The four members of Ear Ringers met as students at Esteban Torres High School in East LA. Photo by Alan Arvizu

Cramped in a friend’s garage near Whittier Boulevard in East LA, Miguel Angel Estrada strums his blue guitar. Ear Ringers’ front man croons in English and Spanish about love and heartbreak. 

“Regresarás a mi / Solo dime que sí / Te esperé y quiero saber si me arrepentiré / Yo no sé, decidí ya no seguir en este amor,” Estrada sings.

These are lyrics from the band’s hit song “Let Me In,” which they’ve performed at venues such as The Concert Lounge in Riverside, The Haven in Pomona, and Los Globos, the Moroccan Lounge and The Paramount in Los Angeles.

On March 31, Ear Ringers will return to The Haven in Pomona, this time as headliners.

Ear Ringers will play at The Haven in Pomona on Friday, March 31. Photo by Alan Arvizu

Estrada and his friends formed Ear Ringers around 2017 while they were students at Esteban Torres High School in East Los Angeles. Besides the front man, the band consists of bassist Daniel Romo, lead guitarist Jesus Mendoza, keyboardist Daftnet Mendoza and drummer David Bravo.

The library at Torres High was the backdrop in one of their early performances, where the band played “Swing Song” to their classmates and friends. A video of that performance is uploaded to their YouTube channel, which has more than 1,000 subscribers.

“We really inherited a lot of the ‘do it yourself’ nature of our community.”

Daniel Romo, Ear Ringers’ bassist

In their earlier days, Ear Ringers played Indie rock covers from bands like Two Doors Cinema, and have claimed The Beatles and Scorpions, a German rock band, as music influences. 

But to the band, nothing has been as influential as the hardworking immigrant spirit of East LA and Boyle Heights. That work ethic has been instrumental as they hustle, without an agent, to book their own shows. The band’s determination landed them a spot last October at the Nothing Fest IV in Garden Grove, where they played alongside Beach Fossils and STRFKR. 

“We really inherited a lot of the ‘do it yourself’ nature of our community,” Romo, the bassist, said in a 2022 interview on Boyle Heights Beat’s “Radio Pulso” podcast.

“Our community is full of very hardworking people,” Estrada added. “We didn’t take no for an answer.”

Ear Ringers perform at The Paramount in Boyle Heights. Photo by Rudy Torres

Growing up near The Paramount, a historic music venue in Boyle Heights, Estrada would tell himself, “Damn, I’m gonna play there one day.” Artists such as Stevie Wonder, Sonny and Cher, and La Santa Cecilia have all performed at the location.

“The music is good. It has an appeal. It fits the vibe of what we’re trying to do.”

Jose Galvan, talent booker at the paramount

The band achieved the big goal of having a show at the recently restored Paramount in September, when they played at the venue alongside Archer Oh and Surely Tempo.

“It was just like a movie,” Estrada said. “It was probably the loudest we’ve ever heard people scream.”

Local band with a following

Jose Galvan, a talent booker at The Paramount, says he looks for artists whose music is catchy, fun and translates well on stage. In Ear Ringers, he found a local band with a following. 

“The music is good. It has an appeal. It fits the vibe of what we’re trying to do, which is more on the Latin side of music, but not Latin music,” said Galvan, who has been an on-air host at KCRW and for the now-defunct Indie 103.1. 

Galvan said The Paramount values hosting bands that are from Boyle Heights and East LA.

“We’re trying to establish ourselves as a bigger independent venue without losing that connection to the neighborhood,” Galvan said. 

Plus, he said, the band had made an impression on The Paramount staff who enjoy their music.

“I take that into account, too,” Galvan said. “When they hit me up to do their own proper show, I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

Ear Ringers have played at The Paramount twice now. In January, the band returned to celebrate the release of their debut album “Heart Therapy,” which was released in October. 

Emotional and personal album

Estrada described the album as very emotional and personal to the band, but also to their fans. 

He said one of the main themes of “Heart Therapy” is anxiety and described his 20s as a “passage of figuring things out.” He said he has felt anxious about finding his own path and impatient when it comes to reaching his goals.  

“It talks about patience,” he said. “It talks about sadness.” 

“We’re spreading our wings out there slowly.”

Miguel angel estrada, ear ringers’ frontman

As the band’s fan base continues to grow through backyard shows, parties, bar gigs, and community events, Estrada said they’ve also received publicity in the most unlikely ways. 

In the podcast interview, Estrada recalled a story of a guy who found a CD of their music in a car he had just purchased. “That was pretty wild,” he said.

Ear Ringers hope to one day open for bands like The Strokes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Phoenix. For now, the band is staying busy with shows in Nevada and Texas and other gigs planned over the next few weeks. 

Through it all, Estrada said he’s grateful for what they’ve accomplished. 

“We’re spreading our wings out there slowly,” he said. “We’re able to do things like this on our own and that’s probably what makes it the most important.”

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Ethan Fernandez

Ethan Fernandez is a sophomore at Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School. He enjoys photography, music, and writing. He hopes to attend a four-year university in the future. He is determined to pursue...

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