We welcome Los Angeles writer Carlita Howard to KMW. Singing the Sesame Street theme song from the crib and being raised by Chilean musician parents, María Del Pilar was born to be creative. She went on to front and co-found an influential LA based Latin alternative punk band Los Abandoned (whom she still considers her brothers) who broke new ground singing in Spanglish in the rock arena, amassing a loyal and rabid fan base. Her songs have been featured on national TV and in documentary films.
María’s stepped out solo and recently returned to the alt rock/pop spotlight with her latest album, Songs & Canciones I, the first of a planned trilogy of albums with II coming end of 2014 and III coming soon after. A visual artist as well, her latest video for her single, “Motivation” explores muse alter-egos. I chatted with Maria last week about her new project and more…
Carlita: While you were with Los Abandoned, you had the chance to meet Paul McCartney? How was that experience?
Maria: Yeah, it was great. We were signed to Neil Young’s label (Vapor Records) so he had us do his big benefit concert in Silicon Valley. It was the same year Paul McCartney was headlining and we had an opportunity to meet him backstage….He totally walks the talk. He represents and the Beatles represented love and understanding and it’s a wonderful thing to be a musician and create these moments for people. That was his advice for us. He told us “isn’t it great that we can do this for a living? Isn’t it great we can make people have these moments in their lives?”.. I’ve had some great experiences of meeting inspiring people that remind you to keep going and do what you do.
Carlita:You have Songs & Canciones I and this is a part of a trilogy?
Maria: Yes, my crazy idea! I hope it flies! I wanted to do something different that would be able to show this really prolific moment I’m having right now. Before I came out with this record, I was having writer’s block and having a hard time finding inspiration… I feel like there’s so much to be said now. In books and movies, sometimes stories need to be told in three parts. Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 …We should be able to do this in music too and give them something to look forward to instead of “Ok here’s my record. I don’t know what’s next”.
Carlita: What would someone be surprised to know about you?
Maria: I like bourbon on the rocks. Give it to me straight. I don’t want a girly drink. I hate girly drinks.
Carlita: So you won’t be having any daiquiris or margaritas?
Maria: Hell no. I want bourbon on the rocks. Straight. I don’t know if that’s my inner Chilean cowboy coming out…could be showing my folk side.
Carlita: What are your plans for the rest of 2013?
Maria: We’re going to do a summer tour and are putting final touches on that. We’ve already started writing Songs & Canciones II right now and will just keep chugging away and doing what I do. I’m making a couple more videos for this album which I really enjoy. There are more surprises to come.
By Carlita Howard
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” ~ Maya Angelou
“Woman is the Wonder of the World.” ~ Billy Joe Shaver