Puerto Rico's Los Bronson Prepares to Take Its Music Off the Island

Some out-of-towners hailing from the island of enchantment will be stopping by Miami later this month thanks to the efforts of Ghost Drag Records, a local record label, booker, and artist management company headed by fellow Puerto Rican and vocalist for the 305's own Plastic Pinks, June Summer.

The band, Los Bronson, is a Puerto Rican surf rock quartet made up of bassist Vanjo Gimenez, guitarists Antonio Alonso and Miguel Llop, and drummer Jayson Yordan. Opting for the unconventional, the group released its self-titled debut album last year during the inaugural session of the music festival Los Bronson started, fittingly called Bronson Fest.

We got to chat with bassist Vanjo Gimenez as he prepares for the second year of Bronson Fest in Puerto Rico as well as his band's upcoming East Coast tour, which will see some stops in South Florida this month.

New Times: Last year was a great year for the band, with the release of your debut album at the inaugural Bronson Fest. How do you plan on topping yourselves this year?
Vanjo Gimenez: 2015 was a huge success for Los Bronson, starting with our album release, Bronson Fest, then the video release for "Sangre en los Adoquines," and culminating in a tour in Peru. We have high hopes for this year, including the second edition of Bronson Fest that includes 25 bands, DJs, and artists — which will also be the release of our single "Las Yales Quieren Calle.” We plan on more tours, another video, and the release of our second album La Isla del Espanto.

What exactly is Bronson Fest? What is your goal for it as we look toward the future?
The first fest was our way of not conforming to a conventional album release in one of our regular venues, and we gave ourselves the chance of testing the waters of producing a festival. Our goal for the future is to keep the fest growing and provide this space for other bands and artists to expose their material — for it to become an annual event that the audience looks forward to and [for it to be] a significant landmark in the Puerto Rican indie music scene.

A new album is also expected to come out this year. Tell us a bit about the creative process behind it. Are you exploring anything new or different from the first one? What do you hope listeners take away from it?
The first EP was the same as the experience with the festival. It was us testing the waters in the studio. We rushed things, let some things slide, and learned from our mistakes. This time around we are more experienced in recording and composing. We've united forces with Julio Gonzalez from El Padrino Recording Studio, an experienced producer from Puerto Rico, our very own Jedi master who has helped us see the recording process from a different perspective. We hope that this album will define who Los Bronson really are.

We’re aware this is your first time performing in Miami as part of your East Coast tour. What has leaving Puerto Rico been like and what are you most excited for?
Yes, this will be our first time playing in the states. We talked with June about going to Florida to play mainly because we wanted an excuse to go visit our family over in Miami. Since we were already going to the states, we thought about making the best out of it. We are really excited to share our music with a new audience, travel to places we've never seen, and also visit all our friends over in New York City.

Ghost Drag Records and Cheap Miami Records presents Los Bronson with Fat Sun and Mo’Booty. 8 p.m. Friday, May 27, at Kill Your Idol, 222 Espanola Way, Miami Beach; 305-672-1852. Admission is free. Ages 21 and up. 

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