Blanca: Welcome to New York! How are you liking the conference so far?
Jacinto: We’re really liking it. Last night we had a great show, and we are still excited about it.
Blanca: I was at your show last night. You guys were great. (Pause for requisite modest thank yous.) Did you get a good vibe from the crowd?
Jacinto: People approached us and told us that they really liked the music, that we sounded different, that it’s really good to hear something that is fresh and new to them.
Blanca: Is there anyone that you’re really excited to see perform?
Carlos: I’m looking forward to seeing Maldita Vecindad in Central Park.
Jacinto: When I was a kid, I used to cut out of my classes, and I carried around El Circo on cassette. I have clear memories of listening to that album.
Blanca: Yeah, I know a lot of people are pumped for their SummerStage performance. And you guys are playing an acoustic set tonight at Le Poisson Rouge, right? Is that something that you do often?
Carlos: There are a lot of sounds that we feel are basic to our songs, that are really important, that we cannot do in an acoustic set.
Blanca: Yeah, your album, Historia de la Luz, which is all about light, obviously, and color and time and space, has a very cosmic feel to it, which is difficult to convey in an acoustic setting. What was your approach when writing and recording the album?
Sergio: I was trying to incorporate a lot of things from folk music, to communicate the feeling of being in the country, or on the road, or of being in the forest and watching the stars. That was the image I had in mind, of being very down to earth but also thinking about space and the universe and the stars and other planets.
Blanca: That is amazing because that’s exactly how the album came off to me, so good job.
(Here, everyone has a good laugh, and I pat myself on the back for making such a great joke. Except it was not a joke at all, and I seriously would have said the exact same thing about that album that Sergio had just told me if someone asked me to describe Historia de la Luz. I think I actually wrote something very similar at some point.)
Blanca: And how was working on that album with Emmanuel del Real?
Ricardo: It was a very special thing for us. Not just working with Emmanuel, but also with his brothers. They are great people and great musicians. We are very big fans of Cafe Tacuba, so at first we were nervous. But the days passed and it began to feel good to work with them.
Sergio: It became very familiar. And we had a lot of things in common with them. It was very natural all the time. When someone suggested something to record, it was natural.
Blanca: How did you arrive at the final sound for your album and at the sound that you have now?
Jacinto: Oh, it’s been a long road. I’ve always thought of us as a tree. Sergio is the roots of the tree, and the rest of us are the branches because he dreams up most of the songs, and we add in our individual parts.
Sergio: Recording the album transformed our sound because we discovered a lot of new sounds in the process.
Blanca: Are there any artists in any medium who are influencing what you’re doing now?
Sergio: I really love movies, and I like Wes Anderson and the Coen brothers. Even if it’s not music, I like to translate what I see and feel from their movies and photography into my music.
Ricardo: I don’t know if it affects the way I play, but right now I like the painter Pierre Soulages.
Blanca: Are you working on anything new right now?
Sergio: No, right now we are focused on playing in many, many different places.
Jacinto: It took us a really long time to release this album, so now we’re enjoying it.
Sergio: It’s our first time playing outside of Mexico.
(At this point I did an internal “Oh, haaaay.” I did not externalize because I didn’t think it would translate well.)
Blanca: How is playing in New York different from playing in Mexico?
Ricardo: It’s very similar, actually. If you have your instruments, your drums, in any place and you’re doing what you love, it feels like home. I don’t know, maybe if it were a different crowd, with more non-Latin people, it would feel different. But last night felt like home.
Carlos: And it was really flattering. To hear people who live in New York say that they like your show, and they are used to having a lot of bands come from everywhere, to hear them say that they like your music, it feels good.
Blanca: That’s great. Y’all (yes, the Texan in me emerged, and I said y’all) should definitely come back to play some more shows soon.
Ricardo: We want to play here more. This is a good opportunity for us to get more people to know our music. We hope to come back to have more shows with more people in bigger places.
Jacinto: Like, last night, it was mostly people in media, and we expect next time we’ll come to play for the people, the fans.
Sergio: This is the first step, I think, in a long, long path.