By Francisco H. Ciriza
The music industry in Mexico has not been kind to rock-based artists on the outer fringes of popular music over the past five to ten years. Outside of the major money makers like pop rockers Maná solo artists like Luis Miguel, and the packaged attractions like RBD (Rebelde) less commercially inclined groups have been left to fend for themselves. But Mexico City’s Zoé is on the rebound, currently riding a high after having recently resurfaced from its own demise.
In 2004, after being dropped by Sony Music and experiencing an overall lack of support, Zoé called it quits, leaving it’s legacy, fans, and recorded works behind. But in 2005, the group was offered a new deal by the Mexican indie label, Noiselab. Soon after, the group released the E.P. “The Room” which served to breathe new life into Zoé.
Like many Latin alternative rock acts, Zoé claims British pop music as a major influence. While acts like Monterey’s Jumbo and the highly successful hard rockers and fellow Chilangos, Jaguares have incorporated modern versions of the layered guitars and catchy vocal hooks reminiscent of Britpop, Zoé, too has worn its biggest influence on its collective sleeve.
“Pink Floyd, Led Zepellin, The Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, the Cure to mention a few are some of our musical influences,” the band’s bassist, Angel Mosqueda told La Prensa San Diego earlier this week.
The band’s last full-length album, “Rocanlover” (Sony Music, 2003) fully exposed the band’s unabashed reverence of the late-60’s English sound with singles titled “Peace and Love” and “Love.” The music, melodies and overall theme of that album made it easy to link the record and its creator to the philosophies and sentiments of the late sixties as well as to one of the most influential bands of the period, The Beatles.
“The Beatles’ influence on ‘Rocanlover’ was quite evident,” said Mosqueda, “and it all points back to that theme of ‘love’.” He and the rest of the band are currently lending a hand in the final mixes of the group’s forthcoming album due out in summer.
However, regardless of the allusions to the era and the Fab Four, Mosqueda assures fans Zoé is not to be written off as mere imitators, but rather a tight-knot outfit at the ready to channel its creative flow into a single, focused piece of art.
“There isn’t a song on the new record that sounds anything like ‘Rocanlover’. There are numerous influences in our sound and on our records. Each member of the band has his own and again with the help of our producer Phil Vinall (Mark Knopfler, Elastica), we’ve been able to come up with a record that is truly the product of what we each bring to the collective,” said Mosqueda.
And while the industry may have won a minor battle in the past, this band is welling to absorb the difficult times with the success and continue forward.
“There are many factors that determine which road a band’s career takes. Zoé’s ride has been quite unique. We’ve worked hard to achieve what we have and we now look forward to completing this new record to the best of our capabilities. Along with our management and record company, we’re consciously looking ahead with a well-planned agenda to a hopefully bright future,” said Mosqueda.
Zoé will be appearing with fellow Mexico City band, Hummersqueal, next Wednesday June 14, at Canes in Mission Beach. Pre-sale tickets are $15. Call (619) 220-TIXS for more information.
Summer is nearly upon us and the music world is heating up with lots of good news...
Latino pop music heavywieghts Marco Antonio Solis, Marc Anthony, and Laura Pausini, will be head-linig the Juntos en Concierto 2006 tour. Anthony, Solis and Pausini appeared at a Los Angeles press conference to announce the details of the tour and, in addition, that the tour’s sponsor, ING will also support the Hispanic Scholarship Fund with a $100,000 donation. ING is a Dutch financial group.
The 20-city tour stops at Chula Vista’s Coors Amphitheater on Sunday, July 16, 2006. Further information can be found at www.juntosenconcierto.com and at Ticketmaster.
Warner Music México announced the forthcoming release of the new Maná CD. Entitled, “Amar es Combatir,” the CD is the band’s ninth full-length album and will be released worldwide on August 22nd. The first single, “Labios Compartidos,” should hit the airwaves next month. The band is also planning a promotional tour for Latin America and Europe.
This album, produced by the group along with engineer Tom Russo (Audioslave, Macy Gray, Michael Jackson, Erick Clapton) was written and recorded in three and a half months at the renowned Hit Factory Studios in Los Angeles. The vocals are slated to be added at a studio in Miami.
“We chose Miami because we wanted to make a warm and enjoyable album. We feel that the songs are based on what is around the beach: the sea, the clouds, the sky and the moon. It is an album that captures all that reminiscence from the ocean, the sun that dazzles the salt, the sweat and that moisture,” said Maná lead singer Fher.
The album also includes a duo with Juan Luis Guerra. “He’s not an artist that usually sings in duo,” said Fher, “but when he heard the song, he just loved it and immediately came to Miami to record it. Juan is an icon for Latin American Music. He made everything with real passion because he liked this song as he liked our voices. This song was mixed with fortune. He surprised us as an artist and as a person, with a beautiful heart, also as a complete musician that lives for his art,” added Fher.
An excellent show is set for Canes in Mission Beach for all the rockeros out there. Two excellent, but quite differing Mexico City bands are scheduled for a concert on June 14th. The melodic rockers, Zoe, and their Beatlesque sound will be joined by up an coming hard rockers, Hum-mersqueal.
Also, look for some more Latino music shows at the Belly Up including Pocho Sanchez and Si Se. The venue’s new staff has contacted La Prensa in an effort to work together in helping promote Latino music at the north county club.