La Catrin
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La Catrin

Houston, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Indie


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



"Cage Match: La Catrin Vs. Josh Groban"

Ladies in gentlemen, on Saturday night a battle will be waged for your very musical souls. In this corner, weighing in at 100 lbs. soaking wet and tied to a brick, the golden-throated king of all adult contemporary, that guy from Glee. Mr. Josh Groban.
And in this corner, draped in black and exuding exciting eldritch pop music from every orifice, the Duchess of Darkness, the laughing darkness herself, our own La Catrin!

Cue the entrance music, this is the Cage Match!

Rocks Off: La Catrin, can you tell the millions of Houstonians reading this blog why they should spend their hard-earned recession dollars on your goth-pop extravaganza than on the show of Mr. Groban?

La Catrin: Who's Josh Groban?

RO: That guy from the first season of Glee.

LC: I don't watch Glee.
RO: One of the many reasons we love you.

LC: Let's get something straight, La Catrin and the Love and Terror Cult is a movement. Get down or move around. You're here because you want to be. We're not going to "ask" you to join us. The choice is yours.

RO: But what if people prefer something... softer? Less offensive? What if they demand something that won't scare them?

LC: I'm not concerned with preferences. It is what it is. You're either down or not.

RO: What does your show have that his doesn't?
LC: One word: Me!

RO: Strong words, La Catrin. Strong words, indeed. Mr. Groban, do you have anything to say?

Josh Groban (from "February Song"): Forgive me if I slip away.

RO: Yeah, I'd run if I were you. - Rocks Off Blog/Houston Press

"4 Cocktails Named After Rockstars"

This is my own invention based off a Wikihow recipe that I've chosen to name after Houston's own rising goth superstarlet La Catrin. When I first interviewed her, she staged a show where she married the audience in an occult ceremony. Then we sat talking as she compulsively stole sips from my drink and left me tasting a combination of vodka and some sort of sweet raspberry lipstick. I offer this bit of insanity for her.
Please note before beginning: This drink requires 24 hours to finish.

1 Bottle of Blavod Black Vodka (Other stuff will do, but this is best) 4 or 5 Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Bars 1 pkg of frozen raspberries Dark brown sugar 1 dishwasher
Empty roughly a quarter of the bottle of vodka into a container for later use. Break up the chocolate bars and feed them into the bottle. Close the bottle tightly, place in top rack of dishwasher, and start a cycle.

Once the cycle is completed, shake the bottle vigorously. If the chocolate is not all melted run it again. If it is, add four or five raspberries to the bottle. Place bottle in freezer for 24 hours.

Shake well and serve in a glass frosted with dark brown sugar. Warning: This is strong. - Houston Press

"Review: 'This is Flying Blanket Volume 2'"

Various artist compilations tend to cram too many different styles onto a single CD aimed at pleasing everyone. But this one has a unifying theme - producer/engineer Bob Hoag, who manages to sidestep the grab-bag dynamic by imparting his own pop wisdom onto everything from techno to singer-songwriter fare.

On tracks by Brian Demarco and Austin Gibbs, he's added harmonies or a Hammond. On others, like The Love Me Nots, he's engineered and added tambourine. And sometimes a tambourine track can make all the difference in the world.
Although having 20 tracks all recorded in the same studio by the same producer ensures a consistency of sound that other comps would envy, Hoag goes the extra mile to make a consistently listenable album by personally inviting people he's wanted to work with into the studio, such as Courtney Marie Andrews and Kinch, and corralling people he's previously worked with to include a track unique to this CD. That would include three of the standout tracks on the album - Sister Cities' "Toolbox," Black Carl's "Red-Headed Man" and Dear & the Headlights' cover of the Kinks' "Strangers," which amazingly includes a one-take vocal from Ian Metzger and a live arrangement that points up the song's debt to the Band.
Every spin reveals a new favorite. Currently, that would be La Catrin's "Reverse Citizens," which sounds like a lost James Bond theme and features some skyscraping upper register from Houston chanteuse Bianca Montalvo, or "Sunken Treasure" by Kinch, who can do no wrong in my book. But that'll change, too, I'm already remembering the Gospel Claws song and that's the mark of a compelling comp. It's as much essential listening as it is a Flying Blanket demonstration disc.
- Serene Dominic

Read more: - The Arizona Republic

"Witchy Woman"

La Catrin walked down the stairs at Etro, strobe lights and the refraction of a Hammer horror film her only spotlight. Nonetheless, all eyes turned to her as if she were haloed.

It made this writer think of all the great, shocking entrances that have delighted us over the years. Not shocking because of cheap explosions or through the primal fear of fire, but electrifying, because of the live current that serves as blood for the gods. It was like watching Dr. Frank-n-Furter, or Darkness from Legend...uh, let's see. Someone not played by Tim Curry...Brian Slade! The Undertaker!

Watching La Catrin walk to Etro's tiny stage was like those entrances. It was anticipation fulfilled to the nth decimal place.

For a Wednesday night, at a club not known for its live performances, the place was pretty packed. La Catrin's honor guard of masked attendants kept the Houston Press at a safe distance, back with the other mortals. The stage was festooned with black flowers, and the fragrance rising through the miasma of spilt alcohol and midnight rut left no doubt that the flowers had been plucked from the soil rather than crafted in a plastics plant.

La Catrin stood before a hierophant, who lifted her veil and gave her vows to take. She solemnly married us, the audience, before she turned around to begin her performance. The music that struggled through Etro's substandard PA suffered not at all for its technological failings; it was the long-sought-after meeting of modern pop and classic goth.

They say that to make a deal with the devil, you must meet him at the crossroads. La Catrin is that crossroads. Goods from many provinces pay their toll at her nexus.

Remember the first time you realized that Britney Spears was more than a little girl, and instead was a woman with a physical identity like any other? La Catrin is that moment. Remember the hopeful despair you felt the first time you heard Depeche Mode's "Blasphemous Rumours"? She mates those emotions on the bed of her voice.

The theatricality of Lady Gaga, the poise of David Bowie, the gaiety of a Simpson and the unashamed living pain of Wendy O. Williams are all part of the process that unfolded when she performed. Personally, it felt like it was all for us.

This is what has become of the girl who was once called Bianca Montalvo and was a member of Houston's foremost prog-rock band, Heist at Hand. The only thing she seems to carry over from her previous identity is some kind of fairy charm cast over her career.

Heist at Hand effortlessly wormed its way onto the Warped Tour, sold out of its debut EP with only a little more work and frankly was just plain able to lift whatever was wanted from life on a silver tray through the dexterity of its talent.

But Montalvo tired of the endless wankery that makes up the majority of an average seven-minute prog song, and struck out on her own with Arizona producer Bob Hoag. A flute player by training, she has cobbled together some incredible pop tunes through her own admittedly amateur piano skills and undeniably incredible vocal talents.

One of her songs, "Break You," has already found a home in the movie Hated. Others, such as the dancetastic rockfest "Reverse Citizens" and the beautifully Opheliac pop-trash tune "Fall in Love and Kill Myself," have made their way into the public consciousness through Montalvo's MySpace page or through her live performances.

What she is doing as La Catrin is pop music, and cannot in good conscience be called anything else. However, it does have the darkness inherent in an up-and-coming underground sensation.

"I made a record inspired by my favorite horror movies, like giallo films from Italy," said Montalvo, pausing for a second to steal our vodka cranberry for a quick sip. Her assumption of her right to do so, and subsequent quick apology with downcast, heavily lined eyes, was oddly endearing.

"I wanted it to sound like a castle, and a black-draped chandelier, but pop," she added. "Maybe in a past life I was a vampire... I guess I might still be."

Vampires' legendary hypnotic charms may be as good an explanation as any for Montalvo's success as Houston's latest goth act and pop princess. The night of her Etro performance, she had just returned from a multi-day festival in New York City, and opens for Theophilus London Friday at Fitzgerald's.

As we mentioned before, she packed a club on a Wednesday, and has already achieved an ungodly number of hits on her Myspace page. Montalvo has, in short, really come from nowhere and has, somehow, in less than two years, built a draw that stretches far beyond the city limits. Supernatural forces might be as likely an explanation as her stage presence and unique talent.

What puzzled us was why she would, so callously it seemed, cast aside the name she built with Heist at Hand for her new project. So we asked her why.

"Why be Bianca?" she replied, "I have to give myself free rein to be someone else. La Catrin is my way of being chola and being a weirdo."
To hear her music is to want to own it, but even she doesn't know when her debut album might be released.

"I may possibly be getting married, and I want to set some terms on how I'm going to be as an artist," she explained
In the meantime, she quietly continues to rack up gigs of impressive lineage, build a following and pull stunts like her previously mentioned marriage to the audience. Post-interview, she left us nursing our depleted drink to commingle with the horde of fans who waited patiently through our talk in order to meet their new hero.

We watched her walk away, tasting black lipstick on the edge of our glass, and knew that Houston — or, more likely, Montalvo/La Catrin herself — had birthed something pretty special. - Houston Press

"Interview: Bianca Montalvo of La Catrin"

Bianca Montalvo is fickle in the best kind of way. One moment she is this quasi-violent front woman and the next moment she shifts gears into bubbly songstress. Her new album Humans are my Keyboards is a sharp diversion from Heist at Hand; the band she is known for previously fronting. The album is produced by Bob Hoag of The Ataris, The Format fame and is mixed bag of dark pop and lush ditties. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

We remember a more spastic, injured and bleeding Bianca on stage with Heist at Hand. Any of that with La Catrin?

The money question! Haha, It’s too early to gauge but I’m leaning more towards a more theatrical Bianca with La Catrin. Heist was my first band and pretty much all hell broke loose as I was trying to find myself and learn how to work a stage and audience. La Catrin is a much more refined, seasoned performer and I expect to link the visual to the instrumentation. Someone recently described me as a twisted Lisa Frank which is a much better description than I could ever come up with!

There is quite a bit of fantasy and fiction in these songs? Where does that come from?

Reality is just not enough for me. I’d much rather exist in a world that I create, to give myself free reign to think, to dream, and to challenge what I’m predisposed to. As artists, we have the ability to create something out of nothing and I just want to invite people into that world for a night….or forever.

In 10 words or less, tell us why your upcoming album is a breakthrough for you. Use the word ‘ Bon Jovi’ at least once. Twice if you know whats good for you.

“Take my hand, We’ll make it, I swear!!” -Bon Jovi

Holy shit. You must be so flattered to be interviewed by Omar Afra. What is that like? Is he really 6 foot 8 ? Is it true that the jasmine plant is really just trying to emulate the scent of his farts?

Actually, I am! You’re my first English interview and who better than the one and only Omar Afra who’s seen me though all my incarnations. It’s kinda hard to describe you since I’ve never been able to actually see you. You’re like the life giving sun..You can’t directly stare at it out of fear of going blind but you see and experience the things it creates all around you. Next time I see you, make it a point to rip a good one andI I’ll let you know if the jasmine plant is frontin’! haha

First childhood musical memory:

When I was growing up, we were a migrant family and ended up in Minnesota. I begged my mom to buy me this organ at a garage sale. It had the notes on the keys on scotch tape. I taught myself how to play “tale as old as time” from Beauty and the Beast. I love Disney movies and I still cry at the end when the Beast dies

We found a video online of you dancing to Juvenile’s ‘ Back that Thang up up’. Will this be a part of your standard repertoire?

Hahahaha Not to disappoint all the boys in the yard, but probably not! Iwas at a themed party on side stage with Anita Bump. Next thing I know it’s a full on dance party and the ghetto in me came out. I’m kinda cute when I’m drunk
Fill in the blanks: Houston is navel of the musical cosmos because_____luckily people like you and jagi give a shit to keep it alive__________.

I used to proclaim “support your local scene or it will move away” but now I’m all about give people a reason to WANT to support the scene. Give them something to be excited about. C’Mon artists! xx - Free Press Houston

"Recording, April 2011. La Catrin"

As lead singer of Heist at Hand, Bianca Montalvo earned a reputation over the years as an enthusiastic live performer with a knack for working the crowd. I spoke with her about her new project, La Catrin.

What inspired you to go in the new direction musically, the more electronic sound?
In Heist at Hand we had already been playing around with electronics, and I definitely wanted to move the music more towards a darker, more electronic kind of edge. A little bit of rock, but not too much … it was just conflicting directions. And ultimately, that kind of got in the way. I’d already been writing this record for a while and it was kind of like ‘I’m not going to get what I want out of this project anymore,’ so it was just time to move on. It’s totally different, too.
Well, anybody who was familiar with Heist at Hand would have experienced the really spastic sort of barking and screaming that came with it, and now it’s like ‘oh… that’s what her voice sounds like.’
Yeah (laughs), that’s another thing – I wanted to sing more. When you’re younger… I got into Heist at Hand when I was like 18, 19 … we were around for a while. I was a kid. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I’d just started listening to English music prior to joining that band, so I was really enamored by post-punk and all that stuff. But right when I started feeling more confident in performing and writing and really started to develop my tastes, one day I was just like ‘I wanna do something different; I wanna sing, I wanna expand.’ I went to school for music and I learned so much technique and I wanted to utilize that. I could only do so much of that with Heist.
Sometimes when you change your style of singing the way you did, a lot more things start coming to your ears, and you start hearing things different, your influences come from new places. Did that happen with you?
Oh yeah. I wanted the music to complement my voice, and follow my voice more versus when I was in Heist at Hand. The guys would write the music and it was all very angsty –and that was fine; I was pretty angsty back then – it just kind of matched the tone of where I was at at that time. But with this, it’s more like writing around me. This project is very, very tailored to my singing style.
Is it still a collaboration with other people musically?
It’s just me and my producer at the moment, and it’s been a long collaboration between him and me. I basically do everything that I do, and then some songs he wrote all the music to, and on other songs we wrote the music together. I had a really good idea of what I wanted it to sound like. We put up pictures of castles, and that was a really big inspiration for me. I wanted it to sound like a castle. In our initial meetings when we were talking about how we wanted to make this album sound, I said that I wanted some proggy-ish elements of Goblin, that real scary movie kind of sound…
Yeah, Dario Argento – Italian films were a really big inspiration for the electronic part of the album, and I wanted it to just sound really elegant. I think that was partly the New Orleans inspiration. I was out there for a while, and that influenced my style a lot. Elegant and beautiful and dark.
How much did your voice change and mature during the recording process? I mean, this was a different recording process for you, right?
It was, because we wrote it all in the studio. It was very backwards, the way we recorded the record. Most bands, they go in the studio and they’ve rehearsed their music, they know what they’re going to do and when they’re there, they add and subtract. But we completely worked backwards. When I decided we wanted to add the electronic drum element to it, we didn’t know how to use a drum machine. We had all these vintage drum machines at our disposal, and we literally just jumped on the computer, found an old school manual and learned it in an afternoon. It was really weird, the way we did the whole record. I think most artists would have freaked out, but it kept us interested.
How is it for you onstage? Everything is a different speed than Heist of Hand.
It is! It’s not as crazy, as far as being spastic. I’m still classic Bianca; a little tougher than most girls onstage, but it’s not as crazy as Heist at Hand. Not as spastic, for sure. I think I’m leaning more towards theatrics and setting a mood. Costumes, stage props … that’s more my thing. It gives me room to sing better. No more puking on stage.
- 002 Magazine

"Top 10 Goth Songs from Houston Ever"

10. La Catrin, "Our Thirsty Throats": The former Heist at Hand member has become Houston's first perfect melding between pop and goth, with a rapidly building following that promises to put her on the national map soon. "Our Thirsty Throats" is just one of the many great tracks from her incredible debut CD, Humans Are My Keyboards, which recently dropped. - Houston Press


"This Is Flying Blanket Volume II", featuring La Catrin's "Reverse Citizens", released July 2010

"Humans Are My Keyboards", released April 15, 2012


"Like A Dream", 2014



Four years ago the darkly glamorous music in Bianca Montalvos head seduced her away from a modern rock band with a promising career. Upon departing the band, she took a cocktail waitress job at one of the country's most notorious strip clubs to fund recording this new sensual music. Reborn as La Catrin, the Houston, Texas based artist emerged from her experiences a brilliant singer-songwriter with an emotional gothic tinged sound. Her stunning debut, Humans Are My Keyboards, is a soaring, leather-dipped album that is poetic, insightful, and full of sharp hooks.

La Catrin is a playful twist on the mythical El Catrin character in Mexican literary heritage. El Catrin is a 1930s dandy, and by swapping in the feminine La gender designator, she is referencing the feminine/masculine energy balance in her music. Its a dynamic within her that she came to profoundly understand when she worked at the gentlemans club and would observe the interaction between exotic dancers and their clientele. You throw a bunch of money in a room full of girls and there is a real interesting power exchange. I watched ultra feminine and ultra masculine people go at war with each other. It was enthralling. I named the record after it, everyone was playing each other, La Catrin explains.

While in the studio recording Humans Are My Keyboards La Catrin licensed the single Break You to the indie movie Hated, written by publicist turned screenwriter Maria Lorenzo. The film is loosely based on Lorenzo's experience working with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower. It stars Matthew Hutchinson, Augustus Prew, Genevieve Cortese, Ellen Woglom, Ryan Donowho, Chris Riggi, John Doe from X, and Ari-Up from the Slits. Break You appears
alongside such established acts as Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower, Stereo Total, Ted Leo And The Pharmacists, and The Slits.

The gorgeously gloomy electro pop of Break You unfolds with the power play eroticism of the opening lines: OMG what you say on the screen stirs my brain/Let's see how far we go until we're forced to disconnect/Live the dream/Consent/No denies/No regrets/I'm a sickly girl you know, the one you love to love and hate/You don't work, I can't work/This won't work if I can't break you. La Catrins vocals lustfully tease the pining vocal melody; she is totally in control and mesmerizing.

The grandeur and gothic noir feel of Break You permeates the album. The standout Reverse Citizens is resplendent in dramatically luxurious strings, classical piano motifs, and an ominously sexy bassline. La Catrins singing manages to be both theatrical and intimateit peaks with thunderous dynamics but also conveys a vulnerable tenderness.

The album totally self-financed and autonomously created by La Catrin with producer and indie hit maker Bob Hoag (The Ataris, The Format, Dear and the Headlights, etc..) at Flying Blanket Studios, an all analog studio in Phoenix, Arizona. Hoag who produced La Catrins previous band, Heist At Hand. While in Heist At Hand she opened for Portugal The Man, The Photo Atlas, Receiving End of Sirens, From First To Last, Chiodos, From Autumn to Ashes, and ....And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. She also did stints on the Warped Tour and the CMJ festival. As La Catrin she has opened for artists such as Theophilus London, Prince Paul, French Horn Rebellion, Walter Jones, Fat Tony, Paul Wall, Friends, & Young Empires. La Catrin also toured the southern leg of French Horn Rebellion's tour as their female lead/backup vocalist.

Currently La Catrin is expanding her profile. The Houston Press has done numerous pieces on her music and compelling story. Live she is wowing audiences with her selfless emotionality and flair for making each performance an event. For her maiden show she staged a wedding, marrying herself to the audience in a celebratory and seductive leather and lace ceremony. Its been a powerfully intriguing voyage from the promising modern rock success of Heist at Hand to delving into an erotic underworld and emerging with a totally new aesthetic.

When I quit Heist, I was at a crossroads. I felt stunted, I needed to just sit down, explore, and reconfigure, she says recalling her journey. I took that job as a cocktail waitress to my break personal boundaries, my limiting beliefs. I used to be shy and closed off, but that experience opened my eyes, inspired my record, and taught me to be confident and strong with boundaries.

Band Members