The Rockadictos Believe Miami Rock Bands Deserve More LoveEXPAND
Courtesy of the Rockadictos

The Rockadictos Believe Miami Rock Bands Deserve More Love

The Rockadictos are a little frustrated. The trio has been playing in South Florida for about a decade but hasn't found Miami to be a great place for a rock band to establish a fan base. They say the scene for Latin rock groups pales in comparison with those for EDM and pop/reggaeton.

Not only that, more image-conscious artists tend to have a leg up, observes guitarist Pablo Cobo.

"If you look deep in the city, there's a lot of movement, man," he says. "There's a lot of rock. There's a lot of people trying to show a different kind of music than reggaeton, pop, and all that kind of shit that gets played on the radio... It's impossible if you don't dress sexy or have a six-pack, there's nowhere to show your music."

The Rockadictos embody a free-flowing, plug-in-and-play spirit and prides itself on never playing songs quite the same way twice.

"We don't follow anyone with our mix of styles," says frontman/bassist Javier Arce. "Sometimes the songs sound like what we feel in the moment. Maybe we're in a different mood than yesterday, so the song is going to sound different." 

You can, however, count on the guys to spice up their jams with a distinctly Latin flavor. Cobo is Venezuelan, Arce is from Argentina, and drummer Chris Critic — a relatively new addition to the trio, but an OG in the local punk-rock scene — hails from Peru. Arce sang almost exclusively in Spanish on the band's first two albums, 100% Enviciados (2011) and Sandy (2013).

On the Rockadictos' recently released third album — simply titled Rockadictos III — Arce transitioned to singing in English full time. It wasn't a strategy to gain broader appeal, but a matter of communication: The band's former drummer, Jeff Masi, doesn't speak a lick of Spanish, so it felt natural to play music in the group's shared language.

The trio covers new ground with Rockadictos III in other ways as well. The songs are shorter and punchier than ever, and the styles vary more from song to song. Arce contrasts smooth vocal hooks and raspy screaming over heavy instrumentals. Cobo lays down blues-rock licks and Critic chugs ahead with a less-is-more approach.

"It's a mix of hardcore rock 'n' roll, metal, and jamming," Arce says. "On this album, we were trying to find the same sound as when we play live. This sound is more real: Just plug in the guitar direct... There are a lot of options now on the computer after you've recorded the sound; you can do a lot of things. But then when you play live, it's not the same, you know?"

And as a live-focused band, the Rockadictos may have to set their sights outside of South Florida. Arce says, "Miami is getting better than it was ten years ago. There are more places to play now, but it's still not a good city for rock 'n' roll, you know? I go to other cities and see more people going to see live music at night." 

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