October 25, 2007

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DeSoL brightens Manchester
En ingles y español in their latest CD On My Own
By Bill Copeland news@hippopress.com

DeSoL are back in Manchester.

Their last appearance was six months ago. Like last time they are touring on their latest CD, On My Own. The Palace Theatre will host them Friday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m.

Ditched by their former label, Curve Records, the boys had a chance to do things indie style. 

“Last year we were in the Middle East in October.” singer Albie Monterrosa said. “The middle of November we got home, and I had the intention of going into the studio and writing and recording our record. We were out of our label deal with Curve Records, so I could take as long as I want.”

Without label pressure, deSoL could write songs that meant something to him and the band for this second studio CD.

“There was a truth to it and innocence about it,” Monterrosa said. “It wasn’t cluttered with ‘What should I do? What do the business people want me to do? What does radio want me to do?’ Not to say that in the future we won’t intentionally go make a big Latino-sounding record.”

“I feel good about it. I feel there’s a growth,” he said. “The vibe I’m getting is a lot of people talking about radio-friendly songs. It’s more of a pop record. It’s less Latino. We didn’t go into it to think we had to make this kind of record or we got to sound like this. We just wanted to write good songs. There’s a song on the record, ‘Goodnight, Love.’ It’s a straight-up beautiful piano ballad. It’s true to what I love to do. I started playing piano as a child. I love Billy Joel, and Elton John and Jackson Browne.”

deSoL members, according to Monterrosa, didn’t invent their combo of Latin music and rock and roll. They band just always had both genres. 

“The funny thing is it didn’t happen until 2000 when I started deSoL. Before that I was following the straight-up rock dream,” he said. “I always had a percussion player in the band but never really expressed it this way. I needed to come full circle and find myself with the half Spanish and half English.”

In Queens, where Monterrosa grew up, everybody was bilingual.

“Everybody was of different ethnicity on my block, Puerto Rican, Ecuadorian, Salvadorian. Or if it was a West Indies person or somebody from Jamaica or somebody from Africa, it was always a different vibe.”

Though he spoke Spanish at home, Monterrosa would go outside with his buddies and listen to Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. This mix is evident in the band’s sound.

The new CD features the song “Sing It All Night,” a charting hit on adult contemporary radio that was born on the deSoL tour van. 

“We were touring on the coast, all up and down California,” he said. “We had stopped at an Exxon station to get gas. Chris, our bass player, was strumming a few chords, and I started singing over it. We were kind of lost by ourselves in the back of the van.”

The song captures the lonely feeling of being on the road.

“All we do right now is tour. We’re rarely home. A lot of us have families and children, wives and houses and stuff. It was the intention to put into a song the feeling of being away from your family and doing it for them,” he said. deSoL are like public servants when they come out on stage.

“We don’t go on stage to be selfish. We want to give to our audience. We want to sing it for our audience. We want to play it for our audience, play these rhythms, make them dance, make them feel good,” Monterrosa said. Promoter Jim Roach is the main reason deSoL is back in Manchester.

“He really likes the band, and we like him a lot,” Monterrosa said. “He’s all about helping us build and helping us get out there. Plus, we love Manchester. There’s a feeling up there. The vibration there, the frequency there, and the people there, there’s a feeling that just attaches to what we do, and The Palace Theatre is beautiful.”.


Photo by Jessica Loveless