The Caliente Column

Ladron: Size Isn't Everything
By Doug Shannon (tmaxgroup@yahoo.com)

Last year, Ladron didn't even play in San Antonio, let alone Kansas
City. But since the peso's plunge last December, more Mexican groups
have been touring the U.S.

Direct from Monterrey, Ladron is a young, romantic group that highlights
the musical and lyrical talent of Sergio Villarreal, the group's
vocalist.

Sergio, Omar, Gary and Willy met at the School of Music of the
University Regiomontana in Mexico. Ladron began its career as a rock
group called Los Gatos Con Botas. However, they decided that long-term
success lay in joining la onda grupera.

"We wanted to be more in contact with the majority of the people,"
Villarreal said. "The music of la onda grupera is the music of our
people."

In 1991 the group recorded its first album for Disa Records, "Corazon
Desvalido." According to Villarreal, the album sold well in the
Monterrey area, but resulted in only one hit, "Son Cosas Del Amor."

Their big break came in 1992 with the release of "No Tengo Lagrimas,"
which sold 600,000 copies.

All ten of the album's songs were written by Villarreal. Hits like
"Tu Me Quieres Lastimar" and "Amor En Llamas" were played on radio
stations from Oaxaca to Washington.

They returned in 1994 with "Culpable De Tu Amor," which featured the
mariachi hit "Te Casaste" and "Sola," the sad sequel to "Tu Me Quieres
Lastimar."

Between touring and recording, Villarreal also does songwriting and
production for other groups. His cumbia "Oye Tu" was covered by
Flamingo and Sonido Mazter.

"We've produced Sonido Mazter, Los Cardenales de Nuevo Leon, Banda
Movil, and Banda R-15," he said.

"Right now the time I spend with Ladron doesn't permit me to do this
too often. In the future, when I retire from Ladron, I plan to spend
my time producing new groups."

If you're a musician and you're thinking of joining Ladron, you'd
better find another group. Although Ladron is one of the smallest
groups around, with only four members, they're quite happy that way.

"Four members is more than sufficient for a group like ours,"
Villarreal said.

"The four of us can do anything that a group with eight can. Our
drummer plays the drums and the percussions. I play the guitar and
sings. Our bass player sings backup vocals."

He added that he has no plans to leave the group for a solo career.

Check out their new CD "Cara De Inocente," scheduled for a July 1995
release.