On Novemeber 8th Pontiac’s own mariachi punk duo Pancho Villa’s Skull released their highly anticipated first full length album Gentefication.
This is the first official release in three years that brothers Tino and Rolando Ybarra have put out.
“Before all the songs we had released were songs I had written before Lando was in the band,” says Tino. “This definitely felt more like a collaborative effort than just ‘here’s some songs I had. Put percussion to them.’ Also, we were extremely blessed with so many talented friends offering their time and skills to help us bring our vision to life. So expect it to be bigger and better than our last releases.”
The bands last release was their 2016 EP Mariachi Punk. They have also released various singles and a live album. Gentefication is the largest collection of music release yet.
“Gentefication is when a place is growing but trying to stay true to it’s roots,” Tino says. “In Mexican-American neighborhoods that means ‘la gente’ that live there. Meaning most of the shops and boutiques etc. are all owned by people who live there and care about the place they inhabit.”
Rolando says that listeners can expect to hear what made the two originally fall in love with the unique blend of punk and mariachi.
“We still give you a lot of what’s familiar while slowing it down and giving you something new to process as well,” he says. “It’s definitely not the same as Mariachi Punk EP but I think it [is] a natural step forward and people who are fans of that record won’t feel alienated by this one.”
“I just hope that people can get a sense of community action out of it. I hope that the lyrics and music resonates with them and encourages them to do good in their own communities,” Rolando said.
In addition to community, Rolando stresses the importance of his peers when it came to creating the album.
“So much has changed for me during the process of writing this album,” Rolando shares. “New relationships, new dogs, losing family members, starting touring a lot more than I ever imagined. Each song on this album reminds me of [a] period of my life when it was written; or at least when I wrote my parts of it.”
He opens up with us regarding the importance of family as well.
“As it got closer for us going into the studio we lost our cousin who was very close to us and very big supporter of us,” he explains. “It was his spirit and energy that helped us really persevere and push through. This album could not have been possible without our team of people who support us and ride for us. So many people have helped shape us into being the band we are today.”
The band recorded with Don Carlisle at Knavish Audio in Grands Rapids. Tino and Rolando showed up with their demos and recorded two full days in the studio. The album is being release through Put Out Your Own Records, a DIY label ran by Thomas Gun.
Tino explains that this is the first time they wrote with the intention of recording an album.
“It also, meant that I had to actually write intentionally,” he says. “Like I wrote with the intention of this song being on the next record. It was a bit more pressure but, I feel like it made me want to write better songs.”
“I hope it inspires people to feel comfortable with who they are and that they’re not alone in the world,” he continues. “I also hope that it inspires them to be more active in their communities. We’re all in this together so, let’s take care of each other.”
Their album release show is taking place at Exferimentation Brewing Co in Pontiac on Saturday, November 23rd.
“We worked really hard to get a lineup that we feel accurately reflected ourselves and what we want to see in other shows,” Rolando says. “The venue is a newer spot, especially to our little realm of music. So it will be cool to show yet another new place in Pontiac that can be utilized for all types of events.”
The band has been keeping it local with their hometown shows, finding new venues in Pontiac to perform at. You can expect to see sets from Michigan locals such as Jahshua Smith and Labor Day Weekend. In addition, The Loneliers will be visiting all the way from New York City.
“I’m hoping to bring people together and have fun, dance, sing and overall just have a fun time,” Rolando says. “I think that if everything goes according to plan this will be a show that people will be talking about for a long time.”
“It’s truly a community effort,” he continues. “We put every bit of ourselves into this album and I’m excited people are finally going to be able to hear it in its entirety.”