Locos por Juana (Crazy About Jane) is one of those bands that make us music-writer types appreciate what we do. These guys are not about money. Or fame. They speak of music the way poets speak of life. Seven years ago, nine Miami kids were drawn together by a common trait. They're Colombian, Boricua, Argentine, and Venezuelan, but most of all, they're from Miami, and they knew their music had to be as eclectic — as identifiable — as the city that produced it. On October 27, Locos will play with Ozomatli on the VW Soccer Tour in Miami. New Times took the trip south to their home studio to sit with frontman Itagüi Correa and lead guitarist Mark Kondrat of the 2005 Latin Grammy nominees to talk about the show and their third album, which is scheduled to drop next year.
New Times: How would you describe your sound?
Correa: What makes us different is our culture. Our base is cumbia. We play cumbia because we're Colombian. We play salsa because we're Puerto Rican. We do dancehall because we're from the islands. And we're all of it because we're from Miami.
So you're with a new label?
Correa: There were many [companies] who offered us the opportunity to sign, but we didn't want to be owned. We wanted, you know, a joint venture. We just need the backing because we have our own studio. We have the people. [Machete Records] gave us that opportunity.
What else is new?
Correa: Right now, we're doing a song for a Hector Lavoe tribute, but it's an urban tribute, which features Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, a bunch of reggaeton artists doing hip-hop [over Lavoe classics]. We also did the theme music for a Food Network program with Ingrid Hoffman. We're always moving from side to side.
Kondrat: On October 30, we're playing for iTunes executives. It's a showcase by all the subdivisions of Universal to show what's coming in 2008. We'll be representing Machete... We're [also] doing benefit concerts for orphan children in Haiti called Love Hope Prosper. We raised $5,000 or $6,000, and with that, they can build two houses.
Correa: We're interested in activism now. Soon, we'll be focusing on poverty in South America.
How has your sound changed over the years?
Kondrat: We have families now. We're married with kids. We've grown, as individuals and as musicians.
So how has that changed your music?
Correa: I've told my wife, I'm married, but I get inspiration from everyone. And you can't lose that — when you see a beautiful woman, you can't deny that inspiration. It doesn't mean I'm going to cheat on my wife, but you can't put your head in a box; inspiration is everywhere.