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If Los Lobos has learned one thing in nearly four decades together, it’s that playing by the rules is not for them. They tried it for a while, said no thanks, and they’ve been better for it ever since. The twentieth anniversary re-release of the group’s landmark Kiko album serves as a potent reminder of why going rogue was the best thing this legendary American quintet ever did.
“There’s this thing that still happens, this musical thing,” says Louie Pérez, guitarist for the band. “But if you took everything away, even the music, you’d still end up with four guys who were friends and hung out and grew up in the same neighborhood. And you can’t take that friendship away from us.”
“We’re brothers and we all equally recognize that,” says César Rosas, singer for the band. “That’s what keeps us going, knowing that we need to help each other and we need to get through this and we work well together. And we keep it real.”
Their debut album was called Just Another Band from East L.A., but they have since repeatedly disproven that title—Los Lobos isn’t “just another” anything. “We’re incredibly lucky,” says Steve Berlin, saxophonist and keyboardist for the band.
From the moment Los Lobos came on the scene in East Los Angeles in 1978, they’ve cemented their reputation as one of the hardest-working bands in America—with both their touring schedule and their willingness to challenge themselves musically.
—San Francisco Chronicle
Over the past 40 years, they have gone from ‘just another band from East L.A.’ into the premier Mexican-American roots rockers, mixing a traditional sound with a punk attitude, most recently earning a well-deserved nomination for a much-vaunted—and much-needed—spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
—Red Dirt Report