El Guapo
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El Guapo

Chicago, Illinois, United States | MAJOR

Chicago, Illinois, United States | MAJOR
Band Rock Latin


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El Guapo @ House of Blues - Back Porch

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

El Guapo @ McGee's

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

El Guapo @ Ivy on Clark

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


To see our most up todate press & reviews visit http://www.elguapo.us/press.htm - Various

The bilingual rock quartet El Guapo, which just released a pair of polished peppy melodic hit-copping alterna-rock EPs, may have hit upon a brilliant marketing strategy when they decided to begin splitting their time between English-speaking clubs and the growing local Hispanic rock market.

Not that the band has doubled its income by going bilingual."I think we actually have succeeded in doubling our debt," says front man Mike Lopez, who owes the idea of writing Spanish songs to his parents. "We have never been a band that makes a whole lot of money for shows so that really isn't the appeal. We have been fortunate to have friends in the past pull through with a show here or there to help pay for recording. Our goal is to get signed and do whatever it takes."

However, El Guapo's crossover agility could eventually help them reach that goal not once but twice. The quirky rockers seem to be in an excellent position to capitalize on a recording niche that doesn't really exist now but seems likely to eventually explode: the American Latin rock industry. Chicago's own rock-en-espanol movement has been growing rapidly enough to steadily attract larger crowds and more media attention (including a Chicago Reader cover story just two weeks ago that declared El Guapo the leading contenders in the local movement).

Meanwhile, El Guapo has begun to win interest from folks with connections in the English rock record industry. The Reader story broke the news that the band is hoping to get Budweiser to sponsor a 62-date US tour, and is planning to record an album with vocals by Urge Overkill's former front man, Nash Kato.

The group's two new EPs, one in Spanish and one in English, were produced by John Angello, whose long discography includes stints behind the mixing boards with Aerosmith, Dinasour Jr., Jay Farrar, Patty Smith and a-ha.

The English EP boasts aggressively melodic guitar-driven attempts at the sort of goofy modern rock singles that have powered the careers of groups like Blink 182 and OK Go. El Guapo's flippant choruses ("Get the hell out of my pimped out Limousine," "I don't want and I don't need my penny loafer girl") inspire plenty of smiles if not full-out belly laughs. The three songs on this EP may lack the cleverness and spark of both of the aforesaid groups, but the songs are well-produced, pleasurable listens.

Any similarity to OK Go, however, is incidental, Lopez says. Listening to their slightly cracked sense of humor and the synth-aided melodic guitar attack, I wondered whether El Guapo might consider the authors of the recent pop hit "Get Over It" an influence.

"No," Lopez said. "I consider that a great song though. We had never heard of them until the single started playing. The Moog caught my attention since we used the similar effect on "Penny Loafer Girl". We were actually pretty upset to find out a band like them slipped past us in the Chicago music scene. We do appreciate the comparison though. It's a nice change, since we have been compared in print, many times, and to this date, to another Chicago rock band; The Smashing Pumpkins."

Still, if the music is derivative of the current modern rock radio scene, it's not an accident. "[Our] English music is in our minds very commercial and we aren't afraid to admit it," Lopez says. "We welcome the opportunity to sell out."

The Spanish songs, while similar in aggressiveness and equally catchy, are somewhat more serious in tone and less obvious in their influences. Lopez says the group has greater freedom to experiment in Spanish--partly because the nascent scene hasn't begun to force its acts into formulas yet. "The Spanish rock scene is very limited and at times what they pass off for rock is really just the furthest thing from being rock," he said. "So we felt that it was up for grabs and we could make of it what we wanted."

Interestingly, Lopez also finds the Spanish fans to be more likely to welcome a bilingual set list."The Spanish fans do speak English and aren't against hearing a cover of Guns 'N' Roses or Led Zeppelin, so it happens," he said. "The English people primarily know 'La Bamba,' so if there isn't a label rep or promoter there to check us out that is interested in the Spanish material, we spare them the experience."

The prospect of a rock album with tracks in two languages garnering widespread success from the American-centric modern rock market is an appealing one to anyone rooting for a national trend toward ethnic integration. But if these EPs are any indication, English fans so far aren't missing too terribly much when El Guapo scuttles their Spanish tracks: The Spanish songs are catchy and listenable but I think the most fun tracks are in English. They're agreeably buzzy and head-bopping. The only thing missing is the sort of originality that made the group's influences successful. "Pimped Out Limousine" in particular shows the group's potential for ear-catching songwriting, so it's a bit perplexing when the group slips into boring throwaway lines like the chorus "I had a nice girl, such a nice girl, I know a nice girl for me."

I suspect El Guapo's quality might just grow in direct proportion to the growth of its imagination.
- Chicago Gigs.com


**Signed to Garmex Records in April 2006**
Full Length Rock en Espanol
Gran Vochito Azul - Release date: 8/8/06

Full Length
Unfiltered – MUD 1996
Death of El Guapo (English & Latin Rock/ Rock en Espanol) 2000

El Guapo (Latin Rock / Rock en Espanol) 2002 to Now
El Guapo (English) 2002 to Now

MOB Fest Sampler 2002
!Boom! Magazine Latain Music Sampler 2003
!Boom! Magazine Latain Music Sampler 2004
Blender magazine / Budweiser TML True Music / Eight Hottest Unsigned Bands w/ The Darkness, Morrissey, Ben Kweller, The Von Bondies Aug 2004
Windy City Driving Emerging Artist / Drive ’05 Chrysler

TV Network
Uraban Latino
Episode 215
Colombians such as Shakira and Juanes are helping to change the U.S.'s perception of their homeland. We remember some of the Latinos who fought at The Alamo. Meet bilingual Chicago rockers, El Guapo. Experience the culinary delights and salsa dancing at one of LA's hottest night spots, Mama Juana's. And dance to the fresh sound of pop-rock band La Oreja de Van Gogh.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Starting in 2003, El Guapo started to break down many barriers in Chicago's local music scene by landing sponsorships with Anheuser Busch, US Music Corp (Washburn, Randall, Eden), and most recently, Rockstar Energy Drink. El Guapo has also appeared on national television and radio programs such as N Beat, Urban Latino, Mancow's Morning Madhouse, WKQX-FM / Chris Payne's Local 101 and WXRT-FM / Local Beat.

El Guapo has also been use by national advertisers and agencies in both campaigns for The Dale Jr. Racing Experience at Bud World in 2004, 2005, & 2006. McDonalds has also used El Guapo in both English and Spanish commercials for TV and radio.

El Guapo has also appeared in Rolling Stone Magazine (Aug.2003), was named one of the top 8 unsigned bands in America by Blender Magazine (Sept 2004), one of the top unisgned 25 artists by !BOOM! Magazine (July 2003), and appeared in Billboard Magazine (April 2005).

Throughout extensive touring over the last 2 years, El Guapo has consistently performed at top national venues like both in Chicago and throughout the country, such as House of Blues, Verizon Wireless Theater, the Double Door and the Hard Rock Cafe. El Guapo has supported some of the largest Latin and General Market acts throughout the country, including Juanes, Bacilos, Atiercopelados, Blues Traveler, Poi Dog Pondering, and Spin Doctors. El Guapo’s reaction from the industry showcase at the 2005 Latin Billboard Awards helped cement their position amongst the elite in the Rock En Espanol movement.

The records are set for release in summer 2006 for the Spanish title and fall 2006 for the crossover English title. The records will be distributed globally through Universal Music Group under the Univision / Fonovisa / Garmex label. El Guapo will continue to tour regionally, before going on full blown support of the new release(s) in 2006.