The Brand

The Brand


Voted Best Pop Band (2004) and then Rock Band (2005) by The New Times' staff in Miami. 9689 friends on MySpace. Sound: Delectable, catchy-ass powerpop gems that sound like the offspring of a threesome between Belle, Sebastian and Weezer: hummable and smart ditties.


Omar's English teacher mama rubbed off her mastery of the English language on her son. The boy can write. His crystal clear voice was a bonus. Leo took guitar lessons with his pops. The boy can play. He mastered all kinds of techniques and styles reaching back into his Colombian roots and adopting the energetic punk sounds of the new country. Juan's pops played the guitar, but didn't teach him. Juan's uncle could sing beautifully, but the nephew didn't inherit that either.

Juan had one thing going for him: he loved music. Often skipping school to "manage" his high school buddies' band, The Psychedellic Lullabies, he rubbed elbows with musicians throughout his high school and what should have been his college years. But osmosis didn't teach Juan a single chord or a basic drum beat.

After some interesting twists of fate, Juan befriended Omar. Omar, on the musical rebound after his band, The Inside's breakup, encouraged Juan to get serious about playing the drums. Despite barely making enough to money to eat, Juan hired a professional tutor to teach him the basics.

With Jorge Gonzalez originally on guitar, the trio got going. They quickly became a local fav in their beloved Hialeah (Miami's armpit). They took their name from a conceptual product Omar developed for a marketing class. A stellar graphic designer, Omar came up with a branding strategy, logo and overall look for the band.

With Omar's graphic design prowess, Juan's artistic abilities (the boy could draw) and Jorge's knack for photography, they developed some of the most creative advertising vehicles for their gigs: "Be Mine" hand-stamped heart candies for a Valentine's Day gig, rolling paper for a "legalize pot" festival and sidewalk chalk drawings.
They also recorded, produced, designed, released and distributed their first EP and LP. Their homemade video for their first popular single, "Xmas Day," received critical acclaim and saw airtime on Mun2 (Telemundo) TV.

Their quirky gimmicks would have done little for them if the music sucked. But it didn't. The staff of Miami's weekly alternative newspaper, The New Times, voted The Brand "Best Pop Band" in 2004 and then "Best Rock Band" in 2005.

Leo occasionally joined The Brand while on tour up and down the east coast, and finally became an integral part of the band once Jorge left to pursue a solo project.

Despite several offers to get signed, The Brand finally got serious when a London-based indie label courted them, flew them to London and had them showcase at two well-attended venues. Unable to reach an agreement, The Brand opted to walk away and instead decided to pack their bags and leave the Miami alternative music scene for New York.

Though they'd played CBGB's, Arlene Grocery and many other venues in the city, they debuted as New Yorkers at Piano's on Friday, July 7th.

In many ways, the boys of Hialeah are "do or die." Luckily for New York City and eventually Boston, Hartford, Newark, Providence, Philadelphia, DC, (and then hopefully Chicago, LA, San Francisco, London, Barcelona, Tokyo, etc.) dying is not an option.



Written By: The Brand

I put photographs
on every wall in my room
To try to feel better.
Everytime I'm left alone I sleep
Because I'm so exhausted.
I don't know what day it is
Or if I'm supposed to be
going somewhere.
And do you think it's funny that I'm

Tired of trying and
I don't see the point.
Just kiss me and I'll be fine.
I'm trying to gain some ground,
And that's something.
But one day
You'll look
To see that I have
Gone away alone.
It's just the way it goes.

Xmas Day

Written By: The Brand

Hey, the cavalry is on the way.
Screaming to a punk-rock tape.
So c'mon, c'mon.

Say what you've got to say.
And pour it on right as rain.
I'm right behind you all the way.
So c'mon, c'mon.

Go on the count of 3.
One, two, be here with me...
Three! Oh, lets go!
On this Christmas day
I've got the bestest girl around.
Feet firmly on the ground,
Up, up away.

So do whatever you want to do
And know that I will be there with you, so c'mon, c'mon.

When you're tired
From all you've done
We'll walk in the morning sun.
If this is what you want, then
c'mon, c'mon.

Go on the count of 3.
One, two, be here with me...
Three! Oh, lets go!
On this Christmas day
I've got the bestest girl around.
Feet firmly on the ground,
Up, up away.

Hey, the cavalry is on the way
Screaming to a punk-rock tape,
So c'mon, c'mon.

We'll pick them up one by one.
Our friends are having so much fun,
But you know that you're the only one I need to c'mon, c'mon.

Screaming Hearts

Written By: The Brand

This is real.
As real as you will ever hear.
It's hard to tell you these things...
It's a shame.
But, here we go:
You know that your interests
aren't his concern.
And all the times that you have
Cried in my arms.

It's so hard
To hear the sounds of screaming hearts.
Do you think it's real love?
When you've got to wear gloves.
Oh, my love, do you know
That I adore you.
But I hate to see you cry.
If it feels so good, then stay right where you are, but I will never be far.

Today I heard that things are not as you had hoped.
You know it's killing me to see you this way.
Oh, please don't cry, but scream out loud, you've every right.
I love you so much Darling, it's just a shame.

It seems so strange that you would play this damned game.
Doesn't it hurt you inside?
And it changes the way you are outside, my love.
Do you know that I adore you?
And I hate to see you cry so if it feels so good to tell me who you are, then you should probably not go far.


The Brand EP (2004)
Grenadine LP (2005)
Photographs Single/ Hotel Room B-side (2006)

Set List

Hotel Room
Xmas Day
Great Escape
Shoulda Known Better
Her Run
Smiling Crying
Screaming Hearts

Full Set: 45 minutes