Sandra Velasquez of Pistolera

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Name:  Sandra Lilia Velasquez

Age:  28

Roots:  Mexicana

Where do you live now?  Brooklyn

East vs. West coast?  East coast for the people and the arts. West coast for the Mexican food and the beach.

Day job:  Administrative Assistant for the dance department at Columbia University.

Why “Pistolera”?  It’s feminine and fierce.

Do you own a gun?  Only the kind that squirts water.

Brief background on Pistolera:  My old band [Caramelize] broke up in the fall and I had already been writing new songs in spanish. I knew I had to start a new band. My cousin Ani Cordero said she would be my drummer. She learned all my songs in a day and introduced me to bass player Pablo Martin a couple weeks later. For right now it’s a trio, but I secretly want an accordion player.

Started playing guitar at age:  13. I took up guitar in rebellion of having been forced to play piano my whole life.

…when your musical idol was:  Jimi Hendrix. (I’m a lefty too).

Describe your sound in 3 words:  ranchera rock (I can name it in two words!)

Sample song lyric:  “Es mas facil pedirte perdon, que pedirte permiso”

Writing & singing in Spanish vs. English:  I’ve always written in both, but at the moment it’s all coming out in Spanish.

Musical influences:  early Los Lobos, Vicente Fernandez, Manu Chao, Bersuit Vergarabat

Other influences?  my life, the people around me, the changing of the seasons.

Last 3 CDs you bought:  Very Be Careful (great Colombian band from LA), Lhasa, Lola Beltran

Favorite thing about NYC: diversity

What you hate about NYC:  the cold

Favorite place in NYC:  My bed

Least favorite place in NYC:  Times Square

Favorite NYC bands:  Cuban Cowboys, Cordero, Contramano

If you didn’t live in NY, you’d live in:  Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mexico

Upcoming gigs:  Tuesday, February 15 @ Pianos 10:30pm

What does “cosmopolatino” mean anyway?  latinos in the concrete jungle.

For more info on Pistolera, check out