Bonnie Riot Releases Album to "Chongas Willing to Shake Their Booties"
At its core, Bonnie Riot is founding members Milly La Madrid and Luis Sanabria, who have persevered through countless lineup changes. Their act was revitalized by the addition of its most recent members, giving their sound a punchy and raw rebirth. The band with the gag name that stuck has all its ducks in row now and, according to La Madrid, and recorded its six best tracks for this album.
New Times chatted with the invigorated unit about its long-awaited songs on wax, desire to take over Miami, and love of chongas.
New Times: Don't take this the wrong way, but what took so long to put this baby out?
Luis Sanabria: The combination of lack of funds and members switch.
With so many years worth of material to choose from, how did you decide which songs to put on the album?
Jasmine Sylvia: We wanted a combination of fan favorites, our most energetic moments, and most popular tracks.
Milly La Madrid: We wanted our two new songs on the album too, with our new members for sure. Our other songs were just our catchiest, fun songs we've written.
How have the new Bonnie Riot members changed the sound of the band, if at all?
La Madrid: They have brought an entire new outlook to the band. With this current lineup, things just feel complete.
I've always wondered, has anyone from Bonnie Raitt's team ever contacted you about the rights to the name?
Sylvia: Good question, Milly?
La Madrid: (laughs) That has never happened, but we have definitely gotten the question where people really think I'm the singer from Bonnie Raitt. I'm like really! Do your research people!
It was just something that always came to mind when I heard the name of your group, would you consider sending her the new album?
Sylvia: Consider it done. I'm sure she'd be intrigued to hear who this band is with such a similar name and what we were up to.
Any tour plans to peddle the wares of your debut effort?
La Madrid: They are in the works, and we are looking forward to playing Miami more often as well. Eventually make enough funds to tour northward! Now that we are managed by John Wylie we have many new tour buddies who could join us.
What's been the reaction to Bonnie Riot in Miami? And why do you feel it is so critical to your success?
Sanabria: Every show we've played in Miami has been amazing. We played the Electric Pickle and Grand Central, and both shows were fantastic.
La Madrid: The scene itself there is ideal to expose our sound to, not that it's not here in West Palm Beach, but it's definitely more open to the electronic feel in Miami, and dance beats. It is an element we like to bring to our music.
Sanabria: And Miami always has tons of chongas willing to shake their booties for us.
Oh, really? Luis, please explain what about chongas do you like the most? Is it the tight jeans, crispy hair spray, or excessive makeup?
Sanabria: I'm a chonga lover, what can I say? I love everything about them.
What do you think Bonnie Riot could do to broaden its exposure in the Chonga scene?
Sanabria: Start our shows with a Zumba-like routine, perhaps? I think that would attract some more chonguitas.
How would you describe the sound of the new record to those who have never heard of Bonnie Riot?
La Madrid: Something along the lines of "Indie electrónico raw rock."
Bonnie Riot performs with the Darling Sweets, Raggy Monster, the Muggles, and Mylo Ranger this Saturday, April 6 at Propaganda, 6 South J Street, Lake Worth. Admission is $10, and includes a Bonnie Riot CD. Visit the Facebook page.