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A Spanish-Infused Rock Band For The New Millenium
deSol
We're really not a Latin band. We have a rock head with Latin soul. - Armando Cabrera
by Josh Davidson
deSoL

DeSoL's danceable, upbeat and Latin-flavored musical mixings have caught the attention of a major label.

The Asbury Park, NJ-based band was signed to Curb/Warner Bros. Records last summer after label representatives saw the band at its home base in New York City, The Bitter End.

DeSoL's CD is nearing completion and a spring release is expected, percussionist Armando Cabrera said. After that, deSoL will work on getting radio play for its first single, which will most likely be "Spin Around," he said.

The release will be made up of pre-recorded re-released demo material and four new songs.

"It's pretty exciting that the record will be coming out in the spring and we're excited to make more new music," Cabrera said.

Determination and experience equated to deSoL's success, he said.

"All of the guys are mature and everyone works," he said. "We don't sit around and wait for people to work for us."

The band's representation, which includes Randex Communications for public relations and PGA booking (REM, The Wailers), also contributed to it reaching the level it did, he said.

The band recently toured with the Wailers stopping in cities like Baltimore, Maryland and stops in New York and New Jersey to play for crowds of over 1,000 people. The band's music has caused feet to move in the local scene and now, with the major-label record deal, there's a chance of that reaction infectiously spreading throughout the world.

In the near future, deSoL will set its sights on playing more east coast locations, starting in New York and Philadelphia, PA, and moving outward to places like Miami, FL and Vermont.

Each new venue yields the challenge of playing before unfamiliar crowds, which respond well to the band, Cabrera said.

"At the end of the night, they say: ‘You guys have an interesting twist,'" he said.

DeSoL, which has been together over two years, played its first gig at Kenny's Castaway in New York City, later moving to festivals and establishments in New York, and New Jersey venues such as Nova Terra in New Brunswick.

"(Nova Terra) was the first Latin community that we were exposed to," said Cabrera. The band has an eclectic style, not only based on Latin music, but all the different pieces of the musical spectrum that the band hears, Cabrera said.

A deSoL song takes its listener's eardrums on a trip displaying musical styles from around the world.

Albie Monterrosa

Albie Monterrosa, the band's singer and guitar player, adds his rock and pop knowledge to the mix, while Cabrera said he and other band members add the Latin rhythms. Monterrosa taught Cabrera about rock and pop and the two fused their styles together. The entire band collaborates all of its styles, which also include jazz and classical.

"We're really not a Latin band," Cabrera said. "We have a rock head with Latin soul."

Monterossa writes most of deSoL's words and lyrical melody lines.

However, the band does take part in writing lyrics and there is plenty of instrumental collaboration.

"Right now, it's a big collaboration ... It's grown together and everybody has their say. We've been together a couple of years, so we know what everybody brings to the table," Cabrera said.

Bands like Santana have opened doors for ones of similar musical styles such as deSoL, Cabrera said.

"Ruben Blades was a big influence on me because of his songwriting and how he was able to mix world music the way he did, and, obviously, Santana, too," he said. "The thing we are able to do is bring this out to the world and hopefully Santana will help us do that," he said.

[ Website: www.desolmusic.com ]

Josh Davidson
Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and njcoast.com. He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.
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