MACUILXOCHITL: “Five Flower,” the Aztec god of music and dance
By Francisco H. Ciriza
Most music critics, even in their native Mexico, consider Los Temerarios a commercially driven outfit content to rely heavily on their own tried and true formula of overly- sweetened romantic rancheras, good looks, and old fashioned ideas of traditional male/female relationships. But it is difficult to deny the group’s success and overwhelming popularity especially among twenty and thirty-something year-old Mexican and Mexican American fans.
Speaking to La Prensa from Miami as Los Temerarios prepared to launch their current U.S. tour, Adolfo Alba talked about the dedication effort put forth by the group.
“We work together to face all of the things we do. Whether it’s the music business as a whole or just the routine of rehearsals and concerts, we do the best possible to meet our commitments as professionals,” said Adolfo Alba during a limousine ride from a Miami airport to the group’s hotel.
Fronted by Adolfo, his brother Gustavo, and cousin, Fernando Angel, the band has more than made a living writing and performing songs centered on the familiar themes of romantic love, loss and heartbreak. These very same topics have provided success for some of Mexico’s greatest and most loved songwriters and artists like Juan Gabriel and José Alfredo Jimenez, however, Adolfo, points to the group’s other set of mentors perhaps unknown to many of their fans.
“We have an immense amount of respect for artists such as Kenny G, Neil Diamond and Julio Iglesias. They’re some of our biggest influences,” added Alba.
Combining elements of traditional Mexican rancheras with modern electronic keyboards, electric bass and precise percussion, the group has mastered a smooth blend of the old and new elements. It is a sound which naturally appeals to fans that have been heavily influenced by the traditional music of older generations yet who seek modern nuances to satisfy their quest for something bearing the signatures their own generation. High volume sales of have quite often pushed Los Temerarios records to the top of Billboard’s Latin charts proving the effectiveness of the group’s sound as much as their dedication to their music.
But it wasn’t always so easy to entice fans and sell records for Los Temerarios. The group experienced very little success early on and it wasn’t until they signed with the Monterrey-based independent record outfit, Disa, in the late ‘80s that the group began to show some promise. Previously reliant on songs written by other composers, the group’s sound and songwriting abilities eventually matured providing a more original and distinct sound thus giving birth to the group’s identity.
In 1990, the brothers and their cousin formed Ángel Records in Austin, Texas and began releasing their material here in the United States. Although there were some initial legal troubles with Disa, the group had by then made an impression on the Latin market with sales exceeded only by the Mexican-owned mega-label, Fonovisa. Fonovisa eventually bought up the smaller label, but not before other independent labels and musical groups had also found their way onto the airwaves and into the U.S. Latin music market.
Los Temerarios’ current tour will take Aldolfo Alba and his compadres to 25 cities across the U.S. after which the group plans to get back into the studio to record a new album.
“It’s going to consist of mostly ballads. It will be one we can be proud of, but more importantly it will be one our fans can and will be proud of.”
Los Temerarios will perform this Saturday, May 28 at the San Diego Convention Center. Tickets are $36 and are available at La Sorpresa Barata and Ritmo Latino (Escondido), La Sorpresa Barata (San Marcos), Nopalito (Oceanside), Discoteca Remix (National City) and Ritmo Latino (Chula Vista). Doors open at 8 p.m.