Lola Pistola is living her best musical life.
From Puerto Rico, now living and flourishing in NYC, Arvelisse Ruby Bonilla-Ramos, aka Lola Pistola, got her start in the underground world of Puerto Rican punk. Longtime friend AJ Dávila had her singing and touring for his solo project AJ Dávila Y Terror Armor.
“I toured with him for three years on and off; last year we toured with Crocodiles,” she tells BTRtoday. “It was the perfect school—it just drew me more to finally record my music and do that with my own stuff.”
Once she started writing on her own, the melodies just kept flowing. While she had used the moniker “Lola Pistola” since the era of Myspace and Blogspot, her solo career solidified the nickname.
“My mom calls me Lola, but that’s not my name, Lola just sticks—it was like a late-life nickname,” she says. “Somebody was once like, ‘Arvelise Ruby, yeah, it’s a cool name, but Lola Pistola, everybody can say that.’”
Lola Pistola debuted her first LP Curfew in September last year. Though covered in tattoos and an avid fan of grunge and old school punk bands like Dead Kennedys, the album shows off more sides than just heavy guitars.
“Structure-wise everything is very punk rock… but the base of everything is very versatile,” Pistola says. “I [also] like really soft music like Angel Olsen and Chelsea Wolfe.”
Curfew starts off with a slap in the face with the track “Dormir.” It begins with the dinner bell to any classic rock song, wooden drumsticks clicking together. It then transitions into distorted guitar and eerie vocals that give more of a hardcore punk or even metal vibe. The vocals are enchanting, with a low and charmingly raspy sound that clouds your mind and takes you into the world of Lola Pistola.
The songs with heavier rock ‘n’ roll vibes vary from chaotic and loud, catchy and optimistic with lots of ohs and ahs or slow and sultry melodies that leave you wanting more. It’s the kind of music that doesn’t necessarily warrant a mosh pit, but tends to stir one up anyways.
Pistola is returning from a three-week tour that ended last Sunday at Alphaville. She assures us they’re currently working on lots of new music that they’re excited to share. In the meantime they have a full North American tour ready to for the summer.
Hear the entire interview with Lola Pistola on this week’s The Music Meetup and hear music from Curfew.