hardcore, interview, Interviews, Los kung fu monkeys, music, punk, ska

Los Kung Fu Monkeys

Los Kung Fu Monkeys are a band from Tijuana with rich sounds with ska, punk, hardcore influences. I saw them I’d say 7 years ago and I was an instant fan. They perform with great energy and have some very catchy song. To me theirs no better show then a Ska show. It’s good to see that there still around after all these years and there sound is constantly evolving. Today I had a change to talk with Bernardo Leos lead singer.
Update: As a special tread I decided to put up the entire interivew! so sit back relax and have a good read :]
BBM: When did you know you wanted to play ska/punk and how did the band form? 
Bernardo Leos: well my friends and my self where always interested in music, we got in to skateboarding, punk rock, and listening to punk bands we discovered ska as well, when we heard the mix with rancid, the bosstones, suicide machines, the clash we knew that was the mix we wanted to do in 1997 when we started the band

BBM: Hows the sound of the band changed from the band first forming?

Bernardo Leos: well a lot, every records is different when we did “Rebuilding the World” in 2001 it had a raw punk ska sound, by the time we did “End Transmission” we got a little more technical on the punk and hard core sound, some harmonies on vocals, and so on… with age I guess our writing got more not so about the teenage angst we had at 17, now my self at 32 let’s say we have other things to talk about like modern day politics in our country where we just experiences a fraudulent election, or some friends that have gone the wrong path in life, we still sing  about our everyday life but in the perspective that some of us now have kids, our interest changed, damn I still listed to Punk in Drublic and get that feeling when I was a kid, but I do not see my self listening to a new band about fucking up, parties, and being a kid, ’cause I’m not a kid anymore, we still sing about drinking in a more mature way though hehehe, even our sound seem more matures but still with that same power we have always had, just different I think
BBM: How did you come up with the band’s name Los Kung fu Monkeys?
 Bernardo Leos: long story short, we had a show in 97, we needed a name, we graved a Black Belt Magazine and we saw the Name Monkey Kung Fu, our first flyer says Monkey Kung fu, not Los Kung Fu Monkeys, people after that started calling us “Los Kung Fu Monkeys” and it stayed, we thought of changing the name, we thought it sounded dumb and it did not go with the sound, after so many years that name got us in to a lot of places and we love it

BBM: We can we expect an American tour we miss you down in San Antonio, TX!
Bernardo Leos: hopefully soon, after the demise of our american label One Shot Records we toured less in the U.S., we are talking with some of our buddy bands and thinking about something hopefully soon, maybe do something again with VGS or we might see something with Big D, we’ll see nothing for sure yet but it is on our plans

BBM: How’s the scene down in Tijuana?

Bernardo Leos: Great man, we love it, I bring down bands all the time, shows are cool, you can ask bands like Union 13, VGS, The Toasters, Wisecracker (Germany), Tumbledown (Mike MXPX), Big D, La Plebe, and I think they are all going to tell you they had a good time man… don’t believe all you hear on the news

BBM: I love the blend of Spanish and English lyrics do you feel it’s important to stay close to your roots?  

Bernardo Leos: Never forget your roots man, and our roots are in a border between 2 really different worlds, we have the best of both, Tijuana is our roots, a city of unlimited culture from both Mexico and the U.S., no other boarder town in the world like Tijuana

BBM: Who are some of the bands influences?

Bernardo Leos: many man, too many to name all, but from old punk bands like the Clash, Ramones, Descendents, Misfits, black flag to Bad Religion, Rancid, NOFX, Suicide Machines, The Bosstones, La Polla Records, Tijuana No, Skatalites, Elvis Costello, damn dude even some 80’s, metal, new wave, oi!, latin music not only punk or ska, I can go on for hours

BBM: Where do you find inspiration in life?  
Bernardo Leos: all of us are very different, I can speak for my self, a lot of it comes from music for me, living life in a good way, doing what I love like music, martial arts, food, man I just love life in general, getting up every day and know I work with bands that I love, with my band mates, touring in places I would never imagine I would be in, I did everything they told me not to and I’m glad I did man, I have lived thing a lot of guys only wish they did, I feel complete

BBM: I love The Cure cover I heard a long time ago any plans for upcoming covers?

Bernardo Leos: well we’ve recorded a couple of covers like Screaming at a wall from Minor Threat, and Lobo Hombre en Paris from La Union, don’t know if we’ll do anymore, let’s see what happens 

BBM:Funniest touring moment?
Bernardo Leos: I’m not going to say who or the band we toured with, one of the guys got so drunk he puked, pissed and pooped his pants, and the rest of the trip it was “Hi Captain Poppy pants”, still he took it well

BBM: Favorite place to tour?

Bernardo Leos: many man, in the U.S. let’s say L.A., El Paso (Chico’s tacos), San Antonio I had a bitchin’ time there, I love touring Europe, England, Mexico, Canada… just love touring

BBM: Three words that describe the band?

 Bernardo Leos: Full of Heart

BBM: Whats some words of wisdom you would give a youth wanting to start a band?

Bernardo Leos: don’t do it, go to school and get rich… 
dude work hard and don’t expect to get anything in your had just like that, go play, make your records, and tour tour tour, and learn how to read music too it helps 

BBM: Whats coming up for the band in the future?

Bernardo Leos: a new 7″ split with Voodoo Glow Skulls coming out this month, and we will do a series of split with bands we are homies and love like The Toasters, Big D and Kids Table, possibly the Real Mckenzies, and so on, we’ll see… and looking in to touring The U.S., Canada, Europe and of course the U.S.

BBM: Any last words anything you want to add?

Bernardo Leos: thanx for the interview man we appreciate it a lot, thanx to all the fans for keeping us alive, and dudes support your scene specially you local bands, if you don’t support they won’t survive we need all the support we can get guys… and tell your friends about us and check our site www.loskfm.com 

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