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- Posted on Feb 21st 2010 4:04PM by Steve Carrell
How would you describe your sound?
That's the question we're asked the most. We finally coined a new term, "Nuevo Americano," to describe our sound. We've taken Latino passion and fused it with the American music we grew up hearing. My brother and I were exposed to blues, rock, jazz, metal and much more. But we grew up in Brownsville, Texas. And the Latino part of our music is in our blood. It's who we are.
Some audiences tell us they don't understand 60 percent of the lyrics [because they're in Spanish], but people say they're hooked anyway. That's because they understand the music and the energy. We've gotten great reactions from audiences when we've opened for many types of bands including country, hard rock, Latino and New Age. We think our music has something for everyone.
What are your other musical influences?
A lot of heavy-music fans like our music. They'll come up to us and say, "You used to play metal." They can tell by the way we play. In fact, we were raised on metal. It's so technically demanding to play, I wouldn't be the guitarist I am today without that background. We played metal until we made our first CD. That CD was a studio project my brother and I did for our parents. We knew they weren't interested in metal, so we played Latino music. We have many Latino influences, including early-day crooners such as Vicente Fernandez ['El Charro de Mexico']. Obviously, Latin-style guitarists also influenced our playing. We still use nylon-string guitars to help give the music that Spanish sound.
How do you decide whether to use Spanish or English lyrics?
If it feels right, do it. It's not a premeditated decision. For our first few albums, we sang in Spanish because we heard those songs in Spanish all our lives. Then we started adding English lyrics, because we speak English most of the time. Some songs wind up with lyrics in Spanglish. Overall, the lyrics are maybe 60 percent Spanish now.
What are some exciting things you've experienced while touring?
In Scotland, we visited a music school where the choir was singing our songs. The kids had seen our videos -- thank you, Internet -- and wanted to do our music. On 'Anybody Wanna,' they even added a violin with some improvisation that gave the song a Celtic flavor. The entire encounter really amazed us. It was our first trip to Scotland, but the music preceded us -- the 'Anybody Wanna' video especially has been everywhere.
Thanks to [film director and fellow member of Mexican rock band Chingon] Robert Rodriguez, we've attended some great movie premieres and hung around with a lot of famous people. We've also really enjoyed recording and touring with another Austin friend, Willie Nelson.
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