Fayuca: New label, new album

Filed under Arts & Culture

AZL Fayuca Masks (2)By Thomas O’Brien

What began with writing songs together in mariachi class back in high school has turned into a 10-year friendship between Gabe Solorzano and Raf Ruiz, founding members of local reggae/rock/ Latin-alternative band Fayuca, who are releasing their fourth studio album Barrio Sideshow on May 3 at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale.

 “We’ve built this band from the ground up,” Solorzano says about his and Ruiz’s dedication to the band over the last decade. Fayuca has taken their Latin-based musical style and blended it with their culture of skate-punk, reggae and rock and created a sound and style that is all their own.

Fayuca’s commitment to touring, being on the road and promoting their band are some of the qualities that attracted Jeff Freundich, one of the label heads of Fervor Records.

“We’d known Gabe for six or seven years,” Freundich said. And after he heard the band’s new demos  they recorded in Solorzano’s apartment, he knew that Fayuca’s time spent on the road had shaped and matured their music to a level that he and his label would be able to help bring into more of a national spotlight.   

Freundich explained that there are so many outlets nowadays for people to discover new music that often times it’s hard for artist to “cut through the noise.”

“That’s what this is about, getting them heard,” Freundich said about his label. And with the label’s connections with MTV, Fayuca has filmed a music video for their new song “Por Que Seguir” that contains only Spanish lyrics that will soon be featured on the television channel.

Barrio Sideshow will be Fayuca’s first official release with Fervor Records, which has been an indie label and licensing firm providing music for film and television since 1990.

Solorzano said that their previous album The Assassination, was meant to be a concept recording and that with the new album they decided to “quit trying so hard and just pour [their] hearts out.”

Fayuca said that the new songs touch on themes of politics, positivity and about chasing your dreams. Solorzano explained that in some of his songs he refers to his dreams like they’re a woman and the back and forth internal battle of whether to give up on them or do whatever it takes to have them.

The label gave the guys an unlimited amount of time at their private recording studio, The Bombshelter,  to construct and mold each song into the best track each could possibly be. Freundich said that he’d have the guys try some song maybe 15 different ways.

Through this method the band revived one of their older tracks “Shoot It Up” and reinvented it with more of a slower reggae feel and added the vocal accompaniment of local-Arizona-punker Jason Devore of Authority Zero.

“It (Shoot It Up) was always a fan favorite,” Solorzano says. He said the song originally started out as a story about a guy he grew up with who was addicted to drugs, but over time the way fans asked for the song, it became more of a positive message like “live like it’s your last.” An ideal taught to them by none other than Devore himself who was more than happy to be featured on the track, Solorzano says.

Fayuca said that with this album they wanted to make music similar to the bands they loved. Ruiz attributed much of their influences to some Spanish rock bands like Mana, Manu Chao and Inspector as well as other bands such as The Police, RX Bandits and Authority Zero.

The album release party will be Friday, May 3 at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale and after that the band is planning a two-month tour as well as making an appearance at a Latin-Alternative music festival in New York sometime in June.

AZL Fayuca - Barrio Sideshow (Album Cover) (2)