VITERA
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VITERA

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
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"Interview: The "Movimiento" of Austin's Vitera by Sarah Vasquez"

People take notice when Vitera takes the stage, sometimes as early as soundcheck. But it’s not always the band they notice; it’s the small string instrument that sits on its stand and resembles a miniature Flying V guitar.

“People will ask me, too, is that a little mandolin? No, it’s a violin,” said Haydn Vitera, the man behind the rock en español band Vitera.

But his violin, though eye-catching, is no gimmick. Haydn Vitera is a classically trained violinist. Growing up in El Campo, his mother and grandmother filled the house with music.

“They were always singing some song. Always music playing,” Vitera said.

Haydn and his brother David started the band in 2007, which they decided to define by their last name.

“Because at first it was like, well, do we pick the last name or what should we call ourselves? Well it’s brothers; be like Van Halen,” Vitera said.

After a year of playing together, his brother left the band. Though David is not on stage anymore, he still contributes to the songwriting.

“He’s more the family man and the stay-at-home kind of guy. He’s the brainchild of all the songs. I’m the guy out there rockin’ and rollin’,” Vitera said. “I can safely say that most of the songs on the CD were his idea. I bring in a different dynamic than what he’s bringing. It’s a really cool chemistry that we have, but those are his babies.”

Those “babies” are featured on Vitera’s debut album Súbete. The album fuses the music of Vitera’s upbringing—Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC—with his Latin roots. Though the Latin influence is present, Vitera said he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed into a Latino genre. He wants to be a rocker. Period.

“Ultimately, what I want to be known as is a rock band who has Latin influence,” he said. “It’s in the Spanish language that’s in our songs. Plus, it’s in the congas, the horns. But the music is American rock. Old school American rock.”

Vitera collaborated with some familiar names in the local scene. The album was recorded at Vallejo Music Group’s studio, which is owned by Austin’s own Vallejo. The Vallejo brothers each performed on a track, and Omar Vallejo co-produced the album with Haydn, who happened to grow up with the Vallejo brothers.

“I was there for their very first gig in Austin, and I watched them just build into the biggest thing in Austin for awhile. Those guys are some of my idols and my childhood friends, so to record at that studio with Omar playing bass and then have A.J. and Alex join us on the title track is just 30-something years in the making,” Vitera said.

Other guests on the album include Anita Benner from Five Alarm Fuego, Juan Diaz from Kalua, and Angel Ferrer from the Chris Perez Band, all adding their own spice to the melting pot.

“I really wanted to have a collection,” Vitera said. “Yeah, it’s our record, but this is a showcase of Austin’s Latino talent as well, so I’m really excited about this collaboration. I can’t wait to do more.”

Vitera said he thinks that in the music business, more specifically the Latino music business, people seem to be greedy with the spotlight. However, he is willing to share it.

“If you spread that love, you get it back,” he said.

Another way in which Vitera spreads the love is through the Movimiento Rockero compilation and showcases, which features other local rock en español bands.

It started with the compilation released on Cinco de Mayo at Rockerofest with five bands: Vitera, Kalua, Boca Abajo, Este Vato and La Guerrilla. He said, with the help of Diaz, he wanted to put together an album that was less about Latino artists in general, but more specifically about the Latino rockers.

“I wanted to create one just for the rockers, because rockers are alive and well,” he said. “It’s like why don’t we all just get together and show them what we’re all about.”

The showcases followed afterwards. A month after the release, an opportunity came along that allowed monthly Movimiento Rockero showcases for the rest of the year. Currently, they’re held at Ruta Maya, but plans are in motion to move the showcases to another venue to Antone’s starting in January, Vitera said.

“If you’re not interesting enough to make people look away from their phone, then maybe you need to look at what you’re doing” — Haydn Vitera

The next Movimiento Rockero showcase is Oct. 6 at Ruta Maya. In the meantime, people can catch Haydn Vitera and his Flying V violin at an acoustic show on Sept. 29 at Maria Maria.

“I love the moment when I strap that thing on. The minute I start playing, whether it’s in the show or soundcheck, the cameras come out. People are zeroed in on the stage and I love that feeling, because I’m showing something they haven’t seen,” Vitera said.

It’s pretty common these days to attend any show and see a wave of cell phones and cameras filming what’s happening on stage. Although it may seem like a distraction for the performers, Haydn Vitera sees this as a great opportunity.

“I think some people would be offended and would want people to put their phones down and listen. But first of all, if you’re doing something, you need to be doing something that makes people look away from their phones for a second, even if it’s just for a song or for 30 seconds while you’re doing a solo or singing some song,” said Vitera. “If you’re not interesting enough to make people look away from their phone, then maybe you need to look at what you’re doing. That’s the way I see it.”

To Vitera, his way of giving the fans something interesting is by playing rock en español with his violin.

“Thank God for that violin,” Vitera said. “Thank God I didn’t quit in the sixth grade when I wanted to go play baseball, because I suck at baseball.”
--Sarah Vasquez - www.austinvida.com


"Entrevista a Haydn Vitera"

Entrevista a Haydn Vitera

Por Alba Morales

Quizá no haya otro estilo tan original y prendido en Austin, como el de el reconocido artista Haydn Vitera, que con su mezcla de rock, country y música latina lo hacen único e interesante.

Haydn y su banda se presentaron el pasado viernes 31 de julio en Antone's, donde prendieron a todo el que estaba allí presente. Al finalizar su extraordinaria presentación, Haydn, se sentó con nosotros y nos dió una entrevista especialmente para ustedes los miembros de GoHispano. Ojalá sea de su agrado.

Haydn nació en México, y creció en Texas, formó parte de varias bandas, hasta que en el 2005 grabó su primer disco como solista. Es un chavo super talentoso y guapísimo que, cuya letra de varias de sus canciones las escribe él mismo, y ha formado una super banda, de la cual también forma parte su hermano David, compositor también de varios temas.

¿Es la primera vez que se presentan en Antone's?

Vitera: No, es la segunda vez, pero la primera vez en un show verdadero. Es un gran honor estar aquí porque es el mejor antro para la música en vivo y donde se presentan todas las leyendas de Austin, entonces es un honor y un gran privilegio tocar aquí.

Tu hermano David también es artista, ¿de dónde nace la influencia musical?

Vitera: De mi mamá. Ella es de Veracruz y mi papá de aquí de Texas. Mi mamá era cantante de opera y ella siempre nos cantaba, siempre era música por toda la casa, siempre cantando y tocando la guitarra, entonces de ella nació el gusto por la música.

¿Cuánto tiempo llevas en la música?

Vitera: He tocado profesionalmente desde 1997, empecé con Rick Treviño (cantante de música country), trabajé con él hasta el 2000. Después estuve con otras bandas y en el 2003 empecé con Asleep at the Wheel que son una leyenda aquí en Austin. Toqué segundo violín con ellos por dos años y medio y así comencé a desarrollar el estilo más rockero y a cantar en español, aunque también un poco de inglés para cubrir todos los mercados.

¿Que aprendiste de Rick Treviño y Asleep at The Wheel, algún consejo que te hayan dado ya que son dos leyendas de la música?

Vitera: La experiencia de tocar con músicos tan increíbles cada noche y aprender como hacer un espectáculo. Puedes cantar canción tras canción, pero si no das un verdadero espectáculo... tienes que darle al público una gran experiencia, esa es la meta.

¿Siempre fué tu sueño cantar?

Vitera: No, yo desde pequeño solo quería tocar el violín, comencé a los ocho años. Pero la primera vez que me dió por cantar fué cuando estaba con Rick Treviño en Alaska y en el segundo show él perdió su voz cuando cantaba una de sus canciones y cuando se dá cuenta que perdió la voz me señaló a mí y pusieron el "spotlight" sobre mí y todo el público aplaudia, desde ése momento me encantó.

Has tenido mucho éxito pero, ¿cuál es tu gran sueño?

Vitera: Estar en tour con Maná, Juanes o ser más grande que ellos (dice entre risas) ¡si vas a hacer la meta, hazla alta ¿verdad?! Pero sí, mi meta es cantar en escenarios grandes por todo el mundo para inspirar a la gente. También para unir a los latinos y a los americanos ya que la música que nosotros tocamos es estilo rock americano pero con letra en español, romántica, entonces estamos tratando de hacer una fusión para unir a las personas.

¿En qué o quién te inspiras para escribir tus canciones?

Vitera: Depende, a veces es solo una melodia que sale, a veces una mujer. Casi siempre es una mujer (dice en tono de broma). De hecho, la última canción que hicimos para el disco no me salía la letra, estaba bien pero no era un éxito y terminé con mi pareja y ahí sí me salieron todas las palabras perfectamente.

¿Qué consejo le darías a los jovenes que quieren seguir tus pasos en la música?

Vitera: Es muy difícil, pero si tienes un sueño y si tienes fé en lo que estás haciendo… solo tienes que trabajar duro, luchar y que nadie te diga que no lo puedes hacer porque hasta los más grandes comenzaron desde abajo. Tienes que recordar tu arte, la inspiración que te da tu música porque hay muchos problemas pero sigue luchando y lo vas a lograr.

¿Qué consideras es lo mejor de esta carrera?

Vitera: Tocar en el escenario y escuchar al público. Ver en sus caras la luz y la energía que les da la música y ver que haya una conexión.

Quien no haya tenido la oportunidad de ver a Haydn Vitera en vivo, no saben de lo que se están perdiendo. Vitera ha puesto y seguirá poniendo el nombre de Austin en alto ya que su estilo es único, la letra de sus canciones puede enamorar a cualquiera, y a la vez su música, llena de energía hasta al más desanimado. ¡Una combinación espectacular!

Checa uno se sus videos (click aquí)








- Go Hispano www.gohispano.com


"Vitera SXSW Interview on Spinner.com"

Haydn Vitera formed the band that bears his name a few years ago with his brother David. When his brother moved on, Haydn gathered a new group of musicians as Vitera and began to build a following with a sound that combines rock n roll and Spanish pop. Spinner spoke with frontman Haydn Vitera about the band's upcoming showcase appearance at SXSW.

You guys are from Austin. Have you played SXSW before?

I did with a previous project that I had back in '06. I've been involved in several of the SXSW showcases with other artists. I'm a violinist/fiddle player, so I've played with Rick Trevino and Los Super Seven. But these are the first real showcases that we have with this band, so we're excited.

How would you describe the sound of Vitera?

The best way to describe it is old-school American rock with Latin elements and Spanish lyrics. I think of AC/DC-era rock with big guitars, not a whole lot of effects. We have elements of slide guitar, Latin percussion, and some horns. The thing that holds it all together is the Spanish lyrics. We do have some English and some Spanglish lyrics.

One of the main elements of our sound is the violin. I play a really unique instrument called a viper. It's a six-string fretted flying V violin. It can sound like a clean violin but it can also sound like a guitar. We have a really cool instrumental on the record called 'La Vibora,' which features that as the lead instrument. Everybody freaks out. Especially live – people are like, "What is that?" So that's one of our staples.

How did the band form?

This project started back in '07 with my brother, who co-wrote most of the songs with me on the record. My brother has since gone and done more of the songwriter thing.

This particular group -- we came together about four or five months ago. It's one of those things where you're like, "Hey man, this guitar player wants to come jam with us." "Cool, I know him from back then..." It's pretty cool the way it came about. I had the music and the record, getting ready to release it, but now I've got the right group of guys and we're all a team.

Who are your musical influences?

It's such a wide range. AC/DC, Guns N' Roses, some of the '80s stuff like Whitesnake – that big guitar, swaggering rock kind of attitude. Then also the Spanish pop lyrics like Man, Juanes, even Luis Miguel -- the ballad stuff.

The significance of your band name seems pretty obvious.

Yeah, just the last name. My brother and I started the band and we figured it has a ring to it. If it's good enough for Carlos Santana, it's good enough for us [laughs].

Do you have a musical guilty pleasure?

Sometimes I don't mind listening to some of those old '80s pop ballads, like 'The Lady in Red' [laughs]. It reminds me of junior high or high school. It just takes you back to a place. Then also, all that Luis Miguel stuff, the romantic Spanish stuff. It doesn't exactly factor into the rock image, but that's definitely something I enjoy.

Do you prefer the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?

I'm all about the Stones. I respect what the Beatles did, all the innovations they made and their songwriting, but the Stones are just where it's at. Raunchy, nasty rock [laughs].

Have you played with any big names before?

I personally have toured with Asleep at the Wheel, a legendary western swing band from Austin. I played with them from '03 to '05. I've also done a few gigs with Los Super Seven, a Grammy Award-winning group. In that incarnation it was Raul Malo from the Mavericks, Rick Trevino, another band called Calexico, and Ruben Ramos. Most of my pro experience has been in the country scene as a fiddle player, harmony singer and guitarist, but rock and Latin is where I wanna be living.

Vitera's debut album 'Subete' will be released in April. What can you tell us about it?

The album is really energetic. Just put it in the car and put your rock hand up and start rocking. When most people think of Latin they think of salsa dancing and all that stuff. But we don't want you dancing – we want you up at the stage pumping your fist.

The band Vallejo played on the title track. I grew up with them in El Campo, Texas. It was really cool to collaborate with them because they were a huge influence on us. Another collaborator was Anita Benner of Five Alarm Fuego, who wrote and dueted with me on a song called 'The Way I'd Love You.' We like to think of this track as Juanes-meets-Gwen Stefani. It's a reggaeton beat, but it has mostly English lyrics with a Spanish bridge. It gets a really good response live.

Finally, what do you hope to get out of SXSW?

It's really exciting. Obviously we're going to have a lot of networking opportunities. I feel like the energy is just right and everything is aligning. This is the perfect year for us to be doing this with this lineup. I think the visibility of having a showcase at the festival is going to be a huge help to get attention from booking agents. We're a relatively new band, so we'll definitely get attention from the industry and fellow artists.


Scott Shetler is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here. - Spinner.com


"Pachanga Music Festival 2010 Preview Quote by Margaret Moser"

Vitera

1:40pm, Pavilion Stage
Don't call Vitera "crossover." That's too soft a word for the tough, bilingual rock this local quintet makes. Brothers Haydn and David Vitera prefer "rock alterLatino," particularly given the former's electric and electrifying fiddle and golden (brown) voice. The group's debut is forthcoming. – Margaret Moser - Austin Chronicle


Discography

Self-Titled 4-Song EP (March 2010)
Debut Album "¡Súbete!" (September 2010)
"Movimiento Rockero 2011" Compilation (May 2011)

Photos

Bio

The sonic lovechild of Maná and Guns N’ Roses conceived to the sounds of Santana and born in the land of Crossover, VITERA fuses old-school American rock with Latin grooves and instrumentation as a backdrop for pop rock lyrics in Spanish, English, and Spanglish. Influences include AC/DC, G N’ R, Whitesnake, Allman Brothers, Maná, Cabas, Juanes, and Rabanes. The Austin-based band brings a kick-ass Texas edge to Rock Latino blending congas and horns with greasy slide guitar one minute and orchestral strings with fiery rock violin the next. Frontman Haydn Vitera is an extremely versatile vocalist who can growl like David Coverdale or sound as smooth as Luis Miguel. Formerly a member of Grammy-winning Asleep at the Wheel, he is a multi-talented instrumentalist who plays guitar, keys, and most notably, electric violin. His 6-string fretted Viper, introduced by Vitera for the first time into the Latin genre, can sing you a sexy melody then burn out a blistering rock riff to rival the meanest guitar.

VITERA continues to move forward steadily in 2011 performing with Grammy-winners Los Lonely Boys and 80's rock legends Dokken. The rock violin instrumental "La Vibora" was licensed by the City of San Antonio for use in its worldwide promotional video and also arranged for string orchestra by Viper violin creator Mark Wood for nationwide use in his Electrify Your Strings educational programs.

Winner of Burger King "Tu Ciudad, Tu Musica" 2007 Pasadena, TX

#2 Best Latin Rock Band in SXSW Austin Music Awards 2010

Official SXSW 2010 Showcase with Los Lonely Boys

Nominated for "Best Band in Austin" Univision Premios Texas 2010

VITERA also performs for private events and has an extensive cover song repertoire ranging from Rock en Español to Boleros to Classic and 80s Rock and even some Country! Email us for a SONGLIST!!! viterabookings@gmail.com