Lawrence and Mark Zubia are flat-out Arizona rock 'n' roll royalty. Simply put, it would be difficult to find a more accomplished set of musician brothers from around these parts, save for the Meat Puppets' Cris and Curt Kirkwood. But one could make an argument that the Zubia siblings have plied their trade in a lot more bands than their psychedelic punk contemporaries.
Over the past three decades, the pair have helmed such renowned local acts as The Chimeras, The Pistoleros, and (of course) their namesake outfit, the Zubia Brothers, and all three have featured Lawrence and Mark on guitar and vocals. It would be fitting to call them elder statesmen, of course, but their music spans generations and hardly is tied to one particular sound or scene.
As the Zubia Brothers, they bring to life, according to Lawrence, the sound of a "Chicano wedding band. Something like El Chicano 72 or Malo or early Santana." While the comparison is appropriate, their music has a life of its own, even if the sound is familiar to our ears.
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Veterans of the same late-'80s/early-'90s Tempe scene that spawned local legends like Dead Hot Workshop and the Gin Blossoms (natch), the Zubia brothers made their name in the supremely popular Pistoleros, who were signed by Hollywood Records. While the Pistoleros continue to play the occasional gig and record from time to time, the Zubia Brothers band is an act that Valley music fans should be very excited to see and hear at the Viva PHX Music Festival on Friday, March 7.
"[Mark] sent me a [Viva Phoenix] poster with our names on it, actually, and said, 'This is what we're going to do that day.' I looked at the lineup and said, 'Fuck. yeah, let's do it,'" says Lawrence. "There are so many good bands in town right now, and to be part of this festival, it's just amazing. I can't wait to be able to cruise around and check out as many people as I can."