Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

Astrology: ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the coming weeks it will be important for you to bestow blessings and disseminate gifts and dole out helpful... By Rob Brezsny 8/27/2014
Savage Love: Working Out the Kinks

Savage Love: Working Out the Kinks

Arts & Culture: My boyfriend of two years cannot climax or maintain an erection unless his testicles are handled, squeezed, pulled, or pressed on... By Dan Savage 8/27/2014
Best Hookah Bar

Best Hookah Bar

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

Screens: See if you can spot the common thread that is pulling at the seams of the Texas film industry. On NBC’s The Night Shift, a stock-written staff... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Music

sa_20130522_cover

Cover 05/22/2013

Is Piñata Protest Ready for Bigger Things?

Photo: Josh Huskin, License: N/A

Josh Huskin

“Our best lineup ever… and probably the last:” Matt Cazares, Álvaro del Norte, Marcus Cazares, and J. J. Martínez


“It might get a bit loud,” Álvaro del Norte tells me, as I proceed to sit in the middle of Piñata Protest’s 8 x 10 rehearsal space at a secret storage room somewhere in the city (don’t ask). It’s Sunday, but the band doesn’t stop.

“You’re in the middle of the storm now,” the singer/accordionist tells me. He’s sporting a Rev. Horton Heat T-shirt. Drummer J. J. Martínez has his arms covered with tattoos (from my position I can only identify the Virgin of Guadalupe); bassist Marcus Cazares has a Voodoo Glow Skulls T-shirt; there’s framed Mexican lotería pictures on the floor and, on the wall, the song list for El Valiente, the new album Piñata Protest will debut Friday at the White Rabbit. When they start playing the waltz-like “Tomorrow, Today” (one of the EP’s key tracks), I have a sudden realization: there’s actually two Piñata Protests.

“This is the best lineup we ever had,” says del Norte, “and probably the last.” He smiles and looks at the others, who smile nervously. But unlike the wild, loud, spontaneous combustion of a Piñata Protest concert, these guys are all business: extremely focused “organized mayhem,” the sound of four guys who’ve been through these songs countless times.

“That’s why we were able to record the album in three days,” says del Norte about El Valiente, produced in Austin by Chris “Frenchie” Smith. “By the time we got to the studio, we got it pretty much down.”

Much more “down” than 2010’s Plethora, which required a “Reloaded” version in 2012.

“We weren’t very happy with the original recording, the sound and the feeling,” said del Norte. “The band was going through some rocky times.”

“Yeah, it needed an update,” said drummer J. J. Martínez, the other survivor of both Plethora sessions.

El Valiente (“The Brave”) is the perfect title for an album that came to life through sheer relentlessness. Due to what del Norte attributes to “substance abuse” and “fights within the band,” Plethora Reloaded could’ve been the end of the quartet.

“But this time everybody is solid and everyone wants the same thing,” he says. “I see [El Valiente] as a first step. It’s a transitional album, but we’ll never change our core sound.”

It took two drummers, two guitarists and four bass players for Piñata to finally be at peace with itself and now they’re ready to take no prisoners. So are Saustex Media and L.A.’s Cósmica Records, which jointly released the album on May 21. SA’s Saustex, the primary label, will handle the physical release while Cósmica (a leading Latin alternative label and management firm with red-hot indie songstress Carla Morrison on board) will take care of the digital and the Latin market, including Mexico.

But the other key member of the new Team Piñata is manager Faith Radle, the person who helped turn Girl in a Coma into a full-fledged international act.

“The band is really ready to make a break and I think this will be the album to do it,” Radle told the Current via email.  She’s been working with the band for about nine months, and the results are there: a solid new album, successful showcases at South by Southwest, and favorable NPR coverage.

Recently in Music
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus