By: Christina E. Rodriguez
Even before she met Gustavo Mojica in 2002, Ide Flores had already decided that she wanted to start a band. Word had already gotten around San Diego that this girl, who also played guitar, had quite a voice. Seven years and two bands later, the drummer and vocalist are still together, making music with passion and ambition with the help of musical mastermind and guitarist Marcos Mondregon, who is in Mexico for the time being.
With the addition of 24-year-old Jesus “Chuy” Garcia nine months ago, Los Hollywood is beginning to make some noise in the U.S. Latin alternative scene, their music transcending any language barriers. “It’s very hard for us to speak one language,” explains Gustavo, 27. “Todo el tiempo andamos mezclando de español a ingles and that’s how we talk, that’s how we think and that’s the music we write.”
“We’re bilingual and our influences are everywhere,” says Ide, 25, who goes by Heidy. “I think we’re very open-minded for rock en español, for pop. Not a lot of bands are that open-minded.”
“We love the Beatles, we love Led Zeppelin, but we don’t sound like them,” adds Heidy. “Los Hollywood is so different, that you can’t say that it’s alternative or pop or punk. If you listen to each song, it has its own personality and we don’t define ourselves with anything in particular.”
The young band won the MySpace Latino Battle of the Bands in 2008 and performed at MySpace Latino’s one year anniversary celebration in Miami. Los Hollywood has performed alongside Los Amigos Invisibles in Austin, Texas; they were also invited to play at the Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York and most recently at Rumba in Chicago.
It isn’t every day that a band that has only released an EP gains such nationwide acclaim. “Chuy” expected a slower start, however he has no complaints. “I came in and was like, OK, they have an EP and they’re just starting,” he remembers. “Then I’m like, ‘What the hell? Am I going on an airplane?’”
Although the band is from San Diego, Los Hollywood is beginning to adapt to its name. “We work a lot in L.A.,” says Heidy. “L.A. is our second home. It’s got to be. We are Los Hollywood,” adds Gustavo with a smile.
The concept of the name came one night when Gustavo couldn’t sleep. “What better name than Hollywood?” says Gustavo. “Who doesn’t know Hollywood? And I called them up and said, Los Hollywood. ‘Los,’ de nuestra parte Latina, and ‘Hollywood.’ No matter where you are, Hollywood is pretty much everything.”
It’s hard to ignore the excitement over the next album when in Los Hollywood’s presence. Although they attempt to not really talk about it, the subject is unavoidable. “The second album is going to be super cool,” smiles Heidy. According to the singer, this next album will only be released physically in Mexico and Puerto Rico, but will be available digitally through iTunes for the rest of the world.
“The next album is going to say, ‘Here we come’ and give them no other option but to take us,” says Gustavo assuredly.
A native from Guerrero, Mexico, Gustavo feels that he represents the Latino experience here in the United States. “I’m an immigrant and I love my people and I love Latinos. I love all Latinos,” he says. “It’s like, we can do it, why can’t you? We’re trying to get everything we can and to show people that we’re [here]. And for those who think it’s not possible, someone has to do it. So, why not us?”