Los Hermanos Biography
Los Hermanos literally translated from Spanish into English means "The Brothers". But for those involved in Los Hermanos it means much more. It means a coming together of people from different cultures, enivoronments, skills and spirit. For the purpose of Music.
Los Hermanos is the brainchild of Gerald Mitchell and DJ Rolando Rocha. After their immensely successfull underground smash "Jaguar" released by the mysterious Detroit label Underground Resistance in 1998. The two producers convinced UR label owner "Mad Mike Banks" to back their fledgling label idea as it became painfully obvious from the massive response of the Latino and Black house music communities and the tech/house movement worldwide that more music of this style was needed !
In 2002 after 4 years of whitelabel testing Los Hermanos was launched as an UR imprint label. With the first official release (LH-001) entitled "The Birth of 3000" a record that celebrated long time Detroit mainstay Submerge Distribution’s move to a new building located on the same street as former Detroit powerhouse "Motown" was located on.
It was clear that Detroit indeed had birthed a new sound. The infectous blend of Latin Rhythm and soulfull gospel chording from Los Hermano’s main man and driving force "Gerald Mitchell" in combination with the skillfull DJing talents of Rolando and the djing and post production prowess of Los Angeles implants DJ Dex and Santiago Salazar playing the records out while on tour along with Isela Salazar and the Submerge team making sure the Los Hermanos records got to where they were supposed to go on time ! Helped to spread the now globally recognized sound. Los Hermanos is a great example for all of us of what understanding, respect, togetherness and the spirit can achieve to take all of us to another level.
Interview with Gerald Mitchell by Kazuumi Ishii
So, how are you satisfied with your new album ?
I always feel that I could have done better on each project after they are completed, but I also feel a sense of accomplishment, but concerning this new album "Traditions and Concepts" I feel that we achieved what we wanted to record, and that’s musical variety, a rhythmic journey is what I like to call it.
Your previous album was called On Another Level, this one is called Traditions & Concepts. So there’s a continuation there.
That’s true it is a continuation, because there were many songs to choose from to put on this album, and we choose to use variety in our musical styles and rhythms, and the first album On Another Level was just that, I would go to clubs and hear these driving beats without most without melodies just techno beats bleeps bloops and bangs, which I truly enjoy, and I could’nt get them out of my head, so I added what I know, chords, melodies and some structre, which is nothing new to the vetran producers our goal is for Los Hermanos to represent sound fusion influences from around the world.
How did the collaboration with Ian O’Brien come about ?
I met Ian O’brien while in Japan, I had heard of him but when I heard his music, I also heard the musicianship in it… I was invited to a dinner and at the dinner were some heavyweight DJ’s and Producers, Fabrice Lig, Spirit Catcher, and Ken Ishii, and Ian O’brien and a few other influential people. One conversation led to another and of course we began talking about future projects, and collaborations, which is usually how things are done, we just followed through with that idea, and I hope to continue the genuine friendship we have established, during the making of this project, and hopefully I can continue to collaborate with these talented producers, DJ’s, and programmers, from around the world. It still amazes me to watch them perform.
Your new album "Traditions & Concepts" is mostly made up of beautiful soundscapes with a lot of influences from latin soul to electronic to jazz-funk fusion ? But there are also some upbeat club tracks on there ? How do you manage to do such different types of music all at once ?
Music has always been a part of my home life growing up in Detroit playing different styles are not uncommon for me, I am always looking for new styles to play and fuse with my gospel background, to keep things interesting and upbeat. I did’nt get into this music by DJ-ing and that’s what makes it interesting to me, blending records, melodies and rhythms all while keeping the journey. however we will continue the signature sound that LH is known for without comprimising the quailty or integrity.
Your approach is then mainly the experiment ?
My approach is what I feel that day in the studio, one day it’s strictly experimental and the next it’s a flow, sometimes it’s also a musical connection with other producers in the LH camp. Depending on the approach when making songs, we just feel the flow if it sounds good we record… I like to call it the spirit of the song.
I mean Los Hermanos has always been a headstrong experiment, rather than a categorised band with one constant sound ?
Yes that’s true, but Los Hermanos is also an International Production Team, the concept behind Los Hermanos first started out with myself, Rolando, and Mike Banks as brothers in the studio fusing different styles and backgrounds musical production but as the name and the sound grew popularity it obviously became bigger than us, soon after Rolando’s departure it became clear to me after our world tours, that we are all continually brothers and sisters around the world, with the addition of new producers from around the world Los Hermanos will continue to reach out in sound and grow.
Are you planning any tours in support of the album ?
Yes, we are making the schedule now for venues large or small, festivals, etc etc, for booking in Europe and the UK please contact Oliver Way at www.myspace.com/electronicpm or myspace.com/loshermanosdetroit, hopefully we would like to start the tour in Japan even the small venues, it would be very special for us, are plans are to tour as much as possible for 2008, and to let the fans know that we created this music after meeting them and new people around the world so of course Japan would be special because three tracks from the album was created and inspired in Japan.
Can you tell us something about "Uncontrollable", the collaboration with Fabrice Lig ?
I was approached by Chuck Gibson of Hi Tech Funk and formely of I.S.F division of UR to do a collaboration with Fabrice Lig for a project called Tokem, but before that me and Fabrice had spoke about doing a collaboration one day so one phone call lead to an email which lead to a track being recorded while I was in Japan. Uncontrollable was the title I wanted to use because of some Detroit situations going on in the Hood, so the title "Uncontrollable" fits perfectly but I also think Fabrice’s music fits the Los style I look foward to doing more collaborations.
Can you tell us something about an older track of yours called "Fuji (The Peace Within)" ? Why did you call it "Fuji (The Peace Within)" ?
That’s a deep story but I’ll try to explain quite simply… I had been hospitalized for a stress related illness which caused bleeding in my brain, it was the worst headache I ever had for three days, I had just quit my job of 18 years at General Motors, money was getting very low and I was worried that this music career may not work considering that I have children to support however late one night in my hospital bed the pain became unbearable I made a vow to God and myself "when I get out of the hospital bed I would work harder at producing music and the buisness of music because for me music helps me to focus… one experience while I was still in the hospital I was visited by Mad Mike (UR) and Santiago Salazar DJ S2, (ICAN) they had been working on a remix the night before I was admitted into the hospital, they both really help to uplift my spirits to continue living in the music also at that time ISF 2 was in the making and Mike Banks decided to take a few producers to Japan to complete the ISF "Chaos and Order" album, and I am very thankful that he incluced me after my release from the hospital, because that trip to Japan uplifted my spirits and so I began the healing process. So while in Japan early one morning I went to the studio an began writing this melody from my heart and suddenly I felt a peace within that everthing was going to be ok and not to worry, so I begin taking walks around the city that we were in, and I saw mountains, streams and waterfalls during our stay the food was very healthy for me, all of this really helped me to concentrate on the peace within myself, we called it fuji because of what it represents to Japan in respect of the culture and people and it just feels right.
This year, you were producing the solo album of Dee Brown as well. How was working with him different from working with others ?
Quite different because the smooth jazz market is different than the dance market, so things are not as experimental as I would like but it is songs from the soul, that comes naturally, Dee has asked me to help produce his album, after success of his first album, it took a couple of years to complete because of our different schedules. The album is called "No Time To Waste" and its on the charts among the smooth jazz audience so we are currently writing for the next project. I am very excited about it but of course for me I have to break the rules and add those Techno elements. Check it out at www.deebrownmusic.com
You’ve been fighting on the independent and underground scene for quite a while. Tell me, is it possible to keep finding new sources of musical inspiration ?
For me it’s possible to find new sources because I write songs based on my experiences of life whether it be good or bad, and living in Detroit you can be sure to find some inspiration in something somewhere, and that is also true for me when visiting other countries, I find inspiration in most everything that life has to offer however expressing that inspiration in the studio is the challenge.
How influential has Detroit been in how you make music ?
Detroit is very influential and a good source of talented people in and around the city, but there are’nt many venues here to play, so when musicians get the chance to play, They really play,… lol, we are very competitive in a good way. Detroit as well as Chicago is known for very strong gospel music connections and that has been most of our influence growing up in and around the city, you will see a church every few city blocks, and some unknown young musician playing for the the church service and rocking the church, this is how I got my start in a storefront church. But now with the help of electronic instruments I try to convey the good news of hope in music, that is part of my struggle.
What other cities do you love spending time in ?
That’s a trick Question right ? lol….
When was the last time you went to a club and had a good old party ?
Chirstmas party over at Tunnel Seven Productions, DJ’s Producers, Friends and Family, celebrating life and the holidays and having a good ole time, we take turns DJ’ing playing instruments playstation X Box 360 keeping the vibe alive no pressure, no divas, no attitudes, just keeping it simple enjoying life friends and family.
Do you like hearing your own music in clubs ?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no, it’s a personal thing I guess I am very humble about the music…
Is it important for you to see thd crowd’s reaction to it firsthand ?
Yes it is very important to relate to the audience, to understand if they are feeling what we are playing, our goal is to play good music and music is a good thing.
On a day off, where you are not in the studio or touring, what may we find you doing ?
What day off ? Music is an all day job with me, they day I have off is when I stop making music however when I’m relaxing, I’m usually helping my family with rental properties around the city, or doing homework with my children, or basically watching television in Detroit… Blah its all (unreality TV shows…)
Do you have a motto for life ?
Enjoy your Life Be Happy and Fair…
What will you be doing in 2008 ?
Currently my older brothers and myself are working on a new project called “GospoTech” it’s a style we are experimenting with, you can hear it on "Message Of Hope" track 12 of the new Traditions and Concepts album, it’s our background and style we hope to release in Detroit and Houston sometime in the near future Currently we are doing an EP. for a new label called Reincarnation based in Italy, with a few new bangin gospotech tracks, we have been speaking with NRK in the UK about a few things plus our live act to support the new album. Because Music is What we do…!
Traditions & Concepts out now
Los Hermanos – Traditions & Concepts [Submerge]
- 01. Amazing Space
- 02. Night Owls
- 03. Midnight In Madrid
- 04. Remember Detroit
- 05. Jazz Above Saturn
- 06. Central Nervous System
- 07. Festival Parade
- 08. Dark Samba No.7
- 09. Afro Dancers
- 10. Theme From Tony Dash
- 11. Dazed And Decieved
- 12. Message Of Hope
- 13. Awakening
Gerald Mitchell Discography
as Gerald Mitchell
- Set Me Free, 12"
Soul City (1996)
- Groove Within The Groove, 12"
430 West (1999)
- Resurrection EP, 7" / 12"
Los Hermanos (2004)
- Bellydancer, 12"
- Better Way / Don’t Wanna Come Down, 12"
Soul City (1997)
as Theresa Stringer
- Round & Round, 12"
Soul City (1997)
- Celestial Highways, 12"
as The Deacon
- Soulsaver, 12"
Somewhere In Detroit
- Diskensertion, 12"
Somewhere In Detroit (2006)
- Fuji, 12"
Somewhere In Detroit (2006)
as Martian 044
- Prayer Stick, 12"
Red Planet (1998)
- The Last Stand, 7" / 12"
Red Planet (2005)
- Octave One – Somedays (Gerald Mitchell remix)
Remixed suSU 2, suSU (2006)
- Japanese Synchro System – Japanese Synchro System (Gerald Mitchell Universal Synchro System / Gerald Mitchell Progressive mix)
Japanese Synchro System, Life Line (2006)
Los Hermanos Discography
- Los Hermanos – Birth Of 3000, 12"
- Los Hermanos – Quetzal / Tescat, 12"
- Los Hermanos – Tres EP, 12"
- Los Hermanos – My Mother’s Guitarra / Guidance / Influence EP, 12"
- Los Hermanos – My Mother’s Guitarra / Guidance, 7"
- Gerald Mitchell – Resurrection EP, 7" / 12"
LH7-5 / LH-5 (2004)
- Santiago Salazar / DJ Dex – Tzolkin / Kawak, 7"
- Los Hermanos – On Another Level, CD / LP
- Timeline – Time Sensitive (Los Hermanos mix)
Return Of The Dragons, Underground Resistance (2004)
- Robert Hood – Still Hear (Los Hermanos remix)
Hoodmusic 2, Music Man (2006)
- As One – Germanium ((Revival mix)
Germanium, Archive (2007)
- Eamonn Doyle – Come Down On The Music (Los Hermanos remix)
Come Down On The Music, D1 (2007)
- Raiders Of The Lost ARP – Beyond The Dark ( (DJ S2/Los Hermanos mix)
Beyond The Dark, Nature (2007)