Miami, say goodbye to Arboles Libres. Don’t worry. Singer Juan “Nacho” Londono, guitarist Eddie Moreno, and drummer Anthony Genovese are not ditching their hometown, though they are making a drastic change.
After much introspection during their latest tour, the trio is switching its name to … Eagle Chief and Londono, who has played rhythm guitar on recordings and in live performances, will play bass on the band’s upcoming tour and releases, including a 7″ and a new album. To learn more about the ongoing evolution of one of Miami’s best-loved bands, here’s an email Q&A between me and Eagle Chief drummer Genovese.
You guys have a strong following and identity around the name Arboles Libres. Changing it could not have been an easy decision — how did it come about?
Genovese: It was not an easy decision nor was it an easy time for the band. Personally, being as honest as I can be, it was around the last two weeks of the tour in which we experienced a change in our music. A sort of change that a band experiences and feels when the music they had first started playing and made them who they are, no longer is who they are.
This evolution though could not be simply fixed by a new album. Our identity as a band had to be changed.
Honestly, we wanted a band name that could be taken a little bit more seriously without having the struggle to have venues ask you for an English name or translation to your band name. A name that other bands can see and want to feel intrigued in what we are all about without having them cast a judgmental eye.
Arboles Libres was an amazing time in our lives. The name took us to some amazing heights, and we meet some of the best people and played with some of the best bands in the country. But lets face it, how many people can even pronounce the damn name?
Arboles Libres evolved to Eagle Chief. Our strong following isn’t driven by our name (I hope haha). I believe it’s driven my the musicians that our in this band. I believe our fans will push us regardless of our name. Our fans should be excited to hear our new songs that will be on the 7″, and all the new art work we have been working on with our crew. We promise this change is for the better.
Editor’s note: This is Eagle Chief’s new logo (on the left) and the cover to the band’s upcoming 7″.
Why Eagle Chief?
Genovese: We began thinking of band names that we felt close to. We had an entire page at one point with random sayings here and there, and we spent like three days on tour really thinking what we wanted to do. Eventually we had come across Eagle Chief, which served as the name for Eddie’s solo project. Arboles Libres had played under Eagle Chief once before when we had our Halloween show two years ago at Churchill’s. We promoted the show as Eagle Chief. Once the name came into light, we knew that was our new identity.
Does this have anything to do with your recent tour?
Genovese: This change began two months ago. Our first taste of the evolution was when we were on tour with Mechanical River and we had the privilege to share a song on stage together in Charleston, South Carolina, at the Tin Roof. While rehearsing for the show, Nacho jumped on bass as Eddie took lead guitar and as we jammed that day we heard a little taste of what could be the evolution of Arboles Libres. On the ride home from that tour, we began to bring up the idea of Nacho switching over to bass and running the remainder of the tours with a new lineup. One thing lead to another, and we are here.
Does this signal a change in sound or a new phase for the band?
Genovese: I believe both. Our new songs have a dark blues feel to them, and With Nacho on bass now our old songs have a different feel to them. As of now, we are trying to rewrite “Yellow Man” to fit this new change in our sound. As a phase for the band, it’s more like an evolution from child to man.
Did you record the upcoming 7″ under the new name? If so, did that change the process at all for you guys?
Genovese: I don’t want to release to much information on the upcoming 7″ other than it is being released under Eagle Chief and it’s titled Freedom.
Where does Eagle Chief fly from here?
Genovese: We will be on tour until May 9th all over the east and south. When we come back, the band will be working on the upcoming album and on releasing the 7″ and playing a shit ton of shows with our fellow friends cause there is nothing like playing Miami.
Genovese ended his email with thanks to “all the people that were involved in making Arboles Libres what it is today.” For Eagle Chief info and updates, visit eaglechiefband.com.