[fa:p:a=72157594267830938,id=114880164,j=r,s=s,l=p]AD: Where are you from and how long have you been together?
DS: Asbury Park, New Jersey and Queens, New York. We’ve been together four and a half years. The past few months have been very sad for us since we lost Armando. He was a co-founder of the group. He ended up having to go home and take care of some business.
AD: What is the significance of your band name, De Sol?
DS: Somebody asked me the other day and it was an online interview, and they said it doesn’t mean of the sun, because if it was of the sun, it would be del sol. Del sol, of course, means of the sun. And I said there was a Honda in the nineties called Del Sol, so I
didn’t want to be named after a car. But when we started the group, we kind of wanted it to be a family. And thank God, it ended up being a brotherhood and a family. De Sol is like De Soto or de Carlo, thel last name of a family. We wanted something powerful. The big nurturing God is the sun. And we wanted to be
as well known as the sun (laughs), or as well loved and accepted as the sun. We wanted something really powerful behind us. What’s more powerful than the sun, the universal God, right?
AD: How was Lollapalooza?
DS: It was amazing. It was an amazing show. We actually had an opportunity to meet Perry Farrell and it was awesome. It was an amazing show to even share a stage with him and all the people there. To have gone to Lollapalooza as a teenager and then to revisit on stage was mind-blowing. We got to do Kidsapalooza, too. Since Lollapalooza started, a lot of people that went to that first festival have kids and are still into music. So they have this thing called Kidsapalooza for the parents with their little ones and we were able to play there, too, as well as our other performance. That was a lot of fun. It’s cool at Lollapolooza or at Bonnaroo, because you get to hang out backstage with people like Dave Matthews. Everybody is just hanging out. Or you see people backstage and you’re like shit, there’s Bob Weir and Phil Lesh. These are people who are like icons and we get to see them close up. You don’t really want to go up to them and bug them, but you’ll be out at dinner and they’re at the next table or they’re at the bar trying to get a drink. The guys from Brian Jonestown Massacre or the Dandy Warhols and all those kinds of bands. We got to meet Billy Idol, which was a big deal for us. We love it because we’re such music fans. Such rock and roll fans. Billy Idol is somebody we grew up with cranking in our car. He kicked ass, too. Imagine the number of concerts you’ve been to or attended and now you’re there.
AD: So how do you like Austin?
DS: It’s a town that’s centered around music. It lives and breathes music. For us, it’s like a mecca. To come here has been great. We’ve been here once before for SXSW. When we got off the plane, I was saying to these guys every billboard has something to do with music.
AD: Who are your influences?
DS: If you talk to each one of us, you get different answers. For me, Soto, personally I was very influenced by seventies classic rock and eighties rock as well. Groups like Zeppelin and AC/DC. The Beatles, too. No one you’ve never heard of, really. That’s what I kind of cut my teeth on. When I was learning how to play, that’s what I would try to copy. At home I would get music from my parents, who were from Peru, so I would hear all kinds of South American music. I had a real mix. When you grow up in the United States, the tendency of every kid is to rebel against their parents and what they listen to, so I never really paid much attention to their music. Then when I got older, I realized how much of an impact it really makes on you, how much it really influences you. For me, James, anything from classical to hip-hop. Any kind of world music. Growing up, it was just a whole mix of everything, especially where Jerry and I grew up in Queens. We had many nationalities there from African Americans, Latinos, Indians, Asians. Everything. There would be all these different nationalities on a given block. So you’re walking down the block, you’re listening to hip-hop, classical, rock. That stuff just sinks into you after a while. Even if you don’t listen to it, you’re feeling it.Eventually, it has to come out some way. It has to bereleased some way.
AD: What advice would you give to someone else just starting out in this business?
DS: If you’re going to do music for any other reason than the fact that you love music and breath music and can’t live without it, you’re not going to be happy because it’s a tough life. It’s a struggle because there’s so many people trying to make it. It’s a business and most artists don’t have the business side to them. So do it because you love it and for no other reason. It’s got to be something that almost picks you. It’s a calling. If you’re going into music to make money, you should think about other ways to make money, because there’s a lot easier ways to make money than playing music. You don’t know what you’re getting into. If you have a strong core, like I feel we do in
the group, we’re connected to each other and the happiness we gain is from our successes as a team. We love the team aspect of it all. I think that keeps us going. If I was going to do this alone, I don’t know if I would have the balls to do it. I would pursue it, but I think it’s better to fail with seven other guys or succeed with seven other guys than succeeding or failing by yourself. It’s a lonely life. There’s times you get out there, you miss your kids, you miss your families, you miss your wives. You are very disconnected because it’s a train that doesn’t stop running. You are on the road and you can’t get off. If you are sick, you play the show, you know what I mean? There’s no time to take a break because success comes to those who grab it by the balls. Right? And that’s the only way you get it. It’s kind of like hunting back in the day. You go out there with your spears and you kill the shit and you own it and you take it home. There are a lot of hungry people out there. There’s a lot of people who want to eat. There are a lot of bands who are trying to do it and they’re out there working hard. Are they working harder than us or less than us? They’re ready to take our spot. And we witness that first hand. This lifestyle flies in the face of everything that you’re taught as a kid to get married and have a house and have a steady job. You have to be very tough mentally because you’re always being sort of outcast no matter where you go. Even in this hotel, we’re surrounded by people who are here on business trips. They have nine to five jobs and we don’t have that. There’s not any stability at all. The other option is to go home. What are we going to go home to? Your family, of course, but how are we going to support them? We’re very blessed and fortunate to be continuously on the road. It’s the only way you’re going to build a band. We’ve been on the road since February. We approach it old school.
AD: What do you want to accomplish with your music?
DS: We want to go global. We started in Asbury Park, New Jersey. We all met for a reason. Even though we dig Asbury and the Stone Pony and Springsteen and Bon Jovi and whatever comes with Asbury, we don’t want to be known as from Asbury. We want to go national and global. We always had big dreams and big goals. We weren’t afraid to dream. We still ain’t. I constantly speak about my dreams. I confess them into the air so people know what we’re doing. We want to have a very long career. I want to be sixty-five years old with my nose hanging down – the only things that keep growing are your nose and your ears, right? – So I want to be singing to an audience in a packed club. That would be nice. One of the things we always hear after we play is that you guys look like you’re having so much fun. We are having fun with people that we love. We feel very blessed that people will pay money to see us. It blows my mind every time.