Los Headaches interview with Fossy Balboa, Nico Ventura, Charly Romero and Pepe

November 21, 2013

Los Headaches interview with Fossy Balboa, Nico Ventura, Charly Romero and Pepe

I write about a lot of pretty complicated music these days,
I enjoy challenging myself and as I get older my tastes are definitely
evolving; though I’m unconvinced whether that’s for better or worse.  It’s nice to write about good old fashioned
rock’n’roll from time to time.  Bands
like Los Headaches remind me of why I started listening to music so fervently
in the first place, attacking rhythmic thunder with snarling sonic brutality
from some distorted and reverb drenched guitar. 
To call them “old fashioned” rock’n’roll wouldn’t be a stretch, with
songs like “I Fooled Myself”, but they bring something old, something new,
something borrowed and something wholly their own to the table.  The more I find out about the Mexican music
scene the more interested I get.  With
hidden gems like Los Headaches, who should be huge at this point, nestled like
stars in the sky, I’ve talked to several bands and always enjoy learning a
little more about the diverse and immensely underrated music scene going on
down there.  So join me for a discussion
about Los Headaches, where they’ve come from and where they’re planning on
heading from here with all four founding members of this bad ass band!  And here’s hoping that we hear a lot more
from this band in the near future…
while you read: http://losheadaches.bandcamp.com/
What is the band’s
current lineup?  Have you gone through
any personnel changes over the years?
Nico Ventura – Guitar, Vox
Fossy – Guitar Vox
Charly Romero – Bass Vox
Pepe – Drums Vox 
Are any of you in
any other bands at this point?  Have you
released any material with any other bands? 
If so can you tell us about it?
Charly:  Fossy and I
are in two other bands, Grandmaboys who have the soon to be released Telepatia 
Elemental (https://www.facebook.com/GrandmaBoys?fref=ts) and Las Lolas who are
currently recording their first EP.
Where are you all
originally from?
Los Headaches:  México
DF (Mexico City).
Where your
households very musical growing up?  Were
your parents or any of your relatives musicians or very involved/interested in
Nico:  My dad has
always been into Celtic music and my mom listened to 80’s pop and shitty
country music, they weren´t passionate. 
My uncle played the piano.
Charly:  Not
really.  I mean my parents would listen
to music but not the kind that I’m into at this moment.
Pepe:  My mother used
to play piano when I was a kid, she doesn’t play anymore though.
Fossy:  My older
brothers showed me Nirvana, Metallica and Guns n Roses ha-ha.  Also my father had all these old records from
The Beatles, The Stones, Clapton…
What was your
first real exposure to music?  When did
you decide that you wanted to start writing and performing your own music?
Nico:  My first guitar
at eleven.  Then I listened to a full
Beatles album, it changed my life.
Charly:  I don’t
remember how old I was, I guess it was when I was eleven or so, and I would
listen to Molotov with my cousin, “Give Me the Power” is a very good song!
Pepe:  I started
playing drums because of Dave Grohl, so I would say Nirvana got me into
it.  I was twelve.
Fossy:  When my aunt
gave me a guitar when I was twelve.
Where’s the band
currently located at?
Los Headaches:  Mexico
D.F. (Mexico City).
How would you
describe the local music scene where you all are at?
Nico:  Mexico City is
a huge city, so you can find a lot of everything.  You can even find cool bands sometimes…
Charly:  I would say
it has a lot of potential.  The thing is
we need to work together with everybody we can so we can do something bigger
and better.
Pepe:  There are a lot
of really good bands everywhere.  It’s
just a matter of going out and taking a look.
Are you very
involved in the local scene there?
Charly:  Yes we are.
Nico:  We are
involved, it´s hard to say, there are a lot of bands.  Mexico City is one of the biggest cities in
the world…
Has it played
large role in the sound, history or evolution of Los Headaches?  If so can you talk a little bit about the
role that it’s played?
Charly:  It’s played
the role of making us wanna get more than what it’s got to offer.  It’s one of the main reasons we went to the
U.S. to play, ‘cause we could get way more shows there than we would´ve here.
Fossy:  Our first
shows were booked by a garage rock band called Los Explosivos.
While we’re
talking a little bit about the history of Los Headaches how did you all
meet?  When was that?
Charly:  I´ve been
around Fossy and Nico since 1994 when we were like four or five years old.  We started to become friends when we were in
sixth grade.  When I was fifteen in 2006
Fossy got expelled from high school and went to this other school where he met
Pepe, so he brought him to practice one day and introduced him to us.
Nico:  Fossy, Charly
and I started a band in high school.  We
started playing Beatles and other bands covers. 
One day Pepe came to a practice and started playing drums as our current
drummer was taking a shower.  We played
some Ramones songs and loved it.  The
four of us started hanging more often and listening to the same music together;
The Clash, New York Dolls, Velvet Underground, The Stooges, etcetera…  Finally we decided to start a band, soon to
become Los Headaches.
When and what led
you to form Los Headaches?
Charly:  When we were
fifteen Fossy and Nico decided to start a band and they asked me if I wanted to
be the bass player, I didn´t knew how to play but I said yes.
Nico:  Basically that
we all listened to the same music.  But I
guess being such good friends before and having kinda the same humor didn’t
hurt either.
translated your name means, The Headaches but what does Los Headaches mean or
refer to?  How did you go about choosing
the name?
Nico:  I remember
trying a lot of names, but we weren´t one-hundred-percent sure if we all liked
them.  Smoking weed, driving somewhere
Fossy suddenly came up with the name “Los Headaches”.
Charly:  I just liked
it when Fossy came up with it.
Pepe:  I don’t
remember at all.
Fossy:  I guess it
became a huge headache to come up with a catchy name.
Can you tell us
about your major musical influences? 
There’s some really interesting stuff I hear kicking around in your
tunes.  What about the band as a whole
rather than individually?
Nico:  The Beatles,
The Supremes, Johnny Thunders, The Ramones and Daniel Johnston and The Clash.
Charly:  Brian Eno,
King Khan, The Clash, Velvet Underground, T-REX, GG Allin, The Libertines, Nick 
Lowe, Ray Charles.  There’s a lot of ‘em.
Fossy:  The Stones,
Sam Cooke and The Cramps.
What about your
songwriting process?  Is it more of a
collaborative effort with a lot of jamming and exploring or is there someone
who approaches the rest of the band with a riff or more finished product to
work out and compose with the rest of you?
Nico:  Most of the
time someone comes to the practice spot with a full song, or an idea, and we
all join in.  Sometimes we just start
jamming and something comes up but lyrics are more of an individual thing most
of the time.
Charly:  Sometimes we
just jam and record it.  We listen to
that stuff and decide what we like or don’t like and make a song out of it.
Do you all enjoy
getting into the studio and recording? 
As a musician I think we all love the end result.  Nothing beats holding an album in your hands
knowing it’s your music and you made it. 
Getting into the studio can be a little nerve wracking to say the least
though, how is it in the studio for you all?
Nico:  I love being in
the studio.  Sometimes, it´s a little
nerve wracking, but it´s fun, but I think Los Headaches are more of a live
Charly:  I love the
result, being in the studio is fun, I like recording voices.
Pepe:  I like it when
it gets hot.
Fossy:  I love it at
first, I start losing interest when they repeat a small part over and over for
some little noise I can’t even hear.
Do you do a lot of
preparatory work before heading into the studio or do you play things more by
ear and let the chips fall where they may?
Nico:  There’s not
much preparatory work before going to record, we try to be as genuine and
straight forward as we can be.  That´s
what rock’n’roll is all about.
Charly:  There’s not
much preparatory work but everyone knows what to do.
Fossy:  We rehearse
for a week before.
Your first release
was in 2008, an EP entitled Octavius Sessions. 
I know there were only a few copies of that made and it was never really
offered for sale; the material isn’t on your Bandcamp page either.  Can you tell us about your memories of recording
that first album?  When was that material
recorded?  Where was it recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used?
Fossy:  We had just
discovered Marihuana and we were having fun in this new weird dreamy
Nico:  I remember Fossy
got a MacBook with that Garage Band thing. 
We spent almost everyday smoking and recording whatever we came up
with.  We recorded it with an acoustic
guitar through the laptop´s mic.  I love
those sessions; it´s a little creepy and deep. 
Octavious Sessions was more of a rarity.
Charly:  We recorded
that one ourselves, I don´t remember during which months we did that.  Most of it, I think was recorded at Fossy´s
place at the time at El Ajusco.  We would
record anytime mid-day, in the afternoon, late at night, early morning,
whatever.  We would just be there and
make some music.  We used acoustic
guitars and any percussion we could get our hands on.
How was the
Octavius Sessions EP originally distributed? 
Was that a CD release?  Are there
any plans to make that material available in either digital or physical
Nico:  We only printed
a few CD´s and we sent the songs to our friends.  There are a couple songs on Soundcloud, but
it´ll be fun to release physical format copy someday.
Charly:  Yeah, maybe
Later that year
you also released the extremely limited Los Headaches In Boredom City EP. Can
you tell me about the recording of that album? 
When and where was that material recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used for Los
Headaches In Boredom City?
Nico:  Most of the
songs in that album are on the actual Boredom City album but they were recorded
very lo-fi, we used Garage Band for it as well. 
That winter Fossy and Charly went to London and gave away the albums for
free just for people to have something to listen to from us.
Charly:  We recorded
that one at Pepe´s with our practice equipment, a Ludwig Drum set, Yamaha bass
guitar, Backline 100 Watt bass amp, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Special, two
Marshall 100 Watt combo and the lap top inside mic.  There were only fifty copies of it fossy and
I gave away in London in 2008.
Was Los Headaches
In Boredom City distributed like Octavius Sessions?  What format was it originally released
on?  This material isn’t on the Bandcamp
page either, are there any plans to make any of that older material to fans in
the future?
Nico:  Actually Los
Headaches in Boredom City is just a small version of the full Boredom City
LP.  You could say it’s kinda like a
demo.  We recorded it with the laptop´s
mic as well.
Charly:  It was hand
distributed CD-R.  I don´t really know if
we even still have all those recordings.
Almost three years
later, in 2011, you dropped the Boredom City full-length album on Primitiv
Records.  Did that contain a lot of the
same material as the Los Headaches In Boredom City EP?  If there was any overlap in tracks were those
tracks re-recorded or did you use the original version from the EP? 
Nico:  We re-recorded
it.  We wanted the sound of the LP to be
more powerful and loud.
Charly:  Yes it has
all the songs from the Los Headaches In Boredom City EP but it´s a whole
different recording.
Where was the
Boredom City full-length recorded at? 
When was that material recorded? 
Who recorded it?  What kind of
equipment was used?
Nico:  We recorded it
with Esteban “Crunchy” Acapulco, lead guitarist of the Mexican surf
band Lost Acapulco in the last months of 2010 and it was released until April
2011.  We used the basics, guitars, bass
and drums.  We also invited Casco from
the band Los Explosivos to play the harmonica on “Baby Blues”, “Inside My
Bitter Brain” and the bongos for the hidden track.  We also invited Paxpi Montesinos from the
Twin Tones to play the trumpet on that hidden track.  It was our first time in a studio.
Charly:  There are
more instruments in this one, a Ludwig Drum Set, Jaguar Fender Bass Guitar and
my old Yamaha, Fender Telecaster, Epiphone Special, Fender Jaguar, Trumpet,
Harmonica and Bongos.  For mics we used
Shure – Beta 91, Beta 52, SM57, SM58, a Neumann TLM 103 and an AKG C214 with a
ProTools 8 LE Interface 002
Boredom City was
the first album you really offered for sale did you approach the writing or
recording of that album differently knowing that it was going to be offered for
sale?  Did you even know that it was
going to be your first album that was offered up on the market when you were
recording that material?
Nico:  Yeah, we
thought it was about time to make a real LP to sell.  So we tried to make it sound like we were
playing live, you know, the real Los Headaches real sound.
Charly:  Yeah that was
the plan, to make an album and release it.
How did you get
hooked up with Primitiv Records?
Charly:  Sabu from Los
Explosivos introduced us to Crunchy Acapulco, owner of Primitiv Records and the
guitar player of Lost Acapulco.
Nico:  He recorded it,
mixed it and produced it.
Last year (2012)
La Bodega Estudio released Never Ending Hunger. After one full-length and two
EPs did you feel like you’d kind of hit a stride and new a lot more going in or
was it another learning experience?  
Charly:  Never Ending
Hunger was self-released March 25th 2013, on
http://losheadaches.bandcamp.com/.  It
was pressed in Seattle Washington up for sale June 11th 2013. I think we´ve
always been confident in what we do, and we love to do it.  Plus everything is another learning
Fossy:  Recording this
album with close friends was more fun.
Where was Never
Ending Hunger recorded at?  When was that
material recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used during those
Nico:  We recorded it
with our friends Andres and Juan Azpiri at La Bodega Studio in 2012.  We were just coming back from our first West
Coast Tour in the U.S.  We had new songs
and fresh ideas.  A lot of rum during the
Charly:  We used a
Sonor Drum set, Ol Yamaha bass, Fender Telecaster , Epiphone Sheraton II,
Fender De Ville, Visual Sound Workhorse, Shure SM57.  For drums, SM57’s on the snare, PG52 for the
kick and an Oktava Modified 319 for the overhead.  Voices Oktava modified 319 and an EHR1.  Interface digi 003 black lion audio
modification (Chicago).  Mix Black lion
audio PM8 summing box (Chicago) and ProTools 8.5.
Does Los Headaches
have any music that we haven’t talked about?
Charly:  Yes there’s
another album we recorded at la Bogeda in 2011 while Fossy was in Seattle for
x-mas, it’s called Los Headaches VS Christmas. 
It hasn’t been released yet, there’s a song on YouTube I think.
Nico:  (following
Charly) Most of the songs are covers.  We
did it just for kicks.
Pepe:  There’s a
lovely song Christmas song Fossy recorded with Vanessa Gonzales from Schlitzie
on Soundcloud.
Are there any
plans for a follow-up to Never Ending Hunger, any singles or other releases in
the works at this point?
Nico:  We´re releasing
a split through Sick City Records in Los Angeles in a couple months.
Charly:  We were also
planning on recording a new album in December. 
It’ll be ready by, let’s say, spring next year.
Where’s the best
place for our U.S. readers to pick up copies of your music?
Nico:  You can find it
in Franky´s a record and barber shop in Silverlake, Los Angeles.  The owners also own Sick City Records.
Charly:  Also you can
get in touch with us, we´ll send you the stuff! 
With the recent
international postage rate hikes what about our overseas and international
Charly:  Get in touch
with us, we wanna go to your country!! 
Fossy:  You can always
download it from bandcamp
And where’s the
best place for them to keep up on the latest news from Los Headaches like
upcoming shows and album releases?
Does Los Headaches
have any goals you are looking to accomplish in 2013?
Charly:  Recording a
new album in December.
Nico:  We´re playing a
festival in November here in Mexico City. 
I wanna go on tour next year.
Fossy:  Go out on tour
What do you have
planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the year?
Charly:  We only have
shows in the city for now.
Nico:  We wanna go to
South America, maybe Europe next year.
Do you spend a lot of time touring? Do you enjoy touring?
Can you tell us a little bit about life on the road for you all?
Charly:  I love
touring, it’s great to be on the road with your friends driving long distances,
playing lots of shows, having a lot of fun, meeting a lot of interesting
people, making life time friends and meeting pretty women.  I love when you’re about to get to a show and
you stop for some gas, drink something and kick the ball.
Fossy:  When you’re
comfortable at home you never really feel alive, but when you go out on tour
and you are dirty, exhausted, hungover, in a different place every day and
basically raw.  That’s when you live.
Nico:  It´s a trip
meeting people from different countries too.
You have played
some awesome bands over the years, I absolutely love Los Explosivos!  Who are some of your personal favorites that
you’ve had a chance to play with?
Charly:  As for México
I personally like 3 Dudes And a Mullet, Los Vincent Black Shadows and
Versus.  As for the rest of the world,
King Lollipop, King Tuff, Las Ardillas, BBQ, The No Tomorrow Boys, Anomalys and
The Cry.
Fossy: There’s a Mexican band called Ugly Miss Piggy, The
Younger Lovers from Oakland and the Tough Shits.
Do you have funny
or interesting stories from live shows that you’d like to share with our
Charly:  That night in
Portland was awesome, everybody was so into it, they held me up in the air
while playing and everybody was singing along when we played Del Shannon’s
“Runaway”, it was a great night! 
Pepe:  When we played
at The Funhouse in Seattle for the first time Fossy puked all over the stage
during the last song, which was great.  I
don’t know why but people love that kinda stuff.
Nico:  I can´t
remember; four Lokos and cheap liquor…
Fossy:  Once I slipped
in my own vomit, if it hadn’t happened to me I would laugh.
Who are you on
tour with in your dreams?
Charly:  The Clash.
Pepe:  Divine rubbing
her tits on my face.
Nico:  The Pope.
Fossy:  Leo Dicaprio.
There’s something
almost magical, and certainly irreplaceable, about holding an album in my
hands.  Being able to hold it and feel
it, read the liner notes and look at the artwork.  It all makes for a more complete listening
experience and offers a glimpse into the mind of the artists who created it, at
least for me.  Do you have any such
connection to physical releases?
Charly:  It’s hard to
have a record collection here, there’s not a vinyl culture like in Europe or
the U.S.  I like having an album or a
cassette in my hands, I have a few of ‘em but as long as I can hear something,
a Mp3, a CD, a record or radio or something I’m fine.
Nico:  Yeah, I´m not
that in love with them either, I just can´t take good care of them.  I lost ‘em all.
Fossy:  All my Beatles
records got torn up by Pepe and placed in his room as posters.
Do you have a
preferred medium of release for your own material?  What about when you are buying music?  With all the mediums are available to artists
today I’m always curious to hear why they choose the mediums that they do.
Charly:  Right now
into digital music I like that way of releasing and getting music.
Nico:  I borrow albums
from friends and listen to them.
Fossy:  Digital music
rules because it’s so easy and I´m so lazy.
Do you have a
music collection at all?  If so can you
tell us about it?
Charly:  I have a few
records like T-Rex Megarex, Ray Charles, a rare one, and some that friends have
given me on our trips; Tough Shits, Las Ardillas and some cassettes I bought
around the West Coast like King Lollipop, Black Lips, Wax Idols and Primitive
Pepe:  I have a bunch
of records and I like them all.  Right
now I’m so into this Toots & The Maytals Funky Kingston shit, I love it.
I’ve been an avid
music collector for almost two decades at this point.  I’m passionate about music and supporting
artists but I have to admit I do love digital music.  It’s lets me take my collection on the go
without worrying about it and allows me to take a lot more than I ever have
been in the past.  It’s a double edged
sword for a lot of people inside of the industry but what’s your opinion on
digital music and distribution as an artist during the reign of the digital
Charly:  I like it, I
think that if people can listen to your music in New Zealand when you’re in
México that’s just great!
I try to keep up
with as much good music is as humanly possible, who should I be listening to
from your local scene or area that I might not have heard of before?
Charly:  Tino El
Pingüino, 3 Dudes And A Mullet.
Nico:  Suca Suca, Los
Sustos and Los Vincent Black Shadows.
Fossy:  Ugly Miss
What about
nationally and internationally?
Charly:  No Tomorrow
Boys (PDX), Bad Tats (SEA) and Shlitzie (LA).
Nico:  Blue Ribbon
Boys (SEA) and The Cry (PDX).
Fossy:  Tough Shits
Thanks so much for
doing the interview, is there anything that I missed or you’d just like to talk
Charly:  Thank you so
much to everybody that supports and care about us.  Love you guys and gals!
Nico:  Cheers mofos!

(2008) Los Headaches – Octavius Sessions EP – CD-R –
(few copies were released. not for sale)
(2008) Los Headaches – Los Headaches in Boredom City EP –
CD-R – Self-Released 
(few copies were released. not for sale)
(2010) Los Headaches – Boredom City LP – CD-R – Primitiv
Records- Self Released-
(for sale on April 2011)
(2011) Los Headaches – Los Headaches VS Christmas – Digital
– La Bodega Estudio 
(Not For Sale)
(2012) Los Headaches – Never Ending Hunger LP – CD-R – La
Bodega Estudio – Self-Released 
(For sale June 2013)
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/2013
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