Music & Nightlife

Wynwood to go psychedelic Saturday with Costa Rican band Las Robertas

Las Robertas was formed in 2009. Its current members, from left: Sonya Carmona, Fabrizio Durán and Mercedes ‘Meche’ Oller.
Las Robertas was formed in 2009. Its current members, from left: Sonya Carmona, Fabrizio Durán and Mercedes ‘Meche’ Oller. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

Beginning 9 p.m. Saturday, Gramps bar in Wynwood will be awash with waves of ambient, upbeat sound from a band that’s played alongside American and English headliners like Pearl Jam, Echo and the Bunnymen, Flaming Lips and Primal Scream.

Mercedes “Meche” Oller, lead singer of Costa Rican psych-pop band Las Robertas, says this was the sound she grew up with.

“Because of my dad, I grew up with a lot of ’60s records, so I’ve always liked this type of music,” said Oller, 29.

Las Robertas formed in late 2009. The members had been in the same circle of musicmakers and decided to create their own group. Drummer Fabrizio Durán said that in it’s simplist form, the band is just three people playing music together.

“With Meche, we’ve been friends for quite a while,” said Durán, 27. “I’ve been a fan of the band even when I was not in the band.”

Durán joined Las Robertas four years ago, although current members Oller, Durán and Sonya Carmona have known each other about 10 years.

“It’s just like a group of friends,” Oller said. “We love jamming out and making new music and getting inspired and writing songs, and we also love to travel together as a band.”

Touring is great, she says, because it’s means traveling with her best friends.

“That’s part of touring, just hanging out, the three of us. Sometimes we don’t get to hang out as much because we’re busy with school or something, but we hang out and go traveling and playing and being a band.”

An interior designer by trade, Oller is working toward a master’s degree in marketing and communications. She said that each of the band members has a part-time job to support themselves when their musical passion doesn’t result in a consistent paycheck.

Despite being based in San Jose, Las Robertas sings mostly in English, but that they have recorded a few songs in Spanish.

Oller says the lyrics are secondary to the music. Most of their songs are mixed so that the voices are washed out, creating an ambient, dreamy sound that melds with the rest of the music.

“It’s like our voices, our vocals, are just like another instrument,” she said.

Though the members of Las Robertas have been to Miami as tourists, this will be their first time playing a Florida venue.

“We’re pretty excited to go and explore a new audience and share the stage with Miami local bands,” Oller said. “It’s going to be a new audience, new experience, new theme, so we’re super excited.”

Durán said the band is excited its next item will soon be released, probably by the end of the year.

“We’re expecting a new record soon — we just recorded it about three months ago and we’re in the process of finishing,” he says. “We have a new sound from Las Robertas this year.”

The record will be titled “Waves of the New,” Oller says.

The inspiration behind “Waves of the New,” as suggested by the name, came from changes in the band members’ own lives.

“We all went through a season of change, changing drastically for the good,” Oller says.

If you go

▪ What: Gramps + Cheap Miami Records present Las Robertas in concert, also featuring FAT SUN and The Gun Hoes of Miami and Timothy Eerie of Orlando

▪ Where: Gramps, 176 NW 24th St., Wynwood

▪ When: 9 p.m. Saturday, July 16

▪ Cost: $5 at the door, 21 and over

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