There’s much to be excited about for the sisters of rock trio The Warning. Hailing from Monterrey, Mexico, the band is building a buzz on the heels of a new single, an album on the way and its live shows.
“More than excited; I would say very grateful that we got to do all of this,” vocalist and guitarist Daniela Villarreal said from her Monterrey home. “It was a very tough year for everyone, but we were able to record a whole album.”
Drummer and vocalist Paulina Villarreal was quick to agree: “We’re working very hard for everything to run smoothly, but we’re just very happy that [the single] is finally out.”
The band’s latest single, “CHOKE,” has already amassed hundreds of thousands of streams. The hard-driving track showcases the trio’s musical dynamics, stellar musicianship and songcraft. It’s easy to mistake Daniela, Paulina and bassist Alejandra Villarreal as a new band when the trio has been playing together for eight years. Growing up in a musical household, The Warning’s origin actually comes from an unlikely place: a video game.
“We started playing because of the video game ‘Rock Band,'” Paulina said. “We loved what we saw on screen, and we just wanted to do that.”
The three started playing instruments individually, but not with any type of band in mind.
“To my surprise, [playing guitar] was actually harder than the buttons on the guitar controller,” Daniela said, laughing.
As the sisters learned their instruments, they soon realized they enjoyed playing together, especially when it came to playing covers, which they uploaded to YouTube. Lightning struck in the form of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” The video went viral and has amassed 22 million views to date.
“We started getting a lot of attention and all of these opportunities,” Paulina said. “We just saw it as the perfect chance to start writing our own music, and years later, here we are.”
The Warning has attended a program at the Berklee School of Music, opened for The Killers and Def Leppard and making two self-released albums.
Things come full circle when the band plays on the same bill as Metallica at Florida’s Welcome To Rockville festival later this year. It will be the band’s first festival appearance of 2021.
“We didn’t think that it would happen this soon,” Paulina said.
The pandemic presented the same touring challenges for The Warning that hit all bands—a 24-date North American tour was postponed and then canceled. At the time, the band was independent and planning to record its third album prior to going on tour; that was also put on hold.
Instead of hitting the road, The Warning signed with Lava/Republic Records, a development that changed its trajectory. The band met producer David Bendeth, who’s worked with Paramore, Breaking Benjamin and Bring Me The Horizon.
“We learned so much, even things we didn’t think we still needed to work on,” Paulina said. “We grew so much as people and musicians at the same time.”
“We dug deep into the most tiny things that make a huge difference in recording a song,” Daniela said. “It opened our perspective of what is a game-changer in the studio.”
The band promises that “CHOKE” is just the introduction to where The Warning is headed.
“The songs lean toward a heavier sound than what we’ve done before,” Paulina said. Added Daniela: “None of the songs on the whole album are the same.”
The album will include one song written in Spanish; it’s something the band is incredibly proud of to honor the sisters’ upbringing, despite it actually being more difficult for them than writing in English. That’s because most of the music the trio listened to growing up was in English, making for an easier transition to songwriting.
“Spanish is just a really hard language to fit into melodies and phrases without it sounding very cringey or too wordy,” Paulina said. “It’s something that we’ve been working on.”
Daniela agreed and said that “Narcisista” is a fan favorite, especially when The Warning plays in South America.
The band is thrilled to get back on the road to play live for fans, many who have never had the opportunity to see The Warning live. Paulina said she dreams of one day headlining Lollapalooza in Brazil.
“I would love to play Madison Square Garden,” Daniela added. “That seems like it’s impossible, but we can dream, right?”
Follow writer Mike DeWald at Twitter.com/mike_dewald.