TheeBlog Q&A Sessions: Locos Por Juana

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We all know the crucial role music plays in our lives. Whether you are a Photographer, Designer, Banker or Athlete, music has the ability to comfort, relax and inspire you! I couldn’t begin to imagine working without music blasting all day and lacking that important part of my creative process… This is why today’s Q&A Session is about music! As some of you might already know from my previous post (here) I had the pleasure of creating the new identity and working with one of Miami’s hottest bands, Locos Por Juana. Their music is creative, inspiring and contagious oh! and a must-see live show!!! Believe me, these guys know how to rock it!

I received some amazing emails and comments in response to their previous logo post. Many of you wanted to know more about the band, music, tours, etc. And since I love you so much, I asked the guys to share a few stories and answer a couple of questions for us. Now… without further ado… I present to you the Locos Por Juana – THEE BLOG worldwide exclusivest interview…

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Well, it’s been a while since we last sat down and talk. How are things going?
Great, Things have been really good for us, we have been very blessed. Our new album, Evolucion, was just released on iTunes at the beginning of the month (Aug) and it was the #1 Album on the Top Latin Alternative Albums for the entire first week.

Congrats! But before we get into that, I mentioned to you that I have received a few emails and questions about Locos Por Juana since my last post about the logo and process behind it. Could you please, for those readers who might not know you yet, introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background as a band?
1st, Thank you for the awesome logo, we appreciate the work you put into it and I think it has had a great response from all of our fans. – Thanks to you guys for allowing me to contribute ;) !
LPJ began around the beginning of the millennium, around 2000, and its been a long and exciting road. We have 4 albums, 2 Grammy Nominations, we have traveled to a lot of beautiful places around the world always meeting beautiful people and sharing our music.
We play a mixture of Afro-Colombian rhythms like CUMBIA and CHAMPETA and we mix that with the sounds of el caribe, REGGAE, TIMBA ,SALSA, RAGGA.. then we take that and mix it with the sounds we hear in Miami when we came here like Funk, Rock, Hip Hop/R&B.

I know you’ve been asked this question before, but how would you describe Locos Por Juana as a band?
Locos por Juana is a Fun Energetic Party Band. But don’t think you wont get some deep social commentary in the lyrics either… But you must be ready to dance all night..
Tell us about your music… The Sound of Locos por Juana comes mostly from the folklore rhythms of Colombia. the essence of the band is Colombian and we always have the afro colombian percussion at the base of the LPJ sound. On top of that we like to layer reggae guitars, funky horn lines and Latin and Caribbean rhythms, hip hop and ragga raps.. un poquito de todo…

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How do you come up with material? And how do you manage to combine all the different styles and sounds used on your songs? Is it spontaneous or is it planned?
100% Spontaneous. All of the Locos members have a job in the band but when it comes to writing material, there are no rules or formulas. Many times I’ll start the songs with a guitar riff or chord progression, then Javier (Drummer) and Mickey (Percussion) layer the drums and tamboras which along with the bass are the foundation for the songs. Then Itagui (Vocals) usually starts improvising lyrics till there is a marriage between all the sounds and melodies.

Nice! It is rare to find spontaneity in music nowadays. We all get inspired by different things… What inspires you as a band?

Everything. People, Children, Beautiful Women, of course. YOU, my family the ocean.. We are very dependent of the energy of the things around us and the things we come into contact with. Last month we had the pleasure of being in up state New York while the leaves were changing colors, that inspires anyone with a heart beat.. no?

And individually?
I would say the same. I AM REALLY INSPIRED BY MY FAMILY. One of the reasons we have been able to maintain this band for 10 years is because we are more of a family then a band. There are times when things are tough but like a family we stick together and have faith in each other and get through it. There have even been times when some members have left the band for different reasons, but still they are a part of the LPJ family forever.

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Your latest production is called Evolucion. Is there a specific reason why?

We wanted this album to show the Evolution of the band and the music and sound of Locos, but this album is also about the Evolution of the world and humanity and where we are heading. Hopefully a good evolution…

And you are killing it on iTunes!! How does it feel to be on a few top 10 lists?
It feels good because some people were surprised that we left the major label (Universal) and went independent. But this shows that today’s industry is changing, especially the Latin alternative market.

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Locos Por Juana has been touring the US and Europe for a few years already, but is your upcoming tour your biggest and most important one yet being that you are scheduled to visit your homeland, Colombia for the first time?
Yes Colombia is going to be one of those special shows that we will always talk about for the rest of our lives, and for now it will be one of the biggest shows and tours of our career, but we are always taking each show and tour one at a time and as the most important..

What other cities are you scheduled to visit and where does Locos Por Juana want to go to next?
We will be In Shakori grassroots Fest in North Carolina, Latino Americano Festival in Charlotte, Voodoo Experience Festival in New Orleans, Navi Jazz Fsetival in Barranquilla Colombia, just to name a few.. Next for Locos will be to spread our sound to all of Latino America and Europe. I would also love to play in Asia as well, India, China, Japan..

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I’m going to switch it up a bit now…

Let’s talk about the CD cover. For those of you who don’t know yet, the artwork for Evolucion was designed by Servio Bernal aka Afromestiza, an extremely talented Colombian artist who has worked with many other artists like Manu Chao, and Sergent Garcia to name a few. Why Afromestiza?
We have always respected his work so when we finally had the chance to work with Servio, it was a huge honor for us. His vision for the cover and over all layout is genius. We have been getting a lot of comments on the artwork and design , also the LOGO plays a huge role in the New Look of the band and album, Thank you Diego for that amazing Logo and Talent…

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* (Cover Design by Servio Bernal – Afromestiza. Colombia.)

Do you believe in having an identity or presence in terms of design is important for a band?
I would say it is more important than the music in many ways.. Music on it own is very powerful and in reality does stand alone with great weight, but in today’s world of advertising and images, a band or even a song with out a clear and strong design presence is only 50% ready to compete in the marketplace..

Ita, I met you in High School through drawings and graffiti black books (the good old days) Do you think art and music go hand in hand? How has art influenced you creatively when composing music?

Well I would say that art and music are the expression of the same emotions in different mediums. Artist and Musicians understand each other perfectly and even though techniques and productions are completely different, there is a perfect marriage between art and sound, music and colors, motion and rhythm …

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What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Always be true to your heart and your roots… Everything else is not in your control.. Believe in yourself, the ones who love you and have a lot of faith in God’s Plan…

I know you have a new CD coming out next year, but what else are you working on? What can we expect from Locos por Juana in the near future?
We have some really cool videos coming out, we have a live album in the works and a documentary to come out with the Album, Somos de la Calle.. out in 2011

Thank you again guys for taking the time to share with us. Congratulations on your success, and best of luck in your upcoming projects and tours!

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Want more?
www.locosporjuana.com
www.myspace.com/locosporjuana
www.youtube.com/user/LPJofficial

7 comments
  1. Awesome interview! I saw them play live recently and they are amazing.

  2. These guys are great, and I agree, if you see them live you will be a fan.

  3. This logo is amazing. It represents the band perfectly, it is unique and it is timeless! Once combined with the CD art, it looks even better and truly brands the band and sets them apart from the rest. So refreshing to see logos like this one in times when companies like The Gap and co. are giving us crap. Well done!

  4. Killer interview! Thank you for not asking “Who is Juana!’ That question is soooo old already. The photographs are AMAZING…crisp, creative, and oh so VIBRANT! My fav. part… “There have even been times when some members have left the band for different reasons, but still they are a part of the LPJ family forever.” Thank you for the interview…keep em’ coming! <3

  5. Thank you Steve! I am glad people can associate the logo with the band ;)

    @ Vickie! Thanks a lot, I am glad you liked it and that you follow the blog. The photos are part of some series I did for the guys while they were at the studio working on Evolucion, some backstage events they had here in Miami, etc. I will post more soon…

  6. “There have even been times when some members have left the band for different reasons, but still they are a part of the LPJ family forever.”

    If this were true it would be a beautiful thing…can’t wait for the ‘documentary’.

  7. Great logo and overall look! I didn’t know of this band until now, but have to say the design definitely combines the music and imagel of the band seamlessly.

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