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Arts & Culture

Piñata Protest, Making A Bilingual Name For Itself

Karlo X. Ramos
Pinata Protest

A San Antonio band is fast gathering a national following. First, you should know Piñata Protest music is a really unusual hybrid.

“We call it Tex-Mex punk rock."

Accordion player and lead singer Alvaro Del Norte puts it this way.

"Y’know, it’s a blend of all sorts of music, from all sorts of cultures, from all regions that have come to Texas. Tex-Mex plus a punk rock element.”

And this week they’re heading to south by southwest.

“Yeah, we’re doing south by southwest again this year" he said. "I think it’s our fifth time in a row.”

Given the odd hybrid of his music I asked him “Do you have people who look at you like ‘what is this?!’ and then you see them go ‘oh…I get it.”

“Yeah, that’s a reaction that we get from them at every show when we play in front of a new audience, that really isn’t our show. Yeah, we get that quite a bit.”

I asked if there weren't some current day politics in his song "Life on the Border."

“More than anything it’s more of a personal story, of feeling alienated."

Having moved from Mexico he was made to feel too Mexican in Texas and too American while visiting relatives in Mexico.

“The kids around my age—I was too Americanized for them" he said. "That’s what that song was about.”

The band's popularity has been exploding the last few years so I asked if he felt like he was, to some extent, emissaries for the city of San Antonio?

“Yeah, in some ways. A lot of times people tell us we’re the quintessential San Antonio band, which is nice to hear.”

One of the bigger surprises was when he told me that he listens to TPR.

“Yeah. Regular listener.”


For more on Pinata Protest: http://www.pinataprotestband.com/home