Q&A: Local Monterrey Band Quiero Club Talk Todd P's MtyMx Fest, What New Yorkers Can Expect to Find Down in Mexico, and Why You'll Never See Their Band on U.S. Soil
Chances are if you're not going to local promoter Todd P's MtyMx Festival--the DIY indie-rock gathering happening in Monterrey, Mexico next week--you'll never get to see Quiero Club live. Along with their counterparts Kinky and Plastilina Mosh, the electro-pop quintet have become local heroes in Monterrey, playing various festivals throughout Mexico, and releasing two records since their inception in 2002. Nueva America, their latest, was released in 2008 and got them a spot as openers for Depeche Mode last fall at the massive Foro Sol arena in Mexico City, where they performed in front of 60,000 people. But unlike Kinky or Plastilina Mosh, Quiero Club doesn't have the financial backing to tour outside of Mexico. As frontman Gustavo Mauricio, 32, tells us, the MtyMx Festival is like a blessing because as of now, the only way to see Quiero Club is to come to them. So we did.
What do you think about MtyMx Festival, and this type of show coming to Mexico?
MtyMx is a blessing. Nothing like this has ever happened here before. The thing is that Mexico totally lacks an infrastructure for bands to tour. Mexico has lots and lots to learn about building this infrastructure that supports bands. If bands and promoters from the U.S. start to pay more attention to Mexico's hungry audiences, more and more interaction will occur, and the sooner this very much needed infrastructure will develop further.
Had you heard about Todd P before this festival?
I met him last year during Todd's first visit to Monterrey at a backyard party with Ricardo and Leyla from Yo Garage. He's great! Very good vibes. Great conversation. Great sense of humor.
What's your experience with Yo Garage?
Yo Garage are part of a very important milestone in Monterrey's music history. They are the most pro-artist promoters in the whole country. At the moment, they are the ones sustaining Monterrey's scene. If Mexico had a Yo Garage in ten different cities, the scene would be much stronger!
What kind of music/artists were you into while growing up?
Mexican pop music like La Mafia, Jose Alfredo Jimenez, Juan Gabriel, Timbiriche, Bronco, etc., and then OMD, Motley Crew, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Beck, David Bowie.
Did you ever go to U.S. to attend concerts?
Yes. Pearl Jam & The Ramones in Austin, Texas around 1994 or so.
Describe the music scene in Monterrey when you were younger.
Liberating and so much fun. It was very small and very, very naive. Mexico's scene was extremely centralized in Mexico City. So many bands in Monterrey would just rock out without expectations beyond having a good time and impressing their friends.
How is the music scene there now?
Monterrey's music scene has grown considerably. There is a healthy competitive vibe, which has been inspiring to a lot of new artists. There are always at least three or four bands that blow my mind. Bands are taking themselves more seriously and are eager to find new ways to keep themselves and the scene going.
What bands are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?
Teengirl Fantasy, Yo! Linares, Kria Brekkan, MNDR, XYX, El Resplandor, Toro Y Moi, Grant Hart, Acid Mothers Temple, Los Margaritos, Salem, and Tearist.
What do you hope comes out of MtyMx?
First of all, I hope this is the first of many. Music and band exchanges between countries will start to flourish for real. I hope more promoters will get involved and help us build a strong infrastructure in Mexico for bands to tour.
Do you tour the U.S. often?
We've never done it!
Why is that?
Visas are very expensive.
Do you have advice for those coming to Monterrey for the very first time?
I'm sure they'll all have a great time visiting their neighbor country. It's a bit of a surreal and dreamlike experience, for sure. Tons of enthusiastic artists, musicians, and party-goers. Expect new sceneries, new friends, and a scene you never thought existed. Tacos can do you good if you're drunk. You can visit a Sanborns cafeteria and ask for "Mole." As for natural scenery, visit La Huasteca.
And where should be off limits?
If you want to play safe, don't go to downtown cantinas.