When Giovannie and the Hired Guns take the stage, what unfolds is a certain authenticity that cannot be replicated, forced, or phoned in. And with nods to Pantera, football chants, and traditional Norteño music, the band delivers on a truly unforgettable live experience that embodies the Lone Star State. And here at Texas Lifestyle Magazine, we love celebrating all things Texas; which is why we’re thrilled to have bassist Alex Trejo sit down with us and answer questions on how to do what you love, Hispanic representation, and how the band is finding their unique place in a collision of music genres.
We’ve seen the band’s popularity explode in the past couple of years. What do you think has contributed to this well-deserved success?
Our single “Ramon Ayala” catapulted us onto the national spotlight. The radio stations and streaming playlist kept this song pumping crazy numbers everywhere. Also getting on some festivals like Shiprocked, Sonic Temple, Lollapalooza, Louder Than Life and Rockville helped us get our live show in front of people from all over the country.
With songs that range from Kentucky to Overrated, the band really displays a wide breadth of style and song content. What inspirations does the band draw from to create such raw storytelling in addition to this unique sound?
We all have a variety of influences from Country to Rock and Metal. This ranges from Dwight Yoakum to System of a Down. Coheed and Cambria to Texas Country artists we grew up with like Randy Rogers Band and Cross Canadian Ragweed. When we first started as a band we were doing covers like Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin, Hallelujah by Ryan Bingham, Wrong Things Right by Matt Wayne and Just Stay by Kolton Moore and The Clever Few. A slew of other covers came and went but as a band we kept evolving through these genres to where we are now.
Fans have been treated to a string of videos for each new single that were all interconnected. Can you tell us more about this, how it came about and if we’re going to see something like this again?
We came about this through ideas between Giovannie, our Manager Griff and music video director Tim Cofield. The videos definitely helped our fans visualize our brand as a band and got fans connected to our music instantly. We have some new content in the works and hopefully our fans get treated to more fun and crazy music videos next year.
When you hear the story about how the band came about, how Giovannie took a job at a local pawnshop and met bassist Alex Trejo shortly after, it must make you all smile to see where you’re at now. What would you tell your younger selves, or what would you tell someone who is in that same situation you were in: balancing passions with other obligations like work, bills, and family?
I would say at the beginning if it is something you truly love and dream about just take the dive and plunge in and also be a sponge and learn from everyone you can. At the beginning it’s a little easier only playing weekends. Work or figure out some way to keep money flowing during the week while you are off. Balancing family and national touring can be a harsh reality to anyone with family. You have to maximize time with everyone you care about. When you make it, in my opinion, you gotta make everything about what you love. Love your family, love your fans and love your job. Make decisions based on that and everything falls into place a little easier.
It’s been said that the famed Mexican singer/songwriter Ramon Ayala served as an essential part of Giovannie’s childhood. As we are in Hispanic Heritage Month, how does it feel to represent Hispanic culture to such a wide demographic audience?
It feels great to represent Hispanic culture in Texas and across the country. My father is an immigrant from Mexico and my mother was born and raised in Texas. So to find our own unique place in the culture that represents both sides of my family warms and fills my heart to the fullest.
With such a wide range of musical influences in your work, which artist or band would y’all like to collaborate or tour with?
This is my own personal list:
Coheed and Cambria
What’s next for the Tejano Punk Boyz?
We have a little surprise from Texas next month and after that hopefully releasing some new music next year.
Be sure to catch Giovannie and the Hired Guns on tour.
Martin Ramirez is a brisket-eating, Shiner-loving, road-tripping enthusiast of all things Texas. This Dallas-born writer / adventurer is ready to take his ‘78 El Camino to find the best in food, fun, and fitness throughout the Lone Star State