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El Observador

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El Observador had the chance to interview San Jose’s very own Battle of the Bands winner Yeshua and the Hightones. They recently played at the Bacon Festival and have a lot more festivals to play. Alto sax Jarod Flores took some time to answer a few questions.

EO: For the people not too familiar with Yeshua and the Hightones, how did it all start?

Hightones: “All members have a vast background of performing and playing with other bands from a young age. The Hightones came together like a puzzle starting in 2005 when Yeshua Orozco (vocalist) was introduced to Anthony Perez (lead guitarist). With the same influence and inspiration of reggae music, jamming turned into songwriting and to recruitment for other members till the culmination of what Yeshua and the Hightones is today. Keviano Azevedo (drums), our drummer boy genius who also acts as producer/sound engineer, is definitely the inspiration whose skill and creativeness is something everyone must see to believe. Orozco, the front man, with energy to spare on stage is the de facto messenger of our ideals and beliefs through words and lyrics. Anthony Perez (lead guitarist) has created a sound fans have come to love and expect.

It doesn’t matter that he’s the baby of the group, we look to him as a main songwriter and solos to melt faces. Jason “19” Curtis (bass), along with backbone bass lines, exudes a party good time vibe to the Hightones. Edgar Fernandez, compliments Anthony with nasty guitar skanks and tasty rhythm. Fernandez is best known for having a knack for ingenious songwriting. The last member to join and solidify the group is saxophonist Jarod Flores, with an extensive background in jazz, classical, Latin, and all out sound manipulation. Flores loves putting the finishing touches to a song and live performance with melodic lines or aggressive solos.”

EO: How would you describe your sound?

Hightones: “What started as a joke coming from the idea of Red Hot Chili Peppers album ‘BloodSugarSexMagic,’ I describe our genre/style as JamaicanSexRock, which sums it up in a nutshell. We’re known on paper as a reggae band, but I feel we just use Reggae as a platform to showcase and infuse the variety of music styles each member brings to the table. From Metal, Latin, Jazz, Electronic, soul, and yes Reggae. You’re sure to hear something new and original.”

EO: How is it playing? 

Hightones: “We take great pride in our live performance. Our fans know this and we’ve been grateful as our San Jose fan base has grown, and grown so it was only natural to participate in the San Jose Battle of the Bands. Besides the cash prize which will be used for the upcoming full-length album, we really wanted to show what we could do. Winning the top prize is another step of where we want to be, which goes right into playing the main stage at the American Bacon Fest in downtown San Jose. Any local musician dreams of playing the massive outdoors stage in the heart of downtown. When it comes down to it, we’re friends, so when you see us live you could feel the chemistry we have as performers. Playing in front of a huge crowd at the Bacon Fest was an adrenaline rush. Whether it’s 5 or 5,000 people, we’re always going to give you everything we got and leave it on stage. And with the confidence and conviction in the songs we’ve written, we want to play for more and more people, cities states, countries, you name it.”

Yeshua and the Hightones have a few shows coming up. Including one at the XBAR in Cupertino on July 12 at 8pm, all ages. They will also be performing at RASTAPALOOZA on July 26 at 8pm at Johnny V’s,  +21.

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