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Hermanos Gutierrez on their new album 'El Bueno Y El Malo'


Music can transport us, like latest tracks from the band Hermanos Gutierrez, which take us back in time to the Old West.


SIMON: The new album from Hermanos Gutierrez is called "El bueno y el malo." And the band's two members, of course, are brothers Alejandro and Esteban Gutierrez, and they both join us now.

Gentlemen, thanks so much for being with us.

ESTEVAN GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Scott.

ALEJANDRO GUTIERREZ: Oh, thank you so much, Scott, for having us. It's a pleasure.

SIMON: Let me begin by asking you, Alejandro. I gather this album's a travelogue of sorts, your own travelogue based on where you go, where you tour, what you've seen.

A GUTIERREZ: Oh, yeah, definitely. I think, as brothers, we did some traveling around the world, and it always had a - it was a big inspiration to be on the road with my brother. And we came back from those journeys, and we always got inspired, and we wrote new music.

SIMON: Estevan.

E GUTIERREZ: We're a good team, a travel team, even though sometimes we also got to our limits being together, but at the end, it's always a beautiful inspiration to be on the road. And we saw so many beautiful places. And it's - yeah, we're so grateful.

SIMON: Of course, "El bueno y el malo," the good and the bad - it's hard not to hear some of this and not think about "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly."

A GUTIERREZ: Oh, yeah, it is. I remember when we wrote the song "El bueno y el malo," we didn't had a title for the record, not even for the song. And I played the wrong chord on my guitar. And my brother just looked at me, and he was like, hey, why don't you play like that? And he said to me, you know what? I'm going to play a new melody over that new melody of mine.

The first note just stuck with me. It was just - just transmit me to the Ennio Morricone landscape. And I think it just said the whole mood for the whole record. And that was one of those magical moments.


SIMON: The whole soundscape evokes open space, lonely prairies, big unfolding skies. That's what we're meant to hear?

E GUTIERREZ: Yeah. I mean, you know, we started because my brother moved away, and so we weren't that close together. And so we missed each other. And one night my brother called me. Hey, why don't you come over the next day? It's a one-hour drive. And why don't you take your guitar with you? I went to his house, and we started to play. And then we felt the connection.


E GUTIERREZ: There is something in our simple guitar playing that has such an energy, such a power. That was beautiful to feel it. And it's always something magical to feel this connection between us.

SIMON: Alejandro Gutierrez, words would just get in the way. You let your guitars do the talking?

A GUTIERREZ: I think it's always been an ambition to keep it instrumental because we got inspired by so many great film scores. So we always believe that we want to create something similar, something which every listener can put his own experience, his part in it. And I think lyrics sometimes can just give too much of a direction of the song. Keeping it instrumental, it just - we just love that feeling.


SIMON: May I ask you both, what were you like as brothers growing up?

E GUTIERREZ: Well, we have an age difference of eight years. I'm the oldest. He's the youngest of four siblings. But we always had this connection between us. It's just like best friends, like real brothers.

A GUTIERREZ: Oh, yeah. I think he was the one who inspired me to pick up the guitar. He left to Ecuador for one year. It was, again, a feeling of missing my brother. I started to play the guitar because maybe I just wanted to be like him, you know? But it's music keeping us together, and we stay connected.


SIMON: And another song toward the end of your album, "La verdad." What would you like people to - who are listening to that song to envision or to realize?

E GUTIERREZ: Every song of ours is like a journey itself. And it starts always slow and it gives you time to think and to feel yourself. This is also this is the same thing that we want to do with "La verdad." It means the truth. It's like finding your own truth in your soul.


SIMON: I've been blessed to travel all over the world, but I'm afraid I'm that kind of traveler that - I fall asleep in the first few minutes and wake up when we get there. So I've missed out on a lot. And do people tend to look at a journey is winding up someplace when the whole point of it is maybe best to notice what's along the route?

A GUTIERREZ: I see a parallel world to human relations, and it's about the way to get there and the process of growing with each other - sometimes up and downs, you know? It's like - it's not always smooth. And I think a lot of our journeys are like that. So it kind of stands for a metaphor of how we can connect to people, family, friends and strangers.


SIMON: Estevan and Alejandro Gutierrez. They are the Hermanos Gutierrez. And the new album is "El bueno y el malo."

Thank you both very much for being with us.

A GUTIERREZ: It's been an honor.

E GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Scott.

(SOUNDBITE OF HERMANOS GUTIERREZ'S "LA VERDAD") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.