Eslabon Armado is leading the new wave of regional Mexican music acts. The Mexican-American duo just scored their fourth No. 1 on Billboard‘s Regional Mexican Albums chart with Tu Veneno Mortal, Vol. 2. Among the Gen-Z crowd, Eslabon Armado is reinventing the Sierreño sound with an emo twist. In an exclusive interview with Latido Music, the guys talked about pushing the genre’s boundaries with their new album and Bad Bunny’s surprise influence.

Eslabon Armado is reinventing the Sierreño sound that was popularized by Ariel Camacho.

It’s the teens of regional Mexican music like Eslabon Armado who are reviving the age-old sounds of the genre. At first, brothers Pedro and Brian Tovar took inspiration from late Mexican crooner Ariel Camacho, the pioneer of Sierreño.

“I feel like Ariel Camacho did a big impact in regional Mexican music,” Pedro tells mitú. “If it wasn’t for him, I feel like none of these new artists will be who they are right now. Nowadays it’s more of the youth that listen to us. We want to help [Sierreño] evolve and keep it growing.”

Eslabon Armado almost didn’t release their biggest hit.

The best example of Eslabon Armado’s emo Sierreño sound is the duo’s breakout hit “Con Tus Besos.” The moody love song was included on the first installment of Veneno Mortal last year. It’s their biggest hit to date. The music video has over 87 million views on YouTube. Pedro revealed that the song was almost left off of the album.

“We never thought that song was going to blow up,” he says. “That song was never going to be put out to the public. That was going to be stored away. We put it at the end of our album because our mom told us. I put it at the end and like a month and a half later, it blew up.”

With their latest album, Eslabon Armado is solely a brother act now.

This year the trio went down to a duo when Gabriel Hidalgo left, citing “personal reasons.” Eslabon Armado is still carrying on as a duo with the Tovar brothers.

“It’s always just been me and him for every single album except Vibras de Noche,” Brian says. “That was a little different with the other member.”

Tu Veneno Mortal, Vol. 2 was surprisingly inspired by reggaeton.

After the success of the first Veneno Mortal album, Eslabon Armado wanted to revisit that “vibe” for Vol. 2. For the biggest song on the album, “Regresa Mami,” the duo surprisingly took some cues from reggaeton music.   

“My inspiration for that song was reggaeton,” Pedro says. “I wanted to bring a new style to regional Mexican music in the guitars that you’ve never heard. I feel like there’s no song like that. The rhythm is different. The rhythm is more like reggaeton and it’s sick.” Brian adds, “The inspiration for that song was Bad Bunny.”

As for a dream collaboration, Pedro has another reggaetonero in mind. With “Regresa Mami” becoming the biggest hit from the new album, he hopes Puerto Rican singer Jhay Cortez can hop on the track.

“Hopefully this year, I’m manifesting it, with the song, I want to do a remix with Jhay Cortez,” he says. “That would be hard as f*ck.”

Eslabon Armado is playing a major headlining concert in L.A. next month.

As for what’s next, Eslabon Armado is currently on tour. The guys promise that their headlining show at the Microsoft Theater in L.A. on Aug. 28 will their best show yet. Like Camacho who inspired them, the brothers hope to leave a mark of their own in regional Mexican music.

“It’s unreal and inspirational for us, knowing that people play and are singing our songs,” Pedro says. “We’re only like a year and a half in our fame and we’re still not at our peak. I feel like we have way more to go and way more to show. I want to leave a sick a*s legacy for all the youngsters playing music.”

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