Interview with deSoL

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Describe the band
rock n roll with a latin soul. most of us are 1st generation latino americans, raised in spanish speaking households, listening and dancing to latin music. we were also raised on F.M Radio: the stones, led zeppelin, the police, elton john, billy joel, the who, jackson brown,

Does the band's name have any significance?
the literal translation is "of the sun". we wanted a name with a purpose, a meaning and with some sacred power. what is more powerful and nurturing than the focus of our solar system? deSoL "of the sun" reminds us that we are all born of the same light. we are all one. no ifs, ands or buts about it.

How long has the band been together?
5 years

How did you come up with the concept for the band?
necessity is the mother of invention. after a few bands gone bad. members leaving to get married, get real jobs or just disinterested in the business of music. i decided to get back to my roots and start a latino band and go against the grain of what was going on in the local new york, n.j, national and global music scene. and it worked! we started to become recognized for it. soon the doors started to open and people started coming out to hear what the buz was about.

Describe your first performances.
it was in a Brazilian furniture store in red bank n.j on sat afternoons in the summer. it was me and a few guys from the band, acoustic. just trying to earn some money, to record a c.d and get some product in our veins.

What kind of response do you get from your audiences?
it has always been responsive. we are fortunate. the rhythms, universal songs, energy and the animation of the players always gets a repose. we turn heads and entertain.

How many vocalists do you have?
one lead and but everyone sings back ups and shout outs and chants

Where did you grow up?
hollis queens for the first 20 years of my life

How early did you start singing / playing?
i started on the piano at age 7. i've been singing since i began playing in bands. first singing back ups and harmonizing, which was a huge learning experience for me. then when i realized i wanted to start fronting bands i decided to sing lead. i always sung at the piano, around the house, while my mom washed dishes after dinner. dreaming to be on stage like elton john or billy joel. alone, at the piano, on a dark stage somewhere in the light.

Was anyone in your youth an inspiration to you?
my neighborhood was a great inspiration. every house was oozing with different styles of music, sounds, sights and smells. the hip hop culture that was just being born in my queens neighborhood in the eighties, was a great inspiration. you see guys like run-d-mc, ll cool j, salt-n- peppa make something of themselves from out of nothing. they were normal neighborhood folk, then one day they blew the hell up! it gave me inspiration to do the same. hey if they can do it so can i.

What drew you towards the music you play?
one day i was inspired to get back to my roots and represent who i was 100%. what i was missing all along was representing to the world who i was completely. a little guy from queens, with big dreams. born here with parents from over there.. el salvador. born with two cultures.

Do you have any musical training?
a little bit of piano training in my youth. i give thanks for my love of the piano and some understanding of notes, harmony and rhythm. there are guys in the band way more knowledgeable than i on their instruments. i learn from them everyday. but i've realized, you don't need much musical theory knowledge to have a musical career. what is needed is that burning in your soul, that makes you get off your ass to sing, write, and dance.

What is your most memorable experience with music?
touring and getting signed. working with a label, agent, publicity team etc. these last few years has opend my eyes to many things that as a local musician i never would of discovered. its very humbling being the small fish in the big ocean of the national music scene. its fun working our way up through the ranks, and seeing it grow for us. its a trip going to other markets and being applauded when you walk on stage and having people waiting for you in the audience who love what you do.

Are you a member of any associations?
yes the deSoL-ciation

What mixture of originals / covers do you perform?
mostly we perform originals. we always throw in a cover or two. we've been know to do a los lobos song, or a santana song. or even an allmans brothers song. my favorites are when we tackle an old cuban/salsa numbers.

What is your favorite venue?
there are so many around the country that have treated us so well. i realy enjoyed the house of blues in san diego and the majestic theater in detroit. but there are so many cool little theaters. i love the little theaters the best.

Where is the farthest you have traveled for a gig?
mexico city to open for rem

Tell us about the musicians you perform with.
they are all my brothers and extremely talented people. and work hard as horses. they are true rock stars

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened at a gig?
after the show we always do meet and greets at the merch booth to shake hands kiss cheeks and sign c.d, posters, whatever. one night a girl wanted us to all sign her tampon. so we did it. it was not used, though it was a little uncomfortable

Have you done any radio or TV performances?
yes, we've done much of that promoting our first record. in many markets we have the support of the radio and t.v stations. thats the markets we love to hit mostly. you need to keep going back and continue to build those markets. little by little the spanish garden grows

Do you use any props or special effects at your performances?
yes, we prop up our lead guitarist soto, and wheel him on stage with a dolly... he's getting up there in years.

Do you use any vintage instruments?
soto our lead guitarist is pretty old and vintage.

high points in your career
our single "karma" peeked at #5 on the triple a radio charts. our single "blanco y negro" also charted well on the radio charts. and our xmas single "little drummer boy" debut at #6 on the AC radio charts last season. i love radio. i was raised with the radio constantly on in my house and it is a blessing to get radio play where and when we do.