A FEW WORDS ABOUT EL CENTO
El Cento is a three-piece band hailing from Austin, TX. Their self-titled debut album is a wide-ranging journey from quirky “NYC 1977″ angularity to modern indie rock. Purveyors of “Massively Spartan Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the band values the spaces between the notes as much as the notes themselves. With each song and performance the goal is to paint a broad and dramatic sonic picture using grace, control, wit and experience instead of bombast or histrionics. Wry lyrics and unparalleled musicianship round out the bill. These guys can play, but it’s what they choose not to play that makes them unique.
El Cento coalesced in 2009 as an outlet for singer/guitarist Don Cento’s songwriting. After a decade of playing guitar and keyboards in bands (Shibboleth, Chomsky) and producing (Trey Johnson, Bobby Patterson), Don decided it was time to step in front of the microphone. Lots of home demos and a few solo gigs later he realized that being a “singer-songwriter” wasn’t going to cut it. An actual band was needed.
Enter drummer Earl Darling. Having played in seminal alternative band Spot, Earl is no stranger to holding down the fort on unique and twisty songs. To aid and abet him at the first rehearsal Earl brought along journeyman bass player Dave Prez (he of another renowned band, Mildred, as well as a hundred other bands). Introductions were made, and just like that a new band was born. The next year was spent writing, rehearsing, re-writing, and demoing. A few cautious early gigs were thrown in the mix and now a year later El Cento is a confident and quirky live act. In late 2011 Don moved to Austin, TX and the band now operates as a “bi-costal” entity.
The self-titled debut album was produced and mixed by Stuart Sikes (White Stripes, Cat Power, Modest Mouse) at his studio in Oak Cliff, Texas. Over the course two-weeks in November, 2010 (minus a day off for Thanksgiving), the band laid down twelve songs worth of drums, bass, guitars, vocals, percussion and synthesizers. Innumerable tacos and gallons of coffee were consumed. Two more weeks in January, 2011 spent mixing and the album was finished. Mastering was provided by Jeff Lipton (Destroyer, Arcade Fire, Spoon, Magnetic Fields) at Peerless Mastering in Boston, MA.
About the band name… “El Cento” was a nickname given to Don after he managed to pull a D in highschool Spanish class by simply putting an “o” on the end of English nouns. That probably says more about his friend’s nickname-giving skills than anything else. Also it’s nice to be in the same band name category as Dokken, Van Halen, etc.