Neon Desert Music Festival 2019 Profile Series: Homerun Derby

Jaqueline Martinez, Contributor

Local alternative-indie band Homerun Derby is set to perform at the ninth annual Neon Desert Music Festival 2019 May 26 in Downtown El Paso.

Homerun Derby currently consists of three musicians: lead singer and guitarist Mark Rodriguez,  bassist Ivan Lagos and drummer Joseph Cisneros.

Formed in 2013, Homerun Derby originally began with four members until two left and were replaced by Joseph Cisneros in mid-2017.

The band was conceived through a couple of jam sessions where they would cover songs from influential bands such as Modern Baseball and the Front Bottoms, which initially influenced the bands’ name.

“It was too cold to skate one day, so I was like, ‘let’s go to my house just to play music,’ since I had an acoustic guitar and from there, we started playing songs and covering some of our favorite bands,” Rodriguez said. “Three to four years later, here we are.”

After Cisneros joined the group, the band became more committed to creating music and performing at local venues and bars such as Lowbrow Palace, Love Buzz, Neon Rose Bar and Monarch. “We have an EP out right now. It’s on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes. It’s called ‘I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore,’ that’s six songs that we wrote in 2014, and we’re releasing a new EP, hopefully by August, so that’s another eight songs,” said Rodriguez who writes the drafts of the songs then rearranges and shares it with Lagos and Cisneros, who collectively, build the rest of the songs from there.

The emo, alternative-indie group has also played at venues outside of El Paso such as music shops and in garages, while on their tour.

It wasn’t until Homerun Derby opened for the band Mom Jeans in 2017 that the group met Christian Yanez, known for booking shows at the Lowbrow and Neon Desert.

“From there we have gotten closer with him. He’s helped us out with bigger shows. He’s the one who pretty much books everything for Neon Desert,” Lagos said. “Earlier this year he asked us if we’d like to play and we obviously said yes.”

For information about Homerun Derby visit them on Facebook @homerunderbyband and to listen to their EP “I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore” visit

Neon Desert Music Festival will be held May 25 and 26 in Downtown El Paso. To purchase tickets or for more information about the event, visit