Music

Chicano Batman Talks New Album ‘Notebook Fantasy,’ Headlining The Forum & More: ‘It’s a Graduation’

Next week, on March 29, alternative veterans Chicano Batman will release its long-awaited fifth album, Notebook Fantasy. It will be the band’s first release since 2020, while the supporting tour will see the trio of Bardo Martinez, Eduardo Arenas and Carlos Arévalo headline a historic Los Angeles venue for the first time: The Forum.

“It means everything, it’s a graduation of sorts,” Arenas tells Billboard News. “It’s a celebration for the city because L.A. built this band. Our fans built this. We could not get to this level without [them].”

Arenas believes the recording process for Notebook also forced the band to aim higher, as they worked from the iconic Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood. “The walls have something to tell you,” he says. “You level up. Like, if [The Doors]’ Jim Morrison did that right there, what am I going to do today?”

“I feel like every time we make a record we’re trying to do something different, and that’s certainly the case for all the songs on this record,” adds Arévalo.

Martinez agrees, saying he’s a big fan of David Bowie for the way in which he “personifies different things.” He compares the icon to a painter, saying, “I think that’s what make great artists, is they’re not afraid to be different and challenge norms [by] just being their authentic self.”

In addition to the band’s own forthcoming album, Chicano Batman will also appear on the star-studded Talking Heads covers compilation album Everyone’s Getting Involved: A Tribute to Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense. While they can’t yet reveal what song they covered, they do share that they had just four days to rehearse, record and turn it in. But for Arenas, it was all worth it: “Stop Making Sense, for me, was life changing.”

For a band that formed 15 years ago, the trio is tighter than ever — both sonically, and by way of their lasting friendship. When asked if it feels as long as it’s been, they reply with a resounding “yes” before Arévalo doubles back. “Yes and no,” he says. “It feels like a blink, honestly, but we’ve put in the work.”

Watch Chicano Batman’s full Billboard News interview above.

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