How does a trio like The Last Bandoleros, whose members are stretched across the country, find time to record an album, much less land a record deal?
Admittedly, it’s hard. But it’s not impossible. With Jerry Fuentes and Derek James in New York City and Diego Navaira in San Antonio, TX, The Last Bandoleros make the most of their limited time together.
Making substantial investments of time and money, they recorded their record independently. Ultimately, the gambit paid off with a Warner Music Nashville deal. “We were introduced to our manager Martin [Kierszenbaum] by a mutual friend about 18 months ago,” Fuentes explains. “I played him some of The Last Bandoleros’ stuff, which was a passion project for us. That’s what he attached to. I didn’t think a music exec in L.A. would get the Tex-Mex sound we were going for. But he put us in touch with Scott Hendricks at Warner, who heard ‘Where Do You Go?’ He got excited and came to see us at Austin City Limits festival.” A deal followed soon after.
“I didn’t think a music exec in L.A. would get the Tex-Mex sound we were going for.”
But again, working as a band divided by a country seems certain to be fraught with challenges. “We have a set time to complete something —a song or a record––and they’ll come to San Antonio or I’ll go to New York,” Navaira says of the trio’s approach. “It costs a bunch of money to fly, so when we’re together we value the time. We’re more productive. Our first record was written in a matter of weeks. We’d wake up and crank ‘em out.” “The minute you start spending your own money, that is the biggest leap that each of us made,” Fuentes adds. “We invested in [the record] so we believe in it. You bet your ass that we’ll make the most of those two weeks that we have together.”
The single “Where Do You Go?” was released in May while the band continues work on its full-length album. A formal release date has yet to be set.
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