Chicano Batman first timers, you’ve been missing out. Immensely.
Composed of four talented Latinos—Bardo Martinez (vocals, guitar, organ), Carlos Arevalo (guitar), Eduardo Arenas (bass, vocals) and Gabriel Villa (drums, percussion)—from and beyond LA, Chicano Batman‘s music is a killer blend of the ’60s oldies and ’70s psychedelics that resonates at such a fundamental level.
The band got their name from a reference to a comic book character but with a twist. “Chicano Batman started from a drawing. It started with a drawing that was just a Batman that looked as though he could have been from El Salvador or Mexico or somewhere in Latin America,” Bardo Martinez, frontman, stated. ” So right away it was just like, Chicano. Chicano embodies this identity of somebody from mixed origins but obviously most people know it as Mexican-American. So it was just this Mexican-American Batman. And so right away I connected the UFW Eagle to the bat, like it just made sense. Like, Chicano Batman. The Chicano movement was something started in the late 60’s that coalesced with united farmworkers. You have Cesar Chavez you have all these individuals who were trying to fight for political justice. Much like the Black Panthers.”
The quartet formed and began writing music in 2008, developing a distinguishable sound that gives off a tropical, political, and soulful vibe. “It’s not our intention to be political, it’s just where we’re at,” says bassist, Eduardo Arenas. “Creating a song that talks about your environment that’s just as timeless as any love song,” adds Martínez. “For this particular record the intention wasn’t to have a ‘political record’, the intention was to have truthful songs.”
Although we know that the band is made up of men, Chicano Batman dismantles the patriarchy by oftentimes writing their music from a perspective of women, which is a great way of thinking if I must say so myself.
“I understand how music is male-dominated. I mean, we are a boy band. We live in a patriarchy, but I try to refer to things in a feminine way,” singer Bardo Martinez said in an interview. “For example, I have this one song that refers to God as Her. I’ve been around a lot of amazing women who have influenced me, politically too. I went to school, I know what’s f**ked up in the world, and I want to be opposite of that. I want to speak against that sh*t.”