Chicano Batman came together and began writing music together in Los Angeles in 2008. Since their formation, the four-piece has developed their signature sound into a fun mix of Brazilian tropicalia and soulful psychedelic rock while becoming a fan favorite at music festivals around the country.
The band, which routinely mixes both English and Spanish lyrics into their songs, will be making their second appearance at Coachella next month. Before they hit the stage to host their Latin-rooted party in front of thousands of music fans, get to know the band a little better with these five little-known facts.
1. The band is featured performing their rendition of “This Land Is Your Land” in the recent Johnny Walker campaign
The group recorded and released a more modernized version of the classic Woodie Guthrie American anthem, “This Land Is Your Land,” earlier this year. A shorter version of the song was used alongside a video to promote Johnny Walker’s new “Moving Forward” campaign. In the video, which can be watched by clicking here, the band is seen parading around Los Angeles in their trademark tuxedos while promoting a new America, where every music loving fan can “Move Forward” together.
2. Growing up in predominantly Mexican-American areas of Los Angeles had a lasting effect on their music
In a 2015 interview, the band spoke about how their experiences growing up in an area of Los Angeles mostly inhabited by Mexican-Americans has become part of the emotional fabric of their music.
“Growing up in Boyle Heights, we heard the kind of music people play when they are working in the fábrica like the ranchera station, or when they’re at a carne asada,” the band’s bassist, Eduardo Arenas, mentioned about their LA upbringings. “Some of this music is the soundtrack to everyday people’s relaxation. This music is our bread and butter. The context of the music runs deep through issues like poverty, immigration and cultural identity.”
3. Their song "La Jura” is “basically a Spanish-language Black Lives Matter song”
Chicano Batman have never gone out of their way to force some musical-driven political agenda onto their fans. Like any artist however, they sometimes use their gifts and voices to express concern on what’s going on in the world.
In an interview with the band earlier this month, Bardo Martinez broke down the song’s lyrics. “[The lyrics go,] La otra noche fue una noche muy terrible, balaciaron un amigo mío: ‘The other night was a terrible night. They killed a friend of mine.’ No entiendo porque los que deben proteger hacen lo opuesto: ‘I don't understand why those who are supposed to protect us do the opposite.’”
4. They tend to write their music from the perspective of women
Chicano Batman is made up of four grown men, but they’re very open to embracing the idea of writing music for women to relate to as well. In a 2015 interview, the group explained how they want to go against the grains of this patriarchal society.
“I understand how music is male-dominated. I mean, we are a boy band. We live in a patriarchy, but I try to refer to things in a feminine way,” singer Bardo Martinez said in the interview. “For example, I have this one song that refers to God as Her. I’ve been around a lot of amazing women who have influenced me, politically too. I went to school, I know what’s f**ked up in the world, and I want to be opposite of that. I want to speak against that sh*t.”
5. The band's logo is a combination of two other famous symbols
In a 2015 interview, the band admitted that their logo is made up of two very famous, and also very meaningful symbols. Their winged icon is a mix between the Batman symbol and the eagle from the United Farm Workers logo.
“The UFW, the logo, it's just as powerful as Batman, you know?” Bardo Martinez explained more recently. “Creating a voice for the voiceless. And that's kind of a part of Chicano Batman's identity.”