Giovannie and the Hired Guns to perform tribute to roots with label debut concert at Wildwood

Giovannie and the Hired Guns will perform a tribute to its Texan and Latin roots on May 17 with a concert for its label debut album, ‘Tejano Punk Boyz,’ at Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon.


Cody Blissett

A Wildwood sign on the ceiling during a Hailey Whitters concert at Wildwood Smokehouse & Saloon in Iowa City on Thursday, March 30, 2023.

Stella Shipman, Arts Reporter

Giovannie and the Hired Guns will showcase its mix of rock and southern country music to create a Latin and Texas sound in Iowa City.

The band will perform at Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon on May 17 for its major label debut “Tejano Punk Boyz.”

In 2022, the band signed with Warner Music Nashville and Warner Music Latina, the first collaboration of its kind. “Tejano Punk Boyz” is the first album that the band has made on the label. It was released in October 2022, and the band began touring nationally for the album on May 3.

Giovannie and the Hired Guns is a Texas-based rock and country band that debuted in 2017 with its album “Bad Habits.” The group is made up of frontman Giovannie Yanez, drummer Milton Toles, guitarist Jerrod Flusche, guitarist Carlos Villa, and bassist Alex Trejo. The bandmates met when they lived in the same college town.

Since the band’s debut, it skyrocketed in popularity and has been recognized for its authentic Texas music. After its shows began selling out across its home state of Texas, the band opened for country star Jason Aldean in 2019. It has progressively amassed millions of listeners across streaming platforms.

The band recently won Best New Artist for the Alternative & Rock genre at the iHeartRadio Awards and was named one of Amazon Music’s 2022 Artists to Watch even before it signed with Warner.

Yanez describes the band’s typical sound as energetic, including storytelling and causing audiences to feel sad or uplifted.

Tejano Punk Boyz emphasizes this unique sound and reflects on Yanez’s Latin American roots. He also mentioned the band’s interest in producing a different musical experience.

“I’m proud of our culture and my roots,” Yanez said. “We got inspiration for the album from not trying to be a cookie-cutter sound.”

The album features emotionally heavier songs that Yanez has found to reach audiences. He said after live performances of certain songs from the album, fans would approach him and tell him that the songs helped them through their own lives.

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Yanez said the band’s commitment to making the best music possible for its fans can be draining, especially when the process of making the album involves working in the studio all day. He added that sharing the music of the album with fans has made everything worth it.

Giovannie and the Hired Guns have played in Iowa before, but Wildwood is a new venue for the band. It is the second location in Iowa that the band will perform in on this tour after first playing in Wooly’s in Des Moines.

The band expects to begin recording another album in the near future and intends to release new music this summer. Yanez also has an idea for a possible side project to pursue, but for the time being the band is focused on celebrating the debut of “Tejano Punk Boyz.”

Yanez hopes that fans take away from the album that it is OK not to follow what society might tell them.

“They’re going to be alright,” Yanez said.