It comes as no question that music rules the world. Regardless of the country or state, music makes its presence known and plays a huge role in society. Music dates back as far as history allows and it has adapted immensely over time. Since then, people have divided music into genres, all of which has developed some sort of following by the masses. Country by country, the genre that dominates culture is often different from other countries, many of times being the music that defines the country in some fashion. The Dominican Republic (DR) is home to many genres, most notably reggae, merengue, and pop. The DR is the second largest of the Caribbean countries, with approximately 11 million people calling the beautiful island nation home.
The United States of America has long been the home of rock music, with few nations grasping rock and roll the way America has embraced it over the years. The DR, however, is an emerging underground rock scene that is just beginning to soar. Horns knows this all too well, as they are leading a movement that transitions rock from a state of surviving to thriving. Horns is from the capital of the DR, Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo is the nation’s largest city, in which almost 4 million people call home. I got to sit down with frontman Enmanuel Morey (EM), who co-founded the band in 2015 with guitarist Giancarlo Simo, drummer Alejandro Chahin, bassist Emmanuel Miura, guitarist Carlos Inoa, and drummer/percussionist Mario Luis.
Q: How did Horns come together?
EM: Three of us used to play in a hardcore band together. After a couple of years playing the same genre, we wanted to experience a little bit more in rock, surf rock, and psychedelia.
Q: That’s awesome. Many bands are terrified to stray from their roots and branch out into other genres. What obstacles did you guys face in that process?
EM: At the beginning, it was very challenging but interesting because we all are influenced by all types of things. With Horns, we are trying to put it all together. I’ll say that the biggest obstacle we have found is to introduce the sound on the island because we are not that heavy anymore, but we are still heavier than most rock bands here. That leads us to make our own shows and build everything ourselves, even though people are getting it now.
Q: Would you say that the culture in the Dominican Republic is receptive of your music and style?
EM: They are being receptive now. At the beginning it was hard, because people wanted to dance to the surf rock, but some wanted to headbang. So, we guess it was awkward for most of the public. Little by little and show by show, people have changed a lot. We have changed a lot and they are being more receptive to whatever Horns have to offer. Also, we sing in English for the public even though they are bilingual and are asking for more Spanish lyrics.
Q: What has that experience been like for Horns? To see people grow towards the group as time goes on?
EM: It’s been awesome and inspiring. To have the public to grow musically as you grow your art feels amazing. New people are coming to the shows and our EP release was an amazing experience for us and everything has been great since then.
Q: “Bison” is the debut EP from Horns. What was the experience of recording it like? Did it meet your expectations?
EM: The experience was great but frustrating, because we recorded everything in a couple of days. We spent the whole day recording and mixing, and we had beds in the studio. When everything came out we didn’t like it, we had to record some songs again and also mix it with somebody else so we can finally master something we liked. In the end, it did meet our expectations.
Q:How exciting is it to hear your own EP? Does it really set in that “wow, this is MY music?”
EM: Yes it does. Here on the island, it is pretty hard to dedicate yourself to throw your music out there and just the fact to have my voice on our album online on every streaming platform is amazing. I love how it sounds and I do listen to it. It makes me feel excited for how the next step in our music will be.
Horns is leading a new wave of rock music in the Dominican Republic
EM: For the band right now, we are trying to get our music out there. We finally got the EP out, so its time to promote it. We are looking ways to play outside of the country, it could be a small show, it doesn’t matter. We just want to get our work out there and if one person liked it, then it was totally worth it. For me, I’m working a lot on my vocals. I want to add less Rage Against The Machine vibes and more of that psychedelic tone. I’m also working with some friends on pedals to add that kick to the vocals.
Q: In closing, what goals does Horns have for 2019?
EM: For Horns, our goals are to improve our listeners, get as much promo as we can, and PLAY LOTS OF SHOWS with different people. People that can add value to art in general, it doesn’t matter if they don’t sound as heavy as we do. Getting out there and trying as hard as we can to get out there so we can throw more music out and everybody can take a listen to it.
Horns is what music is all about. This group is driven by passion and hard work, both of which can inspire each and every one of us. You can stream “Bison” on all major streaming platforms. Follow them on Spotify and add them to your weekly rotation! Be sure to follow Horns on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with their daily journey in changing rock and roll in the Dominican Republic.