From Chico to Hombre
The lyrics and sound of Herman Astro’s 2011 debut Chico expressed the desperation and longing that comes with escaping one’s youth. But thanks to steady touring the past two years, the band has developed a clearer and more mature outlook. In fact, singer Zachary Pluer says a “hombre,” rather than a “chico,” sings the new songs. “We’ve really found a way to fill the spaces between blues, funk, rock, pop and jam,” says Pluer, noting that there’s more interest in letting their songs evolve organically, instead of writing a certain type of tune. “You could say they’re generally more layered and complex than Chico. Though there’s still a lot of structure to our tunes, we’ve broken away from the formulaic ABAB structure,” he says. Pluer’s stepbrother Cody Calderon and childhood friends Eric LeMieux and Adam Dosemagen round out the group. One of the band’s proudest moments came in 2012 when they opened for Alabama Shakes at the Pabst Theater. Recently, they recorded a new EP in New Orleans and plan to release a full-length in the spring. “We’re doing what we’re doing for the love of making music with our closest friends, regardless of where it takes us,” Pluer says.