“I was stationed in London, England, for eight years and played in a band over there called Fuse,” says Navy retiree Lando Martinez, aka Fat Lando, front man for Hocus. “I was the token Yank of the band and was always thrown the mike because they liked the sound of my funny accent, which — instead of being exotic — cracked everyone up. Nobody takes Americans seriously. We got to play the same venues as the Foo Fighters and Chili Peppers, to the point where the Navy was my part-time job and rock and roll was my first.”
Martinez settled in San Diego and founded Hocus with drummer David Ricci, who works as an airline pilot.
“You’d think that would be great for getting the band around on tour, but I have a huge fear of flying. Plus, as I’ve gotten to know David and what he’s really like…let’s just say I’d rather take a bus! I asked him once if turbulence is for real or just something pilots mess around with when they get bored. He looked at me funny, as if to say, ‘Who told you?’ ”
Hocus has carved out an unusual local niche by booking gigs at retail stores such as Hot Topic and Best Buy.
“You have to be able to set up power for a whole band on two wall outlets,” says Martinez, “but, other than that, it’s a good gig.”
- Friday, July 17, 2009, time TBA
- Dream Street, 2228 Bacon Street, San Diego