‘In San Jose’ Documentary: 5 Costa Rican Bands You Should Know

‘In San Jose’ Documentary: 5 Costa Rican Bands You Should Know


While working on a documentary about Las Robertas’ forthcoming third album, filmmakers Willi Patton and Rachel Kichler also shot and interviewed four interrelated bands in the San Jose, Costa Rica music scene – Colornoise, Niño Koi, Monte, and Ave Negra. The result is a visual mixtape profiling some of San Jose’s most influential indie bands.


Las Robertas

Las Robertas: Based in San José, Costa Rica, Las Robertas are Fabrizio Durán (Drums), Mercedes Oller (Guitar-Vox) and Sonya Carmona (Bass-Vox). Las Robertas have played at festivals such as SXSW, Festival NRMAL, Primavera Sound, Rock al Parque, All My Friends, Levitation,Ruido Fest,  toured all over Europe & America and shared stage with bands like Echo & the Bunnymen, Pearl Jam, Warpaint, Flaming Lips, Primal Scream and more. Maintaining a distorted garage psych pop sound, their upcoming album “Waves of the New”  is scheduled for release in late  2016.


Colornoise are an experimental Noise Rock band from Costa Rica.  Sonya Carmona (Lead vocal, guitar) and Alison Alvarado (Drums, vocals) released their first eight-track LP Fake Apocalypse in 2011. Later in 2012 they released the single Time. Their second album Polychronic was released in September of 2013.

In May 2015 they released the single Amalie after third member Mari Navarro (Synth, guitar) joined the band. One year later, She Was Machine is released as a second single for their forthcoming third album, out in September of 2016.

Niño Koi

Nino Koi is an instrumental rock band from Costa Rica formed in 2009. After a 2 year hiatus that started in 2013, the band is currently active. The group’s current lineup is Federico Salas and Mauricio Fonseca on guitars, Chris Robinson on bass, and Fabrizio Durán on the drums. Niño Koi’s music can be found on their bandcamp which includes their first EP Alegorías (2010) and LP La Pequeña Muerte (2012).


Monte is a rock trio formed in 2011. The band consists of Adrian on guitar/vocals, Franco on drums/vocals (previously from Zopilot, Las Robertas) and Pablo (Florian Droids, Hijos).

Adrian: Voz – Guitarra (Voice / Guitar )

Franco: Voz – Bateria – Samples (Voice / Drums / Samples)

Pablo: Voz – Bajo – Guitarra (Voice / Bass / Guitar)

Ave Negra

Named after a poor translation in Spanish for Mickey Rourke’s character on “Killshot”, Ave Negra was born in mid-2012 in San José, Costa Rica. It all started as a duo between Russell Davis and Felo Oller after getting to know each other in a party and sharing a similar music affinity. Songs got together quickly and “Sensaciones Juveniles” was released on august that same year. Just a few months later Ave Negra was invited to its first international concert in Mexico for the Nrmal Festival in Monterrey; also on 2013 the band released a cassette for the “Enamorados” singles.

As a constant live band and short term music releases, Ave Negra built a strong fan-base in Costa Rica and its songs were beginning to be heard more often outside the country. After a second invitation for playing at the Nrmal Festival and adding more dates to complete a two week tour, the duo became a power trio when Fede Salas joined the band as the new bass player. As soon as Ave Negra got back to San José they began recording its first self-titled LP to be released on May 2015; but just before closing up 2014, the band went on tour in Spain for another two weeks.

Mexico as a second home welcomed the band just after “Ave Negra” was released, this time for the Marvin Festival. Songs where getting behind record and soon as the band came back to Costa Rica it began a long process for recording its latest EP “Jóvenes Iracundos”. The newest release got on stores in March 2016 in a 12” vinyl format thanks to the Mexican label Buen Día Records. Short as the EP was released, Ave Negra was invited for the first edition on the Festival Carrusel, but this time with a fourth member, Arnoldo Von Storren on second guitar. Now the band is about to release a 7” with all 4 members in it and a short visit to Puerto Rico on October.

The Filmmakers

Backdive is a filmmaking duo based out of Austin, TX.

Author: blackonthecanvas

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