The Avi Resort & Casino has played host to a series of concerts with a Latin flavor throughout the summer. The lineup starting first with the group, La Ruleta Norteña, followed by Adrian Crush and relatively new band, Nuevo Sentido. The curtain closes on the series when Banda Destructora takes the stage on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Banda Destructora was forged from members who were previously in a different group from 30 years ago. Things change, musicians move on and some musicians want to continue playing music, yet they want to create something new and bring that new energy to the forefront — that's Banda Destructora.
"It was 2013, when the value proposition of making a new band was born," said Juan Pablo Placensia, group founder and band director. "I had the opportunity to get out of another musical organization and, to my surprise, most of the musicians in that other band decided to follow me.
"It was a new beginning and a very tough one at that," he explains. "We had no band name, nor contacts to get gigs. We started auditioning at several local nightclubs, and little by little we started building a clientele, one satisfied customer at a time.
"Thanks to that clientele, we are so busy today. Now we have clients in Colorado, California, Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada," he said. "We often share the stage with headliners at the top of our industry; Laberinto, Vaqueros Musical, Banda Movil, Banda Toro, and Banda Machos, to name a few. We also have shared the stage with every working band that serves the regional Mexican music market in Las Vegas."
With this mighty group of 10 musicians, comes a powerful sound that inspired their name.
"The name of our band came about after a drummer of another band said, 'Your sound is really punchy and heavy, almost like strong blow. You need a name that reflects a big hit, like 'destructora' (Spanish for 'destroyer').' We loved it and just added our type of group, which is 'banda,' hence Banda Destructora," Placensia said.
While the band is based in Las Vegas, the members are originally from various parts of Mexico.
"Every band member is from a different state in Mexico," he said. "So the band is a combination of influences and culture from Michoacan, Jalisco, Nayarit, Sinaloa, Zacatecas, and Durango.
"We are very serious about our music but at the same time very playful among ourselves," he added. "It’s an interesting paradox. We are very strict with rehearsal times, sound checks and gig downbeats. But at the same time we prank each other like brothers in a family."
One of those brothers, is Carlos Moreno, lead singer.
"We're a group of very, very experienced musicians, we've been in this business for over 30 years," Moreno said. "This is like a come-back band because we used to be in a different band, then we split up. Then after a few years we regrouped again and here we are.
"We have Pablo, who's in charge. He's the grumpy old man and he runs the band," he said with a laugh. "We also have Tovias he's the bass player and he's always starving, always looking for something to eat. We have Johnny, he thinks he's the model of the band. He's a fashion guy and he's a trombone player. We have José, a trumpet player; Luis the guitar player; Gabriel, the drummer; we have Jaime, the keyboard player; and we've got another Jaime, he's another trumpet player, Santiago is another trombone player, and myself, I'm Carlos, the lead singer."
The big sound they create means they can play a lot of different music.
"We play many different styles, because we're not just a one-style band," Moreno added. "We've got air instruments, but the good thing about it is that we've got drums, keyboards and we've got a guitar also. That makes it more exciting, it's a different style. Some regular bands are just air instruments, such as tuba, clarinets, and we've got electric instruments and that makes it more interesting and the people love it. Whenever they request a song from a different group, we always play what the people want.
"We play different types of music from Mexico like cumbias, norteñas, and bandas," he said. "We play all kinds of music except for salsa. No salsa yet, but we're working on that. It's a little bit out of our style but we might get into it some day."
They do perform a song that has become one of their most requested.
"There is a romantic song that people always request for us to play," he said. "It's called 'Reencuentro' from Banda Pequeños Musical, and we play it because it's kind of our style.
"I think the style we play makes us different," he said. "We can be playing a cumbia right now and then the next song can be a really, really romantic one. Whatever people request, we play."
"Another fact that makes us stand out among other fellow bands is the fact that we are the same band members that started it many years ago," Placensia said. "It is tough for bands to stay together with the same band members nowadays. We have grown musically together just like we have gotten older and wiser together."
This will be the group's first performance in Laughlin.
"We just appreciate that the Avi is taking a chance on us for this event," Moreno said. "Hopefully it won't be the first and last time. We're real excited, because we've never played in Laughlin before, so it's gonna be a new challenge for us."