Brujeria is a Mexican-Americanextreme metal band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1989. Their name comes from the Spanish word for "witchcraft". Their songs, which are sung in Spanish, are focused on Satanism, anti-Christianity, sex, immigration, narcotics smuggling, and politics. Portraying a Mexican image and with a heavy anti-American stance, the majority of the band's members are Mexican-born, and with some being American, Swedish or British. Furthermore, the band is not from Tijuana, Mexico, contrary to popular belief.
Brujeria is a side-project of guitarist Dino Cazares (founding member of Fear Factory), and has featured artists such as Billy Gould, Nicholas Barker, Raymond Herrera, Jeff Walker and Shane Embury. They perform under pseudonyms and portray themselves as a Latino band consisting of drug lords, concealing their identities due to being wanted by the FBI. In videos and photographs of the band, they are shown wearing bandannas, balaclavas, serapes, and are often shown wielding machetes.
Formation and early releases (1989-1992):
Brujeria was formed at a party in 1989 in the spirit of creating a grindcore and death metal band representative of the Latino/Chicano community. Its members, the guitarist Dino Cazares, Jello Biafra, drummer Pat Hoed, bass guitarist Billy Gould and vocalist Juan Brujo, used pseudonyms as most were in other known bands.
Their first single, "¡Demoniaco!", was released in 1990. In 1992 "Machetazos" was released and with it came the band's first line-up change. Jello Biafra departed the group, Pinche Peach was introduced as an additional vocalist and Raymond Herrera took on the drums; Pat Hoed, the band's former drummer became a second vocalist. "Machetazos" and "El Patron" were produced and distributed through Jello Biafra's record label Alternative Tentacles.
The band was criticized from its inception for its lyrics about drugs, sex and Satanism. These topics, while the subjects of many other death metal acts, were inspired by the actions of Adolfo Constanzo, Cuban-American born Mexican drug smuggler, practitioner of Palo (religion) Mayombe, and serial killer.
Matando Güeros and controversy (1993-1994):
Controversy was created by the cover of their first album Matando Güeros (1993), which featured a severed head being held by a hand. Subsequently, the image of the head would become an emblem of the band, transforming themselves into their mascot known as Coco Loco, and is seen frequently on album covers and merchandise. The head is largely believed to have belonged to Mario Rios. Thanks to the record and rumours generated, Brujeria became more popular. In this album the band integrated Shane Embury on bass guitar which still remains in the lineup of the band.
Raza Odiada, Marijuana and Spanglish 101 (1995-1999):
In 1995 they released their second full-length Raza Odiada, with the usual themes but with significant changes in their music and for many critics and fans their best work to date. Raza Odiada featured the single "La Ley De Plomo", whose music video proved successful on music channels such as MTV, featuring late at night on heavy metal shows.
The group started to become increasingly popular, but nevertheless, decided to remain anonymous and declined all offers to organize concerts (except on rare occasions), confounding supporters, who were eager to see them live. Two years later came the EP Marijuana, featuring a cover-parody of the popular song The Macarena and four live songs from its first official concert.
In 1999 saw the release of Spanglish 101, a compilation of label Kool Arrow Records' artists, protesting against the dominance of English. On this album the band released a couple of new tracks: "Marcha de Odio" which would later be included in their next album, Brujerizmo and "Don Quijote Marijuana", an issue that attracted attention for its techno-dance style, completely different from the band's heavy metal sound.
Commercial success with Brujerizmo and Mextremist Hits! (2000-2001):
In 2000, 5 years after the last LP, Brujerizmo was released, which incorporated Nicholas Barker as a second drummer, Jesse Pintado on the guitar and Gaby Dominguez, as "Pititis", who represents a female demon as the female vocalist.
The next release was a compilation, called Mextremist! Greatest Hits, released in 2001, which included classic tracks, alternate versions, remixes, a multimedia track with video, and some new themes, such as the collaboration with Mucho Muchacho on "Narco-Peda" and "Asesino" which featured Tony Campos of Static-X. The record, rather than being a compilation, was more like a disc of rarities and b-sides, since most of the songs were not the album versions, but the versions on the EPs and singles. The disc also included a video cover for the Magazine 60 song "Don Quichotte" named "Don Quijote Marihuana"
Hiatus and projects (2002-2006):
2002 came with many plans for the band, first they went to record new material for their eagerly awaited fourth album. However, this seems to have been put on hold due to altercations between Cazares and Herrera, upon Cazares exit from Fear Factory. The band then announced the launch of various side-projects for each of the band members, starting with Asesino who launched that same year, Corridos de Muerte with the band featuring Tony Campos and Emilio Marquez.
There is a DVD compilation of the band called "Permission of Satan". This DVD was produced by Juan Brujo and Henry about the recording period of the Asesino album and videos of his first three presentations of the official tour of Brujeria, The Mexecutioner Tour. Also includes images of the addition of Wee Man Jason Acuña of Jackass, Satanico Army Band, Mariachi Terror, and others. The DVD was homemade and distributed by Juan Brujo.
Brujeria declined to do live performances in its early years, however on June 11, 1997 they played at the Whisky a Go Go club in Hollywood. The short concert itself was incorporated into the EP "Marijuana" as a side B. On October 2, 2003 the band played its first official concert in Chicago USA, and began its first tour known as The Mexecutioner Tour, which concluded on January 24, 2004 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Also in 2003, Roadrunner Records released a compilation of tracks from the studio albums, the band titled The Mexecutioner! - The Best of Brujeria. The band, now with Nicholas Barker on drums, decided to promote the work as the band had never done before, which included interviews, concerts and more. Starting with a second tour called "Tour II", which began on February 7, 2004 in Mexicali and the first appearance of Pititis the female voice of the band, their first visit to Brazil and Argentina, concluding the tour on August 8, of that year in Buenos Aires.
After that the band was absent from the stage and uncertainty about the group's future arose, it was speculated that the reason for this was that they were working on a new album, but that was just rumours. Also during this period of time several vital members of the group such as Dino Cazares, departed after alleged differences with frontman Juan Brujo. In 2006 there was news from the band with the release of The Singles which is a revival of the EP and singles of the band and the beginning of a new global concert tour known as "No Seas Pendejo Tour" that began in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 28 and also included the presentation in Vive Latino 2006 in Mexico featuring two new members: Tony Laureano on drums and Jeff Walker on bass. Shane Embury left bass and switched to guitar. At their first appearance in Europe Viña Rock, Spain, the tour concluded on 6 August of that year in Houston, Texas. Later in September of that year they returned to do a small tour in Spain known as "Don Quijote Marijuana Tour" now with Patrik Jensen on guitar and Adrian Erlandsson on drums.
Reunion and possible fourth album (2007-present):
After several years on hiatus, and internal problems, Brujeria reformed in 2007 and decided it was time to return to the scene. Juan Brujo (vocals), Pat Hoed (second vocals), Jeff Walker (bass), Shane Embury (guitar) and Adrian Erlandsson (drums) started a new tour called "Weapon of Change Tour". Lasting from February 21 to December 15, the band performed in England, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Between April and June 2008, Brujeria returned to Europe to play some concerts as an extension of the "Weapon of Change Tour", including dates at SWR MetalFest XI in Barroselas (Portugal), again Viña Rock (Albacete,Spain) and in Kobetasonik which is a rock festival that takes place in the Basque Country (Spain). In November and December of that year, the band began another tour called "Accept No Imitations Tour". Brujeria played at the 10th annual Maryland Death Fest in May 2012.
They performed a world tour between 2007 and 2008. In an interview in June 2009, bassist Shane Embury stated that the band's fourth studio album was going to be released that year, and that it could be released by the band itself. On October 2014 they signed with indie giant Nuclear Blast for an album in 2015. A Fall 2015 release date was announced for the upcoming album, although the album wasn't released yet.
Juan Brujo (John Lepe) - vocals (1989-present),
Pinche Peach - vocals, samples (1989-present),
Hongo (Shane Embury) - guitar, bass guitar, drum programming (1989-present),
Fantasma (Pat Hoed) - vocals, bass (1989-present), drums (1989),
El Cynico (Jeffrey Walker) - bass, guitar, vocals (2006-present),
Podrido (Adrian Erlandsson) - drums (2006-present),
El Clavador Daniel Erlandsson - drums (2012-present),
Cuernito - guitar (2013-present) (some live shows and participation in the new album),
El Sangron - backing vocals,
Hongo Jr. (Nicholas Barker) - drums (2005-2005, 2014-2015) (some live shows and participation in the new album),
Asesino (Dino Cazares) - guitar (1989-2005),
Güero Sin Fe (Billy Gould) - bass, guitar (1989-2002),
Greñudo (Raymond Herrera) - drums (1993-2002),
El Angelito (Tony Laureano) - drums (2006-),
El Embrujado (Patrik Jensen)- guitar (1997-),
Cristo de Pisto (Jesse Pintado) - guitar (2000),
El Sadistico (Emilio Marquez) - drums,
Marijuano (Control) Machete DJ (Antonio Hernandez) - vocals, electronics, samples,
Pito Wilson (Jello Biafra) - vocals, support,
Pititis (Gaby Dominguez) - Female vocals, backing vocals, guitar,
Maldito X (Tony Campos) - vocals (2001)