Co-led by the energetic Helen Vargas, Dulce Mal is a four piece band from the border region that is ready to share their music outside of la frontera. Dulce Mal fuses pop-rock, funk, cumbia, bossa nova and reggae which happens to give the band a unique touch, besides Helen and Gabriel's vocals.
This band made up of Abraham (bass), Helen (vocals, melodica), Gabriel (vocals, guitar), and Alan (drums and percussion) has opened up for bands like Golden Ganga, Enjambre and Jenny and the Mexicats. They recently played at Festival Sin Fronteras in Ciudad Juárez, the Neon Desert Festival in El Paso, played at La Parada, and participated in last week's "Local's Week" for local musicians in the city of El Paso!
I had the pleasure of catching up to Dulce Mal during one of their rehearsal's a few weeks ago and had the opportunity of asking them a few questions including their origins as a band and what they have planned for next.
Dulce Mal has been a band for about two years and the journey began when Helen met Gabriel while he was still in another band. A few years passed and they reconnected again and that led to the beginning of the what would soon be Dulce Mal.
Helen had some songs written down and she wanted someone to help her interpret them musically and she though that Gabriel was the perfect choice because she thought he was talented and knew her well enough to trust him. They made one song, then another and another and eventually that led to the start of Dulce Mal. The first open mic that they did as a band was at the 306 sessions. Helen recalled that she was nervous to do so because it was nothing like doing covers, instead she was sharing something personal to her which are her songs.
After gaining some confidence and with the encouragement of Gabriel, Helen and Gabriel did more and more shows together. Helen said that, "one time we had the opportunity that one of our favorite bands, Golden Ganga, was coming to Dallas, the closest show to El Paso. We initially thought of driving up there as a fun road trip between the two of us to go see Golden Ganga and by then we were already invited to play over there as Dulce Mal. So I got a band together, pulled some strings, and we were able to open up for Golden Ganga in Dallas. Golden Ganga ended up asking us to open up for them Houston as well and that helped us get our name out there." Gabriel interjected to what Helen was saying and said that, "once we got back to El Paso, we started looking for band members that would officially be part of Dulce Mal." They were telling me that they started with two other individuals for bass and drums, but they left for personal reasons.
Alan mentioned that after those other members left, he reached out to Gabriel several times to mention that he would love to be part of Dulce Mal and eventually he became the official drummer for the band. Alan also said that this has been the best band he has been in due to the dynamic and brotherhood that Dulce Mal has. It's evident that the relationship between the band members are very organic and it's no doubt that that's why they have been able to make such amazing music.
Dulce Mal is currently working with Siren Sound Production. They have recorded some songs, but they are now working on mastering, an album cover, artwork, logo, and so much more! I invite anyone to go check them out and follow them on Instagram as @dulcemalband to follow up with what they have going on!
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