July 29, 2008

Low Luster League Wins SiTV Competition

By Adriana M. Chavez, El Paso Times, Texas

Jul. 29--EL PASO -- Local pop-punk favorites Low Luster League were crowned winners of SiTV's "Jammin' 2" reality show, which pitted unsigned, Latin-influenced bands against each other for money, fame and equipment.

The El Paso trio -- singer/guitarist Hapa Martinez, drummer Oakie Granados and bassist Latus Murillo -- were officially dubbed the winners during the show's finale, which was taped several months ago.

"It was marvelous, overwhelming," Martinez said.

Every Sunday during the show's run, the band hosted a get-together with friends and family to watch. Although there may have been times the band cringed at its on-screen reactions, overall they were pleased with how they were portrayed.

"We always see something and think we could have done that a little bit better, but overall it was the best experience we've ever had," Murillo said.

Granados said his only regret was not being more vocal about his opinions.

"I guess I could have been a little bit more elaborate, in a way, in what I said or what I did not say," Granados said. "Overall, it was just amazing."

Granados said the experience strengthened the bond between the three musicians, who have been friends since high school.

"It brought us a little closer and (made the band) much, much better," Granados said.

The exposure has also earned the band more fans. Messages on the band's MySpace page have "quadrupled.""When the shows air, we get so many messages like 'Where do I get your albums?' or 'Where are you

playing?' or 'How do I get a T-shirt?' " Martinez said.

And the band is reveling in its prizes, including $10,000 and a Gibson sponsorship. It will also be featured in the September issue of People en Espanol.

The money and equipment came in handy for the band, which is known for playing with damaged instruments.

"We've always been struggling with cruddy equipment," Martinez said. "I've never really had a guitar amp. I was always borrowing someone else's. But everything we were lacking, now we have it. If you hire us, we come prepared."

Since the show ended, the band has kept a consistent show schedule. "We're always in need of shows. It's like our drug. We're addicted," Martinez said.

SiTV can be viewed on digital cable Channel 461, or Dish Network Channel 159.

Adriana M. Chavez may be reached at [email protected]; 546-6117.

Band info --To check out Low Luster League, visit the MySpace site at www.myspace.com/lowlusterleague.

--Catch a performance live at 10 p.m. Aug. 7 at Cincinnati Street Bar and Grill, 207 Cincinnati.


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