The Altons Fuse Genres To Create A Unique Southeast L.A Sound

Photo Credit: Sade de la Espriella

The Altons sound was never supposed to be a blend of funk, blues, and rock. It’s only when they met singer Adriana Flores that everything changed. 

The Altons are a five-piece band from East LA led by Bryan Ponce (singer/guitarist) along with Adriana Flores (singer/percussionist), Gabriel Maldonado (bass), Joseph Quinones (guitar), and Carlos A. Canovas (drums). Coming from a more punk and rock n’ roll background, the Altons took a couple of years to really figure out their own sound. Flores came into the fold and changed the dynamics into something unexpected and fresh. “When Adriana came into the scene, she came from more of a rock steady, more soul, more blues, more funk scene, and so it definitely opened up a whole new world and possibilities,” Ponce says.  

The music scene in L.A can be small. A lot of the groups come across  each other because they end up in the same bill. The Altons feel that the common motif for every L.A band is playing the Five Star Bar in downtown L.A. The Five Star also happens to be where this new incarnation of the group met for the first time. From the first time they jammed, they knew they had something special. Being part of the burgeoning Latin L.A scene with likes of Chulita Vinyl Club, Quitapenas, Buyepongo, and Chicano Batman, these groups have brought with them diverse music, the Altons make it clear that this sound is more than just about ethnicity. 

“People like to label us and our music,” says Flores. “It’s only Latin because we are Latin. There are so many types of music. It’s so beautiful to see people of color trying to make music and helping each other book gigs together.”

All the labor and love has culminated to the release of their single “Darling Girl.” Although Flores is singing, she isn’t responsible for writing the lyrics.  “Bryan wrote this song, and funny enough, he used to sing it before we decided that I would give it a try,” says Flores.

“We decided that Adriana was way better at singing it,” says Ponce.

The “Darling Girl” video was a collection of footage the group took of themselves over the past two years from gigs and touring. “It was very DIY,” Flores says. “We could’ve definitely outsourced and got someone to help us with the video. Luckily enough, Bryan [Ponce] is pretty versed in editing and recording. We decided to use it to give people a taste what it was like last year. It was so many shows, so many faces at different gigs. We wanted to try to put that in a video.”

The Altons new upcoming record, which includes “Darling Girl,” is the groups hello to the world. “We are trying to incorporate all the sounds that we want to in an album that sometimes people are trying to get a feel of what type of band we are, “Flores says. “We make soul songs, we make funk songs, we make bluesy songs and I feel like that this album is going to be a good platform to show what we got.”

The Altons will perform at the Continental Room on March 11th in Fullerton.

I like to stare at my computer. Occasionally I type words to pass the time. Those words are usually about music.

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