By: Juan R Govea
En La Calle headed out to the streets of Fort Worth and ended up at a small packed music lounge, The Grotto, located on N. University. It was The End of Summer Fest 2016, which is a locally promoted music festival where we met an interesting fellow, Alvaro Del Norte, lead singer of the San Antonio Norteño punk band Piñata Protest.
Decked out in Tejano/Punk gear, Del Norte says he and the band keep their cultural customs strong, which includes an anti-corporate punk attitude and lifestyle.
Several musicians have played in the band, but Del Norte is the only original member. “We started originally in ’06, but there were always changes,” he said.
Chris Ruptive (drums); Richie Brown (Bass); Jose Morales (Guitar), and Del Norte (accordion, vocal, pocket trumpet) headlined the festival with a large encouraging crowd. Del Norte says the band has a big local hometown following, as well.
Like most local punk bands, Piñata Protest have an anti-corporate outlook and stand firm with their beliefs, but local companies like Freetail Brewery in SATX
keep the band noticeable with Piñata Protest’s American Amber/Red Ale labeled beer.
Over the last few years the band has been gaining more and more attention, not only by local music supporters but also from fans across the country.
LA Weekly hails the band as “festively energetic,” and NPR alt Latino deems them “brilliant” and “mind blowing.”
Besides the mainstream attention, which Del Norte and the band appreciate, the punk band has no intention of signing a major record deal, or even care to.
“If Wal-Mart, for instance, were to offer us a million dollars to play a show I would turn it down,” Del Norte said.
Like many punk rock bands including NOFX, Voodoo Glow Skulls and the Fat Wreck label, Del Norte and Piñata Protest’s sound is just as loud, fast and packs a punch. “Our sound is very different, we have a mixture of Latin rhythms and polka / ranchera beats, which make it original,” he said.
Del Norte and the bands always look forward to reaching out to locals, and are happy to talk and meet with new fans..