I got a chance to do a phone interview with No Way Jose, a Spanish-Punk band from Los Angeles. They formed by the magic of the internet and by being in the same place as one another. While their line up has changed, they have finally found one they like. You can see them playing in Los Angeles this weekend or catch them later this month in Bakersfield. As I’ll try to see them play, make sure to check them out and see them perform at one of their shows coming up, they deserve it.
Tell me about the process of how you guys recorded the album?
Jose: We started recording last year in the summer. We took our time. We didn’t want to try to rush things. We wanted to make sure everything sounded good andÃ¢â‚¬¦
Eloy: Me and our drummer did our track in one day. We were happy with the bass part, so yeah that eight-hour session we kept all the bass part. Then after that a week or two later Jose did the guitar part and then we did another session for vocals and solos. Then after all the recording were done we had to have a mix session and then a mastering session. So between me and Jose we were funding the whole thing like we were rich and shit. So we had to save our money before we worked too. We took our time with it, we didn’t want to rush it, we wanted it to be really good and not just be a full length album that sounded like shit.
When I first got the CD and saw the song titles, I was like ok this could be different. They were also women related, was there anything going on during the process that made you guys write about them?
Jose: Do you mean like Stripper?
Eloy: Well they’re from past experience from Jose and myself. We play some songs that we’ve been through over the years like Ã¢â‚¬Å“StripperÃ¢â‚¬, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Te ExtranoÃ¢â‚¬. Yeah, like Martha is about an ex-girlfriend. And then Ã¢â‚¬Å“StripperÃ¢â‚¬, wrote about a strip club which is by my house.
Did you guys send them the CD for them to hear the songs or are you guys hiding it from them?
Jose: Not yet, but I’m curious if anyone will come up to use on day and tell us to play Ã¢â‚¬Å“StripperÃ¢â‚¬ while they dance.
How was the first show you guys played?
Jose: Oh, the first show was at the Roxy. There was a couple of people there, not too many. The sound guy and maybe like six people.
Do you guys still perform great regardless of the number of people watching or are you guys just like Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ok lets just playÃ¢â‚¬?
Both: Now, we’re surely building our fan base. Actually the last two years have been more favorable than the other years, because our line up was changing a lot. Now, this year slowly but surely with the CD out, we’re hoping that we get more recognition. Actually, the CD has opened up our doors to other things and hopefully our CD will get us more fans. For example, this past weekend we played in Vegas and we actually sold ten CDs. It was really cool and felt pretty good. We were doing a good thing. We’re actually not just staying in California, but going to other cities.
What are some of your guy’s influences?
Jose: We’re originally from Texas so our influences range from Freddy Fender to Ritchie Valenz. We have metal influences, NOFX, Misfits, Jazz influences, classical background. In Texas or just being bilingual, you get exposed to both types of music. I used to play for a mariachi when I first started playing. So, it’s a variety of everything.
Eloy: On our ride back, we listened to 2pac, Misfits, Megadeth, Slayers, The Ramones and some Cumbia.
Is that how you guys decided to make music with a blend of everything that you listen to and have influenced you?
Eloy: Yeah, we have songs that sound like Spanish music like Ã¢â‚¬Å“Te ExtranoÃ¢â‚¬, then we have Ã¢â‚¬Å“StripperÃ¢â‚¬ that I think sounds like Brian Setzer, Ã¢â‚¬Å“MotherfuckerÃ¢â‚¬ that sounds like the traditional Spanish folk. So, this band helps us open doors and expose to people other type of media.
Jose: Yeah, other type of music then just one thing. We don’t just want to sound like just one song for every CD we sell.
Do you see this type of music getting huge one day or music becoming diverse?
Both: Yeah, I hope one of these days. Yeah, because pretty much when we get asked to play shows most of the time we get different genres for example, sometimes we get punk bands and play with them, psychobilly bands, or Rock en EspaÃƒ±ol bands, or even emo bands.
How do you guys play with emo bands since they are different from you guys?
Eloy: Well, some of the promoters that book us, they do Rock en EspaÃƒ±ol venues and some of those screamo bands have Latinos in them, so we’re all in the mix. But we don’t mind, I mean the audience are looking for a variety too. We have no problem and it’s better playing with other punk, ska, psychobilly bands. So we don’t get all pissed off.
Jose: Yeah, we don’t discriminate.
What are some bands you guys like playing with?
Eloy: Lower Class Kids, Fozzy’s Heroes, we always have fun playing with those guys. We also like playing with bands outside our genre like Fatima.
Do you guys get people who try to sing along to one of your songs in Spanish, who don’t know the language at all or that well?
Jose: Yeah, some people. There’s the Spanish speaking people who try to sing along to the Spanish songs and then we’ll see the others.
Eloy: Yeah, there’s some that go to our show and know the lyrics and on the choruses they’ll sing along, so it happens once in a while.
Has a fan done anything crazy at one of your shows?
Eloy: There’s was one at the show last night in Las Vegas. We were playing a song and I wouldn’t mention the songs title and if they got them right I would literally give them my own drinking coupons and I ran out eventually. So, I had a glass of whiskey on the rocks and I was like, does anyone want this. So I asked a question, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ok, so what song did we just play and what’s it call?Ã¢â‚¬ and this girl got it right and I was gonna hand her the drink and she like motioned to pour it down her throat and she tilted her had back so I was like, sure I’ll try, so I poured the whiskey.
So are you guys well known in the Los Angeles area?
Jose: Well we’ve been around for five to six years and like for the first two to three years we spent, were ok. Then like maybe from 2004 to 2005 were kind of slow and basically we used to do a lot of promotion and that type of stuff, so you can say yeah.
Eloy: Go back to what you were asking earlier, it’s not like we’re Guns N’ Roses or anything that famous, no way. A lot of the bands we play with their fans know us.
Jose: Yeah, a lot of people know about us, but a lot of them haven’t showed up to shows and what not. But hopefully once our CD comes out we can get more exposure. Then there’s this channel called LATV that were trying to get on there to basically get more exposure.
Any last comments you have or want to give to the fans?
Jose: Thanks for coming to our shows.