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Austin Sound - The Independent Music Source for Austin » Featured Story Sound Off » Sound Off: Hacienda

Sound Off: Hacienda

By Austin Sound • Apr 12th, 2010 • Category: Featured Story, Sound Off

Surging originally out of San Antonio, Hacienda’s indelible retro pop masterpieces have landed them in good company the past couple years. Most notably, the Villanueva brothers and cousin Dante Schwebel (who takes the lead in answering our profile questions) have served as the backing band for Dan Auerbach’s solo work, but it’s their own tunes that have merited the majority of their much deserved national attention. Cutting Beach Boys harmonies with a suave touch of Tex-Mex rock on par with the Sir Douglas Quintet, Hacienda’s 2008 debut, Loud is the Night delivered a flash of Sixties style that explodes live. This month, the quartet returns with their followup, Big Red and Barbacoa, which you can get a preview of with the song “I Keep Waiting” for download below. Hacienda will be hitting Antone’s this Saturday, April 17, with an awesome local lineup of the Heartless Bastards headlining and Leatherbag opening the night.

Profile: Hacienda

Year Formed:


Members/Instruments played:

Abraham Villanueva- piano/vocals
Dante Schwebel- guitar/vocals
Jaime Villanueva- drums/vocals
Rene Villanueva- bass/vocals

2008: Loud is the Night (Alive Records)
2010: Big Red & Barbacoa (Alive Records)

Strangest comment or comparison ever made about your music:

Someone said I sing in a Mexican accent, and it threw me off. I spent the next few nights conscious of it, and probably made it worse. But I’ve also been told we sound Canadian, so I figure none of those comments mean shit.

Favorite local bands:

The Carrots are my favorite band. I think they have the best songs. I want to be a Carrot badly. And Mike Molnar from Jungle Rockers is the best guitar player I have ever seen live, period. I am not exaggerating one bit. I know he’s young, but he smokes everyone, and plays with taste. Very rare to find.

Favorite local venue:

Beerland is great, and Max over there is on top of it. I’m digging Red 7 now too. I saw a sxsw show and had a great time outside.

Upcoming shows scheduled:

Here, there, Everywhere.

Shows over the next month that you’re excited to see:

I just saw Vampire Weekend and thought that they performed great. This month, I’m gonna try and catch Harlem again, haven’t seen them in about a year or so. Gonna see a Deer Tick show for the first time, but I’ve heard great things. Dr. Dog is a personal favorite that I have to catch.

Some of your favorite albums from the past year:

Brian Olive’s record is amazing. I loved Be Brave from the Strange Boys. Floating Action is a band from Ashville, NC, and they have the best tunes on the planet. Go see Floating Action live, today!

Ideal band (past or present) to open for on a national tour:

I’d like to play with the Greenhornes

Austin Sound questions:

What can y’all tell us about the new album, especially in relation to the debut?

Its a bit more rocking. That just comes from playing live. I’m digging it. I cant really listen to the records once we’ve finished, but I’m still listening, which is a new thing. I think it’s a bigger record, and I love instrumentals, and we put 2 on there. Didn’t think we’d get away with that.

Y’all shot to national attention fairly quickly and impressively. What’s been some of the craziest moments of the ride thus far?

It’s all still new. It’s crazy to see somebody wearing your t-shirt, I cant imagine that ever goes away. The strangest thing is when people walk up to you ask to take a picture and then just start shooting, nobody is in the shot with you yet, but their just taking a picture of you by yourself, and I don’t get that. Other than that it’s becoming normal I guess. Somebody called me fat on the internet, and I thought that was pretty funny.

Where’s the best place for Big Red and barbacoa?

Tommy’s down in San Antonio. It also might be the only place. Its a pretty strange combo.

Song Introduction:

“I Keep Waiting:” is a tune about missing somebody. It’s a simple story, but everyone misses somebody. It’s a bit Phil Spector I suppose, but I was going for Supremes.

Sound Off:

Everyone needs to find out about this Italian, by way of London, artist Pet Molinari. He is amazing. The best voice. The Everly Brothers are my favorite thing in the world, and this guy sings as good as them. The best voice, and great songs, if this guy isn’t huge then good music doesn’t stand a chance. Amazing sounding records. Classic dude, and a sharp dresser to boot.

Mp3 from Big Red and Barbocao:
I Keep Waiting


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One Response »

  1. Hacienda’s April 17th show at Antone’s was tremendous. They played a lot of their new material and, let me tell you, you are inclined to dance (or at the very least keep the beat) the entire time.
    I think Dante sings with a Native American accent.
    (just kidding).

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