Before I gave them a little tour of the Sun City and before they went on to play their show, I caught up with The Artisanals for a quick interview. They came to El Paso a few months prior when they opened for Band of Horses. It's also safe to say that I have listened to their recently released: EP Literally, Anywhere ten times since last week. The EP includes songs like "Roll With It" and "Angel 42", which are already recognized by fans who have heard them or seen them play.
This good looking and stylish indie-rock band from South Carolina is made up of Johnny Delaware (vocalist), Clay Houle (guitar), Steven Walker (keyboards), Jordan Hicks (bass), and Josh Hoover (drums). First off, I asked the The Artisanals how they became a band and Clay responded: "We were all in different bands at the time. I was in another band in Atlanta and we played with Johnny's old band. After that, we went on tour together and became friends. When I moved to Charleston, we decided that we were going to start our own band together." **(Long story short)**. The cool thing about the guys coming from different bands is that they came with different styles and different tastes in music and that fusion made the EP sound "tasty" as Johnny put it.
The guys have been traveling a lot and this is their second time in El Paso in less than a year. I had to ask them what their favorite place(s) were so far and the guys responded, "Athens, Georgia and El Paso, Texas" because of how engaged and lively the crowds have been. Johnny even added, "I was going to have a meltdown if we didn't come back to El Paso". He said that when they last came here, the crowd was loud and attentive and in the moment that is was necessary for them to come back. It's obvious that the love for these cities and their fans is there and the people in these cities feel the same way about them.
The Artisanals plan to play in front of as many people as they can. Their main initiative for the moment is to keep playing as many shows in front of as many people as possible and to keep spreading the "gospel" that is their music.
I want to thank the guys of their time, kindness and great spirit! Go follow them on all their social media:
FB: The Artisanals
"In Panama, if someone is being racist we say: "Who is your Grandmother?", cause everyone's grandma is from somewhere. Someone's grandma is either Black or Native American somehow. It's a way of getting someone to stop being racist. For us, "Immigrants are Beautiful", is a way of saying lets participate in this reality."- Enrique Chi.
Making Movies is a band who is currently on their "Immigrants are Beautiful Tour" with a blue butterfly as the logo of the tour representing an immigrant's migration. This Afro-Latin rock band from Kansas City, Missouri is giving DACA recipients free tickets to their concerts, which is something bands don't usually do. It is something really special and it is necessary that people go and share this message of love with the band and fellow immigrants, cause WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS. When I first heard this band I was taken aback and I was immediately captivated by Enrique's (vocalist) voice and the instrumentals that followed it. It gave me the satisfaction and nostalgia of that when I am reading Cortazar and Neruda or when I am listening to Buena Vista Social Club and Centavrvs. I was really captivated from the first song and I have stopped listening since then.
This four member band consists of Diego Chi (bass guitar), Enrique Chi (vocals and guitar), Juan Carlos Chaurand (keyboard and percussions), and Andres Chaurand (drums). Making Movies has toured with several known bands and have collaborated with artists like Hurray for the Riff Raff, Alaina Moore and even Asdru Sierra. Making Movies decided to come to El Paso for the first time in order to promote their "Immigrants are Beautiful Tour". I asked them why they decided to call their tour like that and Enrique Chi answered, "it's kind of rejecting this fear based national media push. It's not just the media, but it's the White House and Donald Trump's Twitter account. It's rejecting that instigating fear. We look at the word immigrant in a more holistic way rather than the strict definition of it. We are talking about the human race as a whole. You know even going back to Mesopotamia and seeing how people have spread out. If I had been born a hundred years ago I would have been Colombian, but because of someone else's decisions and wanting to build a canal to make more money I am Panamanian. Does that change my make up as a human being, my soul, and spirit? No. We are all part of this human race".
I asked the band how they found their sound and Juan Carlos said that, "Enrique and Diego are Panamanian and Andres and I are Mexicanos and we dove in to the very grassroots music of where we come from. My brothers and I grew up dancing Folklorico and we brought that in as well." Enrique added that the roots of all music is from West Africa. He says he is not sure whether Afro-Latino is a great description of Making Movies, but he did add that "we can trace all rhythmic music from the Americas back to West Africa and the Yoruba rhythms."
"I Am Another You", which is a follow up of their previous album "A La Deriva", was produced by Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, whom the band considers their mentor. Enrique mentioned that Steve really helped the band "catch the spirit, which is Steve's way to describe that intangible thing". Now every time the band records something, they try to "catch the spirit".
Making Movies will release an EP December 1st called "You Are Another Me" and it consists of protest song covers and it is a companion to "I Am Another You". They made the album, not necessarily thinking politically, but it just happened. The band has released a few songs and they plan to release more. They are currently recording more songs, more often "just as a hip artist would". No matter how "fast" or how "slow" Making Movies releases a song, they really "catch the spirit" and they manage to crank out beautiful melodies with lyrics that caress it in a loving manner.
Making Movies plans on moving forward, playing, and expanding their tour. They hope to tour Mexico soon and record a new album.
After seeing them play live at the Lowbrow Palace in El Paso, Texas you can see each of their "spirits". You can tell they love being up there no matter the size of the crowd and that is something to admire in a band. I was just in awe and if one thinks that they sound good on CD, just wait until you hear them live. They will captivate you from beginning to end.
I want to thank the band for their time and listed below are all their social media handles:
FB: Making Movies
Twitter: Making Movies
"We wanted our band name to be "Chicaniado"".
This five piece band who recently opened up for Little Jesus is made up of Carlos Portillo (bass), Alejandro Guerrero (vocalist), Dante Mercado (drums), Daniel Chávez (guitar), Alexis Chairez (guitar) and they are from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. This indie-rock band from the border, as the name indicates with Fronte standing for frontera, has recently released an EP with the two singles "Amante de Café" and "En Círclos". They only have physical copies of the EP (5 tracks) for now, but they hope to digitalize it soon so everyone can hear it.
Da Fronte started due to a connection between the five band members. They each belonged to different bands, but they soon realized they wanted to do something serious so they created this project called Da Fronte.
I asked the band how living on the border has influenced their music to which they replied "it is the cultural diversity and the people here. The people and the way they treat one is so kind compared to other places. The way the border affected our music has to do with the type of music our band members like. One might like rock and another might like norteñas and it is this clash that has shaped us."
Major influences for the band have been Soda Estereo, 80's Spanish Rock, Caifanes, The Killers, The Beatles, and The Police just to name a few. A little bit of those influences can be heard in their music, which makes it appealing. Plus, the indie-rock scene in Mexico is growing and a lot of support is needed. There are many indie-rock bands that are going unoticed and Da Fronte is urging people to give bands like that and like theirs a chance.
Go follow them on all their social media and go check out their latest singles.
FB: Da Fronte
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Interviews and playlists of local bands and international artists.