Photo By Robert Nuñez

By Crystal Harrell

Hailing from El Monte, California, The Red Pears are no strangers to Coachella—having performed at the festival in 2019. For this year’s Weekend 2 festival coverage, Coachella Valley Weekly spoke with the band about their musical growth and how their sound reflects a cultural identity with nostalgic indie rock sensibilities.

CV: Thanks for speaking with CV Weekly today. Can you share a little bit about how it felt performing at Coachella for the first time?

Jose: It was really cool. I think that in comparison to the first time playing in 2019, you kind of get to feel it a bit more. That first time was the most nerve-wracking because here’s just a whole new traveling system. Learning to navigate the grounds as an artist is a whole different thing. So I feel just having that advantage of doing this already was a bit smoother. And I think it was just nice to hear the feedback, from the people catching us on the live stream, people catching us there live in person. It felt like it went really well for a Weekend One to start off things.


Albert: It was my first Coachella experience, and it was very surreal just being able to play on a stage that’s been shared by so many great artists and so many people that I’ve looked up to. It’s also really cool being able to have my family back home be able to watch and support me. It was also a big thing outside of it, just being able to stream it and have everybody watch it.

CV: With your Weekend One performance, it followed the release of your most recent record, Better Late Than Never. Can you tell me about the inspiration behind it or the process of creating it?

Henry: I think it was the first time releasing something and then performing in a major festival. The creative process was definitely all over the place. There’s so many timelines in that record, so many old recordings and new songs that were created during that time. It all correlated with Luis’s input, who did the art, and then with the lyrics and the music that Jose and I created.

CV: What’s the music creation process like for you guys as a band? Does everyone have a specific role, or is it like a more collaborative kind of effort?

Henry: It just depends on the music. Usually I try to start something with the acoustic guitar at home, then bring it to Jose, and then we all kind of just collaborate from there. This time around was more of their input on the record, with the way the mixing was sounding on certain songs, like getting Albert’s input or his help on certain tones, and then Patrick’s input on rhythm guitar and sections like that. So it was more collaborative.

CV: Your sound has been described as chicano indie rock. How important is it for you to incorporate cultural identity into the music you create?

Jose: I think it’s just important to embrace who you are, where you come from, and not to shy away from it— also to just navigate in a way where you’re being you. You’re not trying to force an agenda or force an identity. You’re just kind of being. We just happen to be Latino and in an industry in a place where it’s not really Latino dominated or you don’t see a lot of people that look like us, but it’s just nice to also acknowledge those roots, as respect to our families and our culture, and to be honest in who we are and where we come from.

CV:  Do you as a band have any musical influences or inspiration?

Patrick: I guess I’m right by saying there’s some inspiration from that whole New York 2000’s indie sleaze. The Strokes, Interpol, The Killers, Arctic Monkeys as well.

Photo By Robert Nuñez

Albert: We all understand the same  musical palette that we all can relate to, but then there are like major influences or bigger inspirations. You like and enjoy music as a whole and you just kind of take pieces of things you find that we can relate to and understand things we don’t like.

CV: What do you hope audiences get out of your Weekend Two performance?

Albert:  I think they’re going to expect a more energetic and more entertaining set than they’ve seen from Weekend One. Something more involved with the crowd and just more energy than usual.

CV: You started this band in 2014, so ten years later, how do you feel that you’ve grown as a band and where of you hope to see yourself in the future?

Jose: I feel like it has been a long time, and I feel there’s still more things to accomplish and work to do. But I also feel very proud of all of us, of where we are today— to play Coachella and to have a very nice slot at 7:00 p.m. It just feels good to know you’re making these sometimes slow advancements. That takes time, but it’s just nice to know that we’re always progressing. I don’t think I’ve ever thought that we were taking a step back again every tour. I always feel like, even if the progress isn’t astronomical, that we’re still going forward and we’re still going up. I just feel like that’s all you can hope for as a career or in a passion, is that you’re not taking steps back. Hopefully we can branch out, tour internationally, play more festivals, be more involved, just do more, make music again—different music, better music, just always trying to do better and striving for more than what you’ve done before.

Henry: It’s not only two of us anymore, it’s like a whole team behind the band and a whole group of people that we love and care about that, honestly, I think that’s the reason why I feel like we’ve been successful as we’ve been is because we get that same attraction throughout our team. But as far as the future, I mean, we’re open to whatever, you know? I think that’s something about Jose and I was that we were always driven just to make music and play shows. That’s always what we love to do. And I hope we keep that energy over the years. I hope we still excited when opportunities like that arise. To be 40 and to just be so excited to be in a band with your friends, or your brothers at this point, and your family, to go at festivals, to do all these things across the country and across other countries, and it still feels fun and exciting.