El Paso Music Scene

Miranda Ross (Bruja) Interview

EPMS: Why did Bruja break up before?

Miranda Ross: After taking 2nd place in the Rock N Roll Rumble 2005 for 99.1 FM and Brook Mays, shortly after that Larry Jenkins, Bruja's Bass Player finished his term with the Military and moved out of El Paso. There were some issues about what type of music we wanted to continue with, Modern or more Classic, so Hector Morales and David Knight decided to form REMEDY and moved on with more of Classic Hard Rock that I as a singer wanted to sing. BRUJA lasted from January 4th 2004 at Rods N Wheels to January 6th 2006 at Handle Bars.

EPMS: Why did you decide to put it back together with all new guys?

Miranda Ross: During this past nine months, I've gotten e-mails from Bruja fans, and of course, people approaching me at the Karaoke Shows, asking me to bring Bruja back, fans, musicians, and club owners alike. I was hesistant at first, fearing that I may not be able to replace such great musicians as Larry Jenkins, Hector Morales and David Knight, but I put the word out anyway. Mario Quezada (ex Squidheads and Medea), was the first one to approach me to let me know his Lead Guitar would be there for me if I decided to put Bruja back. Then, Marcos Costaneda came to me and offered his bass playing and promised to bring the Spirit of the Jam back, and finally through the band called FOGG, I met this incredibly talented Drummer named Art Flores, has twenty-seven years experience and is officially a drummer for the Army Band...he just blew me away. That was the minute of revelation for me; enough pouting around, and to get going. I brought all three new men behind the music together and, after a short thirty-minute audition, we all knew we had magic. We've been practicing since, have played for the Toys for Tots benefit that was held at Bulldogs on November by Lynx Productions. We packed the house, Bruja fans came out and gave us an incredible welcome back reception, which made all of our hard work well worth the while!

EPMS: What is special about the players you have now?

Miranda Ross: Art Flores - Drums, Vocals : Has 27 years experience as a drummer. He is also part of the Ft. Bliss Army Band. He has been expose to many styles of music, however, Rock is where his heart is. He has been in El Paso since May, 2006 and has played with locals bands such as FOGG, IMATRA and the Gators. Even they know how incredibly talented of a musician Art Flores is. All I can tell you is that he is a great person, and a top of the notch musician, and plans to deliver WICKED GROOVE POWER TO BRUJA!

Mario Quezada - Lead Guitar, Vocals: Mario makes guitar playing look so easy. He was lead guitarist for the Squid Heads and also help produce and write all the original songs on their one CD. It may have been only one original CD, but how many of us really get to put our originality on tape? He is the easiest-going of us all, and just happy to be there. Mario even tunes his guitar by ear, and has the best blues rhythm guitar sound I've heard in quite a while. He is a great vocalist and always strives for excellence in the music.

Marcos Costanenda: Bass, vocals: This is the spring chicken of this band. This kid can play any instrument there is, except for wind instruments, that is. From Violin to keyboards, to bass to guitar, drums, percussions, you name it. He can sing Blue October's, "Hate Me," better than Blue October (in my opinion, that is), and we are so lucky to have him. When it comes to the originals, we are planning to produce this kid is the main instrument, from lyrics to composing music he gets an A+. At twenty-four years old, watch out El Paso!

You know my story: Miranda Ross, lead vocals. Bruja has been my passion for almost three years now, and Lynx Production paid me the highest compliment I could ever have: "Miranda Ross whose raw vocals capture the essence of every song she sings" . I can only give BRUJA all that is in my heart.

EPMS:How does Bruja affect your karaoke business, and vice-versa?

Miranda Ross: Karaoke has been my bread and butter for the last seven years in El Paso. As always, thanks to all my customers that continue to support Diamond Entertainment. It is great to see them come out and sing their hearts out, they are celebrities in their own way. However, BRUJA is for me and my soul as well as the men behind the music, they too feel the same way. It is a way out of the everyday grind, as we call it, and it simplifies our lives, by giving us the opportunity to express our artistic and musical side of us. Whether we are doing covers or originals, there is nothing like the "spirit of the jam", to put it in Marcos (bass player) words. It doesn't affect us either way, we have our Karaoke customers and Bruja Fans. I also have capable DJ's that can cover the shows while I am performing live with Bruja.

EPMS:How will this incarnation of Bruja be different than the previous one?

Miranda Ross: This time around, I am most definitely ready for the unexpected. Marcos, Art, Mario and I also have a stronger bond than the ex-members of Bruja. We are all in the same page and heading towards one destination together as a team. We share the same passion for music, and we are in agreement as to what type of music we want to do, even how we want our Originals to sound. The musical influences we share are very similar, and the cherry topping to all of it is Marcos Costaneda. He is young, and very talented, a fresh breath of air. His humor alone is one to appreciate each and every day. The previous Bruja repertoire, most of it anyways, will be heard in our performance, but we are also putting in a bit of New Wave, Classic Rock, Modern Hard Rock, such as Disturbed, Drowning Pool, Rob Zombie, (these we didn't even explore with the ex-members of Bruja). We are putting in some Funk, and also a bit of Blues, and most definitely some Rock En Español (that seems to be the new trend around town). Whatever we do, we promise to deliver it with lots of power in both vocals and music. Bruja's Back, and this time around we are renewed, refreshed and ready to have lots of fun doing what we love best. Let the Spirit of the Jam move El Paso!