In the city of Rincon, Puerto Rico, a small group of friends were taking a music class together in high school. Each of them loved music and chose different instruments to allow their creativity to grow, later deciding to bring their love for music to the public. Starting out in the smallest of venues, The Disfunction made music that they loved and wanted to share it with anyone that would listen.
The band itself is made up of core members Manny, Francis, and Nicky. Manny (Manolo Lorenzo) is the lead singer and songwriter of the band, rocking out on keyboard and destroying the microphone every show. Francis (Francis Guzmán) melts faces with guitar riffs and chords on acoustic and electric guitars from beginning to end of the album. And last but not least, Nicky (Nicky Godinez) keeps the smooth sounds going on bass and sometimes acoustic guitar. They have two drummers, one in Puerto Rico (Joseph) and the other here in the US (Carlito). Also in their first album and many other songs featured their friend Christian Cordero, an amazing pianist, and he helped produce a lot of the keyboard and synth work. With all these moving pieces, most bands would lose direction or quality, but in fact, these changes in the band are what makes their music from album to album continuously evolve.
Manny was kind enough chat with us about his career, the band and even what he is listening to right now.
What brought the band together?
We all went to the same high school and grew up as friends. I got into music before anyone in my band. But in high school, everyone in the band took music classes and my keyboard player, who is a phenomenal musician, learned really quickly and he is the best musician out of us. Our Puerto Rican drummer (Joseph, the first original drummer) is a beast of a drummer and plays a masterful classical guitar.
How are your gigs in Puerto Rico different than those here in the US?
The bars pay you to play there, we’re not paid by how many people come in the door. You just play for whatever crowd you get, which is pretty much just tourists. There are a few people that will hand us their business card and will want us for a gig later, but we have to be smart in the business and market ourselves in the right places. It’s all about the hype and mystery, and then deliver on it with amazing shows and albums.
Do you guys sing in Spanish or have any songs in Spanish?
We have two songs in Spanish…that we never play. The latin market is not what we are really aiming for.
What do you do to wind down after a show?
We often stick around the venue to see the other bands and meet people, make connections and then just go out and see the city. Pretty much just a tourist. If I’ve we’ve been there before, sometimes we’ll just grab a drink and then just head home and sleep especially if we have a show the next day.
If you could play in any city in USA, where would you play?
If there is anywhere I would love to play, it would be Nashville. I would also like to play in California again.
What are you listening to now?
What are your plans going forward?
We just want to make it. But we want to make it in a different way. We want to get recognized and play the right places and be with the right people. We are obviously playing a lot of shows to promote the new album now, but if we go back to Puerto Rico at the end of the year, we will most likely start working on a new album.
The Disfunction’s new album 1,2,3… Testing is a beautiful and rugged piece that feeds from the personal lives and styles of each band member. The album is mostly solid rock with a little punk, some alternative and a spoonful of indie which caters well to rock enthusiasts of any kind. The album has is a blend of the sound of The Killers’ Hot Fuzz, the attitude of classic Led Zeppelin and a hint of personal uniqueness reminiscent of U2.
Johnny, the last song of the album, is their most popular song that came with a great new music video. Talking to Manny, the song has a personal connection to him and his friends, telling the story of a friend who fell into a wayward path leading to a lot of self destruction. This really shows the deep, personal and powerful connection the band holds to their music.
During the interview Manny also revealed that his favorite song is “Sunshine,” a beautifully bright and melancholy piece. The bitter sweet story on which it’s based on is what resonated with him. A woman in his life had everything going for her. She beamed like a ray of sunshine in his eyes and was established as “the one” for him. But he let her go and after time, this song was born.
1,2,3… Testing is a phenomenal work filled with hope, sorrow, action and reflection. This album has something for everyone. The Disfunction has one goal: play as much as they can and bring their music to anyone who will listen. You can buy their new album on iTunes and Google Play.