We are very honored to present you the interview that Juan Brujo, the singer of Brujeria, gave to Rock Overdose and to Konstantinos Sotirelis. Juan, talked about the band’s upcoming plans, their history so far, their upcoming shows, Donald Trump and their new album! Enjoy!
Rock Overdose: Hello Brujo. I would like you to tell me how it’s going on the band’s side these days.
Brujo: Good, it’s very busy, getting ready for some tours and, um, we just got a show that some band cancelled a festival and, next one, they want us to do it next week, next weekend, so… [Laughs] Very busy trying to get that together. So things are good, lots of activity.
Rock Overdose: Cool. So your new album is going to be released on the 16th of September. How do you feel about this release?
Brujo: Good, good. It took a while to put, you know, to get it out there. But we feel good about it. It sounds different than our usual stuff. This one is, you know, um, more modern, and digital, you know, it’s a tighter record than the ones we put out before, the old punk rock ones. So, we feel good about it. See how it does out there with the modern sound.
Rock Overdose: That was exactly my next question. How will it sound, this new album, and should we expect to hear from this album?
Brujo: Well, eh, some of the topics of old, of the.. We like to use sounds, dropped south here in the border of the US and Mexico, eh… people, you know, people crossing illegally the border, things that happen every day over here and, um, it’s some stuff about this one as usual. I like to express ideas on religion and stuff. And the thing that’s gonna be used, it’s, um… This is not gonna be the punk rock versions of what we tried to do the old way, but with the new digital equipment stuff, it just didn’t sound the same, so we had to do it all over, you know, in a modern way of making everything digital entirely, so it’s gonna bring a new sound to Brujeria, so we’re gonna throw it out there, and see how it goes. I think it’s better, I like it, but… We’ll see what the people say. It’s just hard to do the old punk rock stuff without the punk rock studio anymore.
Rock Overdose: I see. So, are there any surprises or guests into this album?
Brujo: There’s a couple of guests there that might surprise some people, but not big parts, but little ones just to show that they’re on our side, let’s say. I’ll tell you the big one: it’s Hank Three, Hank Williams, I don’t know if you know him, he’s a country guy. Very popular over here, he comes out in the first song, in the intro, so it’s good to hear him there and stuff, coz people would never believe that he’s, uh, a fans of ours and he’s on the record, so I like that one. So there’s a couple of spot guest appearances, like that.
Rock Overdose: Why did it take you so long to release this album? Your latest album was released 16 years ago.
Brujo: What happened was, after the last album, we started doing shows as we never did just before that record. We never toured, never did any shows, because anytime we got together, we concentrated on doing music, writing songs, coz we never had. Everybody was in different bands, and we could never get everybody together, and you know. So, at a point after 2003, some of the members got free time, so that we could get together, and do tours, and play live shows, so we started doing that 2003 and spent the –like- five-six years doing that one whenever we had free time. Instead of writing music, we would go, go on tour, and we never did that before, so it was, and it turned out pretty good for us. Then we got the new members coming in, and said, ‘We have to do a new album with the new members’, and we started that in about 2008, and started writing some songs here and there, putting them out, but again, everybody’s in different bands, and it’s hard to get them all together at the same time. Finally, we got the songs written and we tried to do it the old way – it didn’t work. We had to do them all over, try out new ways. That was, it took a lot of time, and emailed me parts. We emailed things back and forth, but that took even longer, and then, things like. The guy who was going to mix the record had surgery on his back and he was out for a year. Things like that would happen to us. Big delays, it’s like, ‘This thing’s cursed!’, big delays everywhere for things that shouldn’t be a problem. So, finally we got it all together and we got it out there, so we feel good about that now.
Rock Overdose: Are all the songs, like, ready for years, or the process started two or three years ago?
Brujo: Yeah, well, some songs were written back in 08, 09, way back there, and then put the ends to them and finished them up, about two or three years ago, we started doing the finishing. You know, getting the music right, putting the vocals on it, and all that. And everything just took the last two three years, just delays for everything. There was a delay, so it was bad luck really, so… But finally we got it together and it’s coming out.
Rock Overdose: I understand. So, recently you released a brand new song. What was the feedback so far from the fans?
Brujo: People, it’s like. People would think that we want to kill Trump, and stuff like that. The title is “Viva President Trump”, long live the President, because we want him to win. And we want him to win, to be President, so we can see how bad he’s going to be, and then go to war with him then. Then we fight. If he becomes President, we fight. But right now, he’s not the. He’s just talking –whatever- and we don’t like him. But if he went, and starts doing stuff that’s serious damage, like. It’s about a fight with him, because he’s not right, the guy’s crazy and I don’t have to talk about him because, you know. What he’s saying to people, getting everybody here to hate. This pretty much ruined the country already, so, um, it’s not a good thing…
Rock Overdose: Unfortunately, he has a lot of fans. I don’t know why… Can you explain this?
Brujo: The Donald Trump the people want? They’re insane. They believe his lies like it’s truth. Like, he will say…
Rock Overdose: A lot of rock stars also believe him, and that’s awful, because they…
Brujo: Well, I believe that, because they’re not paying attention to the real world, you know. I could see that happen. ‘Oh, this guy’s fired up, he’s good-looking’. No, he’s not. He’s a hater and he’s getting everybody to hate each other, so it’s not a good thing what he’s doing. And he’s just trying to bullshit everybody and convinces them that he’s good, and he’s gonna do something when he’s not… And he’s gonna be hating, and it’s like, you know. It’s very bad, that guy, very bad. I just want, you’re right, I don’t understand why these people are possessed. They believe in him like, you know, he is the savior of the Earth or something. And you can’t convince them that he’s not, so it’s really weird.
Rock Overdose: I think that the most disappointing thing about all of this is that the rock stars believe him, many of the rock stars. Things are very disappointing, because, uh, rock is the revolution.
Brujo: Right, and these guys are giving into the worst thing. It’s like… Oh my God… I don’t know what… Some of the bands are the risk. We risk rock stars, guys. I don’t understand that at all.
Rock Overdose: Let’s see what’s about to happen…
Brujo: Yeah, let’s see what happens, but if I get mad, you’ll see another record right away. [Laughs] It won’t be fifteen years. It will be, like, about fifteen hours.
Rock Overdose: So, let’s not talk about Trump anymore…
Brujo: Yeah, it makes me crazy…
Rock Overdose: So, the band has a unique concept, portraying a Mexican drug lord wearing bandanas and stuff like that. How did this idea come and how do the people see this concept?
Brujo: Well, it goes back to the very beginning. We never wired anybody to know who was in the band. We wanted this band to be, like, making statements. and telling people how things are, and, you know, what they’re trying to hide from people. So, I’ve always said we can’t use our real names, no one is supposed to know who we are. We’re not going to do shows, and, you know, learned to adapt this, and we’re going to put this music out that’s going to say the hardest things possible, I mean the truth, the hardcore truth. Because in Mexico it’s not like the United Stated. It’s really closed back in the 1990s, and we’re still closed in Osco and they needed something like that to hit them. You know, they needed a cruel radio type to hit them with the truth and the ugliness and their work. I mean, people didn’t know who we were and, just up and then, some guys in the band started doing interviews, saying that they run in. And, then, little by little, it turned into, like, a real band, you know. Once everybody starts telling everyone who they are, you know, the hardcore, your political fact is gone. So, that’s why we started touring in 2003, ‘Let’s try touring and see if we have fun with that’, and we did. I thought I enjoyed it all. [Laughs] I thought it was so…
Rock Overdose Yeah, the lives are the best!
Brujo: Yeah, that was good, and I wanted to do more. So, then we [said], ‘Let’s do a new record with the new guys’, and so on. ‘Let’s do a good bit more of this!’
Rock Overdose: Will you tour around the world to promote the album, or just to specific places, like the US?
Brujo: We will tour. Whoever wants us, we’ll go.
Rock Overdose: Will you come to Europe?
Brujo: Yeah, we’ve been to Europe. The last two years, we did, like, multiple tours in small clubs and some festivals, too. So, that’s my favourite place to go.
Rock Overdose: Are you coming to Greece some day?
Brujo: We did Greece, like, two years ago. You know, there weren’t many people, but it was alright. I’d go back, for sure.
Rock Overdose: I think you are more famous now in Greece than you were two years ago.
Brujo: Really? Oh, because we played there?
Rock Overdose:I don’t know. I see, a lot of people know the band.
Brujo: Really? That would surprise me. That’s good. I like that!
Rock Overdose: Me too. I like the band.
Brujo: We’re good. We’re a good band to see. I mean, I wish more people would go, we’re getting there.
Rock Overdose: So, The day that you are planning to release the album, I believe, is the Mexican Independence Day, right?
Brujo: That is Mexican Independence Day, right!
Rock Overdose: Is there any specific concept or reason why you chose this day to release the album?
Brujo: It’s just a good day. Mexicans are partying and stuff, and it’s a good day to have the record out, you know. We were going to have this in September anyway, and then we said, ‘Let’s do this on this day, because it’s Mexican Independence Day’. So, at a significant, you know, people remember the date and storm. At least, Mexican land people will remember the date.
Rock Overdose: So, here’s my last question. I’d like to ask if you have any plans about the next album and if it will take again so many years like this album.
Brujo: Well, the answer comes in November, in the USA election. Because, if Donald Trump wins, then you’ll probably see a record very soon. Because the “Raza Odiada” record, the second full album we did, I happened to write it to P. Wilson, the Governor of California then. I happened to meet him somewhere, and saw how much he hated Mexicans. And so that second record came out, like, within a year after “Matando Güeros” and it was important to get the message out about that guy. And that guy… The song starts when we kill him. You know, the intro of this song starts like, ‘Kill thus guy!’, and that’s how bad that guy was, and Trump is worse. So, if Trump wins, we’re gonna see a record really soon. It’s gonna be a lot about politics, and about him, and everything like that. And if the present wins, maybe two three years. I don’t know… It’s like, everything’s just waiting for Trump. That’s the way we need to go. If it’s not Trump, then I can’t tell you right now.
Rock Overdose: So we’ll see in November.
Brujo: [Laughs] We’ll see in November. In November, we can tell you
Rock Overdose: Great! So, thank you very much for this interview. Last words are yours.
Brujo: I just wanna go back there, and play there. I want more fans there. I’d like to go there, so I cross my fingers and hope people like it.
Rock Overdose: Great, so we’ll wait for the band to come here.
Brujo: Oh, God, I hope so. Thank you!
Interview: Sotirelis Konstantinos
Transcription: Goutsithis Stergios