Hocus is fronted by Lando Martinez (aka Fat Lando), who retired from the U.S. Navy in 2008 after serving 20 years. “I’m a rarity,” he says. “I’ve served my country honorably, and I write great songs. Plus, I’m retired and look 25.”
After playing their first show at O’Connell’s in January 2009, the band’s debut album Better Than You was nominated Best Local Recording at the 2010 San Diego Music Awards.
Martinez describes his songwriting as “A blend of ’90s, British, and today... I’d say Hocus music is like a smooth, relaxing drink with a twist of razor blades. Music that is melodic and raw at the same time. For being a three-piece, we make quite a ruckus.”
Hocus also includes bassist/singer Lorina Montejano (aka Lolita) and drummer Ryan Schilawski (aka Rhino). The trio appears in the upcoming documentary A San Diego Concert Film, which also features such locals as the Soft Pack, the Silent Comedy, and Transfer.
Hocus is working on a new CD slated for release later this year.
WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
1) The Doors, L.A. Woman. “Jim’s last hurrah — you can hear it in his voice. This album should be listened to late at night while driving.”
2) Stone Temple Pilots, No. 4. “Scott Weiland’s heroin album. He’s battling addiction, and his bandmates provide the soundtrack.”
3) Ozzy Osbourne, Diary of a Madman. “The title track alone still gives me the heebie jeebies.”
1) Tom Waits, Anthology. “He’s so amazing because of the unique rhythmic hooks, the unconventional percussion, and his grotesque voice.”
2) Fu Manchu, We Must Obey. “They have heavy grooves in their sound.”
3) Superjoint Ritual, Use Once and Destroy. “The band jumps right into hard, abrasive punk.”
1) Joshua Bell, Romance of the Violin. “He picked great songs, and his intonation and style is to die for.”
2) Velfarre Cyber Trance 01. “Compilation of my favorite electronic-trance music.”
EVER BEEN INJURED ONSTAGE?
Martinez: “I sometimes slam my teeth into the mic, causing this horrible thud sound and either a chipped tooth or split lip.”
BEST VOICE IN SAN DIEGO?
Martinez: “If you want venom, spit, and hellfire delivered in an unforgettable performance, Vikki SexXx from Squirrelly Arts.”
Rhino: “Tori Roze of the Hot Mess.”
Lolita: “Emilio Conde from Montecristo.”
IF YOU COULD TIME TRAVEL, WHEN/WHERE WOULD YOU VISIT?
Rhino: “I would travel to the late ’80s and early ’90s and stop the DJ era from ever starting, so people would still care about making music instead of butchering it.”
Lolita: “1969, so I could see my idols like Janis, Jimi, and Johnny Cash.”
BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT FOR FREE?
Martinez: “The public library has free Wi-Fi, books, and a great DVD and CD collection. Enjoy your tax dollars.”
Rhino: “I grab some 40s and a Big Gulp cup and just get lost in Balboa Park.”
Lolita: “I hang out at bookstores in Hillcrest.”
Martinez: “Velvet Revolver at Cricket Amphitheatre was great because you had three bands for the price of one. They played their music, Guns N’ Roses, and Stone Temple Pilots.”
Rhino: “The Vandals in 2003, when the Warped Tour was still kind of cool. They were so energetic.”
Lolita: “Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie. I’ve loved Ozzy forever, enough to get him tattooed on my ass, and Rob Zombie showed me what it was like to be horny at age ten.”
FIRST TIME YOU GOT DRUNK?
Martinez: “I was 14 in Dallas, Texas, being a fool with my friends. We slammed a 12-pack of Budweiser and drank a fifth of Jack Daniels. We were in a small park and, for whatever reason, there was a small cemetery and we decided to knock over all the tombstones.”
WHAT REMAINS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Martinez: “To go on tour with either Stone Temple Pilots or the Foo Fighters.”
Lolita: “Go to xLAN in New Zealand. It’s a computer-geek thing.”
YOUR BEST PICKUP LINE?
Martinez: “I’m in a band.”
Rhino: “If you were yogurt, would you be fruit at the bottom or stirred?”
SOMETHING WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?
Martinez: “I hate walking barefoot.”
Rhino: “I have a tattoo on the inside of my lower lip.”
Lolita: “I’m really a violinist.” ■