Four months ago, the hosts — Lopez, 23; Mondragon, 23; Diego (Keko) Erazo, 24; and Jason Nuñez, 23 — each moved out of their respective families’ homes into a shared house in Stanton, Calif., after a long stretch filming the show largely in Nuñez’s family garage, in order to create a more focused environment for making their content. (Erazo, Mondragon and Nuñez grew up nearby, in Westminster, Calif., and played soccer together as children. They met Lopez in high school.)
“As first-generation immigrants, we always felt, like it or not, a little bit out of place or a little bit like we’re intruding into something,” Lopez said. “And now, with the music, we heard people our age talking about issues that we have living here in the United States as Mexicans. So we really fell in love with that.” (For a time, Mondragon and Nuñez were in a band, Grupo Activo, managed by Erazo — the podcast’s title is from an inside joke from that era, riffing on the term “a gusto,” or relaxed.)
Most of the show’s interview subjects are of a similar age and cultural background as the hosts, creating a built-in ease. “A lot of the new artists that are coming out, they’re Mexican American. They speak both Spanish and English,” Erazo said. Mondragon estimated that about 75 percent of the podcast’s interviews are conducted in English.
Erazo added that the casualness of the setting contributes to the hosts’ ability to get unvarnished conversation from their subjects: “They needed somewhere where they could be themselves, be who they are, express their feelings, let it all out instead of going in and being like, ‘Yes sir, no sir.’” Many interviews are booked directly, over text or direct message, bypassing traditional intermediaries.