That giddy feeling of falling in love: as if your stomach dropped down to your knees—and your perceptions turned thrillingly upside-down. “That’s the feeling we want to create when you hear one of our songs,” declares Tijuana-born Miguel Ángel Montes—co-founder of bilingual alternative rock band Somos Uno. He smiles modestly. “At least, well...that’s what we’re always aiming for.”
Founded in East LA and the Inland Empire, Somos Uno began as a two-piece collaboration, initially named named Pet the Music, between singer/guitarist Miguel Montes and bassist/singer Adriana Molina. From the first, their music combined irresistibly catchy harmony and melody with unexpected sonic twists— and bracing power.
Inspired with the influence (and sonic echoes) of bands from Nirvana and the Pixies to Smashing Pumpkins, Somos Uno's sound isn’t easy to pin down to one simple genre or style. “We try to work in that place of harmony where life meets music...letting a song’s structures evolve naturally, as we experiment and explore. There’s never a formula.”
With melodies that are upbeat while never failing to surprise, and lyrics as sincere as they are idiosyncratic, Somos Uno has blown away audiences at SoCal venues like the The House of Blues in Anaheim, The Viper Room, Knitting Factory, Fais Do Do, The Westchester, Mr. T’s Bowl and the Glass House—as well as events and festivals such as San Bernardino’s “Relay for Life.”
Having recently followed up their self-titled debut EP with their first full-length release, “No Matter Where” (available on iTunes, Spotify, and other retailers), the band recently released their first Latin/Spanish bilingual EP, “Girasol” —in December of 2019. In the works are a new single and EP expected to be released early in 2020.
What can listeners hope to hear from their latest release? “Expect to be surprised,” says Miguel. “If there’s one thing we want to achieve, it’s this: that we write songs you can fall in love with—even though they may not sound quite like anything you’ve heard before.”
- Ben Deily
Miguel Ángel Montes was born in Tijuana, México—where, as a five-year-old, he sold gum to tourists—and was raised in East Los Angeles. At fourteen years of age, he got his first job as a musician when he was hired to be the local church’s choir director; he has now been a songwriter, guitarist and arranger for more than twenty years.
Miguel first cut his teeth as a songwriter and arranger in the “rock en español” band Anhes. He later joined Ruido de Fondo, another rock en español band, already making a name for themselves in Los Angeles. With time Miguel gained more experience playing bigger stages, opening for big names like Kinky, Moenia, Jumbo, Los Enanitos Verdes, Aterciopelados, El Gran Silencio, among many others.
Somos Uno began as a collaborative project between Miguel and his then- girlfriend—now wife—Adriana Molina. Somos Uno represents the product of all their joint influences combined, ranging from Ritchie Valens to Juan Gabriel, from the Beatles to Soda Stereo.
Miguel cites his primary influences as Mexican Pop, Rock and Rancheras.
Adriana Molina, born in México City but raised in Southern California, grew up listening to a plethora of music from both sides of the border. Her influences range from the classic Beatles, The Beach Boys, Janice Joplin, A Lovin’ Spoonful to Lila Downs, The Cure, Aterciopelados, Billie Holiday and Bill Withers.
Having grown up around musicians, Adriana’s interest in instruments was piqued at a very young age. However, she did not get a chance to play an instrument herself until she met Miguel Ángel Montes; originally introduced as “pen pals,” they became romantically involved—and pooled their influences and talents to create their own band, initially called Pet the Music.
As Somos Uno’s bassist, Adriana has had the opportunity to play many local venues in Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. Somos Uno has also made it a priority to participate in many community events, such as Relay for Life, and other gatherings and fund-raisers focused on promoting the arts within communities. Adriana is currently in pre-production with Somos Uno working on a new release, expected to be released eary 2020.