, on bass was Eriberto Gonzalez and on drums was Eric Rubalcava. Pastilla’s members are all natives to Pomona and all in their 20s.
Another band, who’s members are natives of Pomona as well, is Seres. Seres’ members consists of Salvador Lorenzana, 21, on guitar, Jimmy Castillo, 18, on guitar, Eric Acosta, 21, on drums, and Alfonso Buenrostro, 24, on bass and lead vocals.
Buenrostro, who writes and produces the music, said the band was named after his father’s rock band in Mexico during the 1960s. He described Seres’ music as “noise pop.”
Lado Izquierdo’s lead vocalist and guitarist, Eric, [declined to give his last name], 24, writes and produces their music.
Eric says, “We don’t play rock en español, we play punk en Español.”
The Spanish alternative scene attracts audiences of all backgrounds and ages for a variety of reasons. But perhaps the one who can speak for the “underground” community as a whole, is junior Melissa Marquez, from Cal State Los Angeles. She said that the rock scene is a place where people of her race can congregate and listen to music sung in her native tongue.
For information on the next Spanish rock performance, call (909) 620-2774.