Friday, 12 June 2009
in Conversation with Rodrigo y Gabriela
In Conversation with
“Rodrigo y Gabriela”
(Updated 13rd June 2009 slightly)
A little background:
Rodrigo and Gabriela as can be read from this
interview are originally from Mexico, but now
based in Ireland, but yet play a style of music
that is literally un-like anything else I
have ever heard, frequently getting
notes and chords from their instrumental
set (which features just the two
of them on acoustic guitars) which
shouldn’t be humanly possible, but is
truly amazing to watch considering they
are known for putting cover versions by
Metallica into their set and unless you
listened to them very, very carefully indeed
you probably won’t realise it was
Metallica! Amazing stuff indeed..
I first saw them at “In the City”, Manchester’s
annual music festival where bands and singers
play a number of gigs through-out the city
to highlight their ability to record scouts etc.
They were a duo I had certainly read about,
but never actually heard anything by, so me,
my brother and one friend decided to pop
down and see them and were completely
amazed by what we saw. Certainly one of our
high-lights of the week-end without doubt.
The interview came quickly after that
when I e-mailed their Manager
and he put me I contact with
Rodrigo and the interview came
very quickly from there indeed.
Thanks to Naill for his help and
a special thank you to Rodrigo
for the interview. I believe you
are playing Manchester soon,
so I hope to see you there soon.
For more information on the
band – please visit them on their
Since the interview, (As off 13rd
June 2009) I have the duo have
released two further albums:
Rodrigo y Gabriela (2006)
Live in Japan (2008)
Besides doing lots off gigs.
I believe they are currently working on their next album also
in Mexico, which I am looking forward to hearing.
Andy N xxxx
How's things and what’s happening at
Rodrigo from Rodrigo y Gabriela:
We are just about to start a tour in UK and Ireland that will
take us on the road for the next 2 months, so we are doing
some practice for it and try to have lots of material to try not
to play the same thing every night, things are good
anyway and we are glad...
Can you now tell us a little bit about
How you got started in music etc?
Well we've been playing together for good 10 years first
doing the thrash metal thing that I started along with my
brother in 91, 3 years later gab joined the band and we
kept trying and trying till we got tired and left Mexico
city to go to some beach close to Acapulco and that’s why
we traded the electric for the acoustic, then we came to
Europe in 99 and we still here, man....
What are your influences (music wise) and
what music have you been listening to recently?
Well we like listening everything from Paco De Lucia to
Megadeth to Michel Camilo to Pink Floyd but our musical
influences I think fall in a very strong mix of Latin rhythms
in a rock estructure kind of way you know is because
we didn’t start playing classical or anything like that,
we don’t read music either so that could explain it all....
I recently saw you play live during
Manchester's "In the City" Festival and was blown away
by the atmosphere in your music live, which for me was
one of the highlights of the weekend. How does your
approach differ from performing live to recording
in the studio? Is there one you prefer over the other?
Well live is better for us and much more fun and now
we are going to start looking for the best way to do
our next studio album in a way that can capture the
live vibe which is vital for a totally instrumental
act like us.
It is clear from listening to your music you
have a very individual style, how does this compare for
example with your forthcoming Metallica covers EP?
Well we'll do it because wed love to make a tribute
to the music that gave us the idea of becoming guitar
players, specially metallicas, the way is simple just
a real acoustic instrumental album featuring the best
(for us) of metallica but the most interesting thing is
going to be the drum bits played on the wood of the
guitar using Gabriela’s crazy right hand...
So what's next for yourselves? I know you have had a
few releases out etc - do you have any more releases in
mind / or any more live dates?
We’ll play the tour in UK and Ireland starting at the middle of Oct,
for more info check out www.rodgab.com
What has been your best / worst experiences
of been in a band? Been in a band myself I've had some
fun to tell certainly so I could guess you are the same.
Playing womad festival at Singapore last year was amazing but
the flying experience wasn’t as nice having a drop of hundreds
of meters, that along with the normal experiences you have
when playing in a international unfamous thrash metal band,
like ways of travelling, no hotels and all that shit....
and it get s worse...
To wind down with now, we'll have a few more
slightly lighthearted questions to wind down with, firstly
what would be your dream job if you were not a
rock and roll musician?
Soccer player man....
What do you do outside of music?
Nothing, if we are touring we gig but if we aren’t we
practice like fucking maniacs that’s something
that we can do fortunately since 6 years ago and
we are happy because of that, as well as the kind
of music we do requires a lot of time otherwise
the guitar players would note we haven’t
Lastly, something light to finish off with. (Nicked from a
pal's Zine almost) "Imagine you were ship wrecked on
a desert Island and could have (clearly have second
sight here - lol) the choice of having 5 records or
Cds with you with a stereo of course - what would
be your desert Island Discs?
Help me by the abandoned's
Right next to you by the dreamers
Miles away by st alone
Till I die by f.u.c.k.e.d
Adios by deadenough