Biography / Info
As the drummer for high energy Celtic rock powerhouse Tempest, Adolfo Lazo has kept the blazing grooves going to the tune of 100 shows a year all across the U.S. over the past 20 years. While keeping thousands of fans revved up and excited as part of one of the most dynamic working bands on the indie rock scene, the Cuban born and bred, Bay Area based musician never stopped dreaming of breaking free creatively and someday emerging as a solo artist in his own right.
Lazo may have a mixed Cuban-Portuguese heritage, but the mix of Irish music and rock that has defined the Tempest experience over the course of over 12 CD releases and thousands of shows is just as much a part of his musical blood. His emergence from behind the drum kit with On Tape introduces the indie rock world to a rich musical palette of influences that mixes classic American music forms (blues, indie rock, folk) with Latin rock, country and even elements of ska on the hooky and hypnotic “Red and Yellow.” Produced by well known Bay Area musician Gawain Mathews—who also plays electric guitar, mandola, keys and percussion—the infectious 13-song collection is a true celebration of genre-transcending, old school DIY music making. It also lives up to its unique name by being originally recorded on an ADAT digital tape. Lazo’s packaging is also retro and unique in that the CD itself is designed like a reel to reel tape.
For the listener, the fun part is taking a wild musical journey whose next destination is so cool and unpredictable. Lazo gets into his Latin rock mode and jaunts to his homeland of Cuba on “Rey De Espana,” a wistful reflection of having the almost royal opportunity to stay with his cousin at a nice hotel before the government allowed Cuban citizens to do so. Other adventures along the way include the high-spirited, folky sing-along “365,” country rocker “Outta Vegas,” about the straying thoughts of two lovers as their fortunes rise and fall in a casino; the Santana like Spanish-folk-blues rocker “Cual Es Tu Carrera”; the anthemic Spanglish drinking song “Borracho”; the blasting high energy of “Rice Rockets,” a Violent Femmes type tune about Lazo’s son’s obsession with quarter mile drag racing; the trippy and percussive, mostly instrumental club jam “Get Your Get”; and the blistering, attention getting instrumental blues rocker “Two Minute Love,” whose original version featured some quirky X-rated vocal sexual connotations.
While still very much a part of Tempest, Lazo is excited about the possibilities happening now that he’s fully committed to forging a solo career as a singer/songwriter. “It’s really a fascinating process to go from years as a band member to standing onstage in front of friends and strangers with a guitar, finally having a chance to perform my own material,” he says. “Artistically, this is so fulfilling to me and I love playing my songs with this great band I’ve assembled. I’ve been a professional musician for a long time and connecting with the audience with my songs is a whole new adventure, I’m enjoying it”.