Last week I sat down to talk with Sons of Texas guitarist Jes De Hoyos to discuss their upcoming tour which will include a USA tour with Buckcherry, two major festivals (Houston Open Air and Japan’s Loud Park) and will wrap up after a European tour leg with SOiL and Saliva.
Sons of Texas are from McAllen, Texas and released their album “Baptized In The Rio Grande” in March of 2015 and have had great success with their first studio album. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out, you really need to do so. They sound great. They will be heading back in the studio in January 2017 after touring has wrapped up to start recording their next album that they are currently writing. So let’s get to the interview with Sons of Texas guitarist Jes De Hoyos.
YesterdazeNews: You have an album out, Baptized In The Rio Grande, was how’s it doing?
Jes De Hoyos: Good, so far so good. We’ve received great reviews from all angles and I haven’t really heard any negative reviews. I think it’s been selling pretty well and actually something happened and not quite sure how, but it’s being sold in Japan too. They either got some bootleg copies or picked up some copies and then sold them over there as bootleg and now we have released it officially as of Friday, August 26, 2016 in Japan.
YesterdazeNews: So that leads into my next question, how did Loud Park Festival come about for the band?
Jes De Hoyos: From my understanding is someone got American copies of our record. They really liked it and imported it over to Japan. They were selling it at a store and it was doing really well then Sony (Japan) got wind of it and reached out to the label and said that they wanted to do it legit so we went through the whole contract process. Then we did some promo stuff for it and added some extra tracks on the record, acoustic style. That way it was exclusive for Japan. Then somebody at Loud Park heard of us and wanted us to come play Loud Park and naturally we are stoked to go over there to perform.
YesterdazeNews: Has Sons of Texas performed that big of a stage with that size of a crowd before?
Jes De Hoyos: I want to say yes, we’ve played a few of the big festivals here in the USA on of which, the Carolina Rebellion, was huge. They were expecting about 70,000 attendees but it ended up capping out at 100,000 attendees. So it was pretty big, I mean we didn’t play to 100,000 people obviously, we played earlier in the day to a few thousand fans. So that was pretty cool.
YesterdazeNews: I hope you guys are ready for Loud Park. I have friends who live in Japan and that’s one festival that’s huge and a lot of fun. The Japanese fan base is also going to fun for you. The fans over there are so nice and very loyal to the bands they like.
Jes De Hoyos: That’s what I keep hearing and I don’t want to set my expectations too high. I just want to go and enjoy the experience and whatever we get. I can’t wait to perform there and meet the fans.
YesterdazeNews: You are getting ready to go on tour here in the USA with Buckcherry, then you have the performance in Japan at Loud Park Festival and then a European tour right after that. Are you touring with anyone in Europe or doing solo gigs?
Jes De Hoyos: We are on a tour package. It is SOiL headlining then Saliva and Sons of Texas. I believe there is also a fourth band which will change hald way through on the tour too.
YesterdazeNews: Has Sons of Texas toured Europe before?
Jes De Hoyos: No. Japan will be our first performance outside of the USA then we head to Europe and the UK for the first time.
YesterdazeNews: You will enjoy this experience. I do some of the European festivals and the fans over there are just a great bunch of people who love their rock music, it is a rock culture. They come out to have a great time.
Jes De Hoyos: That’s great. I can’t wait to go there. I am looking forward to it.
YesterdazeNews: You guys come from a fairly small town in Texas, what’s your take on this new rock music festival, Houston Open Air, being created for the fans in this region?
Jes De Hoyos: I’m excited because we’ve done one in San Antonio called the River City Rock Fest and we did the very first one and opened as the first band to perform in the festival. We didn’t know what to expect and it was great and we did it two years in a row. It was huge and it was a great turn out and a great time. So I can only imagine Houston Open Air is going to be about the same or better because it’s Houston and it’s a much larger area. I figure it is going to be a great time and especially with the great lineup. We are really looking forward to performing, meeting fans and even watching some of the other bands perform. We’re always down for a live show and if anyone wants to hang out, come down. It’s going to be a good time.
YesterdazeNews: Yea, I think Danny Wimmer Presents hit it out of the park with the lineup. The bands are just phenomenal for this show, even more so for a first run of a new festival. It is like, hey here were are to surprise you with some great rock music in your area. All in one place and in such a short period of time.
Jes De Hoyos: Absolutely.
YesterdazeNews: How did Sons of Texas end up on the Houston Open Air lineup? Did they come to you or did you seek them out?
Jes De Hoyos: From my understanding they came to us. I actually called our manager to tell him about this new festival and he told me that we’d already been hit up for it, but because of our upcoming tour we’d have to figure out if we could do it. Then a couple of days later he called us to let us know it had been set up and we were good to go.
YesterdazeNews: Are you guys working on any new material?
Jes De Hoyos: Absolutely. The funny part about that is after we finished recording the first album, for some reason we stayed in writing mode. Since then we’ve been writing. Not every day, but we’ve just continued to work on new stuff. We’ve just had material or a riff that’s been floating around and whenever we get downtime, like if we are home for a few days or week or whatever, we’ll go to the jam space and hash it out or whatever we can and record the idea even if it’s an iphone recording or what have you. We’ve already had one pre-pro session with Josh Wilbur, which is great because he’s onboard with our second record and we are scheduled to do studio time in January 2017.
YesterdazeNews: Are you working on any side projects?
Jes De Hoyos: No. I think one of the things we all kind of have is an unspoken, but agreed upon arrangement to put all of our focus on the Sons of Texas. That was the foresight I/we had for this band. We were all in other projects before this and it was either metal, strictly death metal or this or that genre. I wanted to do something that had the liberty to do rock, metal, blues or whatever we wanted without being pigeon-holed into one genre. Just really have fun with whatever we were doing.
YesterdazeNews: Last question I like to ask every artist, is there anything you want your fans to know that you’ve never been asked but always wanted to tell them?
Jes De Hoyos: Not really, I don’t want to set high expectations that would let anyone down. The music speaks for itself. You come out to see us and hopefully you will enjoy what we’ve got and I think we are all going to have a good time. Another thing we do before and after out sets is to be out and about in the crowd hanging out so if anybody wants to say hello or take pictures or what have you, we are out there and feel free to approach us.
YesterdazeNews: Thank you for taking time out to chat with me and best of luck with your upcoming tour. I am looking forward to seeing you guys live at Houston Open Air at the end of September.
“Baptized In The Rio Grande” is available for digital download on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play so pick up your copy today. The full list of tour dates is available on the Sons of Texas website.
Sons of Texas is:
Mark Morales – Vocals
Mike Villarreal – Drums
Nick Villarreal – Bass
Jon Olivares – Rhythm Guitar
Jes De Hoyos – Lead Guitar
Check out some of the videos from Sons of Texas below: