By Mariana Llamas-Cendon
Curanderos, at first look, seem to be another Latino rock band, of which we already have plenty. But it only takes a song, to change people’s mind about who they are. Yes, they sing in Englishâ€¦ but also in Spanish. Good and proper Spanish though! Not all bands can do that or can they?
The story of their name, which causes curiosity, is actually somewhat funny. Curanderos, as we know it today, did not exist until after 1996. Before, the band was known on the Los Angeles punk scene as Jonestown.
Ricky one of the former members worked at a health insurance company or something like it, and one day a lady came in asking to see a curandero.’ Rick did not know what a ˜curandero does but he loved the name and when the band was transitioning from punk music in English to bilingual rock, they decided to name it like that,â€ said the current drummer Diego Palacios.
All members of Curanderos are 100% Californian. Only three of them: the singer Mario Lomar, the guitarist Jesus Rauda and Diego Palacios himself are second generation Hispanics born in the US of Latin American parents.
â€œMy parents are Ecuadorian, Mario Lomarâ€™s are Mexican and Jesus Raudaâ€™s are one from Texas and the other from Mexico,â€ said Palacios.
Basically Curanderos is a melting pot, in which both English and Spanish languages flow naturally within the band.
The Curanderos latest album
â€œThat is how we feel like writing. Even though the band has been around for sometime in this scene; we belong to the Rock in Spanish, and it was known through the songs in Spanish, people liked it and still do,â€ said Palacios.
Diego Palacios also considered that being born and raised in the U.S. and in a city such as LA, the mix of cultures and teachings is something imminent.
â€œSince we were little, we speak both English and Spanish. At school, with your friends, at work, you speak English; at home, with your parents and relatives, you speak Spanish,â€ said Palacios, who also pointed out that their music is intended to reach a broader demographic.
â€œThere is not only â€˜reggaetonâ€™ or â€˜bandaâ€™ music, but other genres to explore,â€ Palacios said.
Curanderos will start a nationwide tour on June 8th, in which they will be promoting their self-titled latest release “Curanderos.”
(Curanderos is available for digital download at iTunes under Alternativo & Rock Latino)
Curanderos, far away from “Spanglish”
By Mariana Llamas-Cendon