Valley band featured on CBS show 'NCIS'Posted: Updated:
Lawrence Zubia is the front man for The Pistoleros and has been writing and playing original music here in the Valley for more than two decades.
"It is more than just sex, drugs and rock and roll. But you know, we've hit all those bullet points as well, you know,” Zubia said.
He sat on a bar stool at “The Gypsy Roadhouse” on McDowell Road in Phoenix, reflecting on the band’s long past and promising future.
"We get a call from the record label and says, 'Hey, good news. NCIS picked up 'Concerned' and it's going to be on Tuesday night,'" Zubia said. "We're very fortunate after this much time in the game to have what's happening lately."
The Pistoleros have been part of the Valley music scene for more than two decades, and they still write and perform new, original material. The band has been signed to big contracts, dove headfirst into the Hollywood music machine and lived to tell about it.
"We played with the Blossoms back in the day when we were all just bar bands you know. And there's some of that influence. There's (sic) more people that have fallen by the wayside than are standing and still doing it. And there's been a lot of casualties along the way, you know, and some people just couldn't hang. It's not easy," Zubia said.
But for Zubia and his brother, The Pistoleros co-founder Mark Zubia, they’re just doing what they know. Their father was a Mariachi musician.
“We watched my dad do it the exact way we're doing it, and we just keep going forward, keep writing songs. For me and my brother, I think that it really gets down to songwriting. And as long as we're writing songs, as long as we have that ambition and drive to write songs, I think we're going to continue to do this, ” Zubia said.
But Zubia admits writing doesn’t always come easy.
“There are definitely dry spells. There's (sic) times I wonder, 'Man, am I going to write a song again? I mean, it's been awhile.' And then next thing I know I've got three or four happening at the same time in this crazy creative explosion you know,” Zubia said.
Now there’s a lot of new attention and praise for The Pistoleros and the Zubia brothers.
"The New Times just awarded us with this kind of like, Lifetime Achievement sort of thing, you know, and there's a lot of the legacy talk going on, and so it's made me really reflective," Zubia said.
And that fuels their future. The band has recently entered into a deal with local record label Fervor Records. They’ve produced their first album with the label and are about to head back into the studio to work on their second.
“I’m Concerned” is the single off of that first album and is featured in the most recent episode of NCIS. It’s a different sound and theme for them.
"You know, the older you get I think you get a little more jaded, you know, and you might be concerned that you're not concerned about things maybe you should be concerned about, you know. I think that's where those lyrics kind of lie in that sort of a vibe," Zubia said.
Lawrence and Mark are also finding songwriting successes outside their own band.
"Jesse Valenzuela from the Blossoms just put out a record, and it's called Hotel Defeated, which is a song on the record which Mark and I wrote with Jesse. It was a real honor to have him record it and then name the record that," Zubia said.
Zubia said they’re in a good place.
"And I think this new arrangement with Fervor Records and these new records and these new songs are all a result of leaving that behind, that sort of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll mentality behind and now we're at a different spot. We're really concentrating heavily on writing songs and arrangements and melodies and harmonies and guitar tones, the things that take it up, take it up a notch, you know. Let's put something out there that we're really super proud of. Not that we weren't before, but it's different now you know," Zubia said.
"It's a testament to the longevity, tenacity. It's a good lesson for just staying in the game, whatever it takes, you know. We've never entertained the idea of quitting. We've slowed down to a trickle before, we've had things happen that have forced us to slow down, but we've never thought, 'OK, this is it. I'm never going to do this again.' This is what we do - this is what we'll continue to do," Zubia added.
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