Rhythmic beats, Spanish lyrics, and rock and roll with a Latin touch define the independent music movement in Mexico and Latin America. For decades, bands such as Café Tacuba and Jaguares have been able to crossover in the United States and Europe, bringing attention to Latin America’s indie scene. And now all eyes are on Monterrey — the epicenter of Mexico’s indie music scene.
The music from Monterrey is known as Monterrock, but includes a variety of music styles.
The term Monterrock also stands for the music subculture that developed in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon’s capital —Monterrey. The movement began in the late nineties and has witnessed the birth of popular bands such as Jumbo, Panda, Volovan, Division Minuscula and Kinky, among many others. Today, the movement is made up of hundreds of bands—many of which make music at small independent recording studios or at their own homes. The movement’s poularity with music fans has made Monterrey the country’s music capital, some say. To understand Monterrock, we asked Beto Pasillas—Lubrick’s charismatic drummer— to tell us about the music and movement.
Beto Pasillas- Baterista de Lubrick
1.How does it feel to be part of the Monterrock Independent movement?
– I feel very fortunate because it is one of the principal musical movements in Mexico that is made up of great bands from Monterrey who support music and who are passionate about it. People from Monterrey like rock music, and are willing to support this music movement by going to small venues and large concerts. Overall, I feel fortunate that the audience is willing to listen to new music and support “indies” like us.
2.What are the advantages and disadvantages of being part of Monterrock?
– I think that a great advantage is that many great bands from Mexico have flourished from Monterrey. This is why audiences are always looking for new bands that start in this region. The only disadvantage I would point out in this particular movement is the lack of support from record labels. On the other hand, there isn’t a lack of support from fans. They are always willing to attend a concert and buy the band’s products.
3.What bands from Monterrock have influences your band’s music?
– I think that the bands from “Avanzada Regia” that flourished during the nineties are the ones that have influence our music. These bands are Jumbo, Zurdok, Plastilina Mosh and Kinky. It is great that the majority of these bands are still part of Monterrock, since these are the bands that made the indie movement popular in Mexico. Audiences see Monterrey as an outstanding music exporter. For this reason, we are glad that these pioneer bands have influenced our music.
4.How do you balance your commitment to your band with your personal life (school and work)?
– Balancing these two things is tough. Time management is necessary in order to make both things work. I’ve always believed that having a band is like having a girlfriend who needs to be given time and respect to make a relationship work. As a result, Lubrick’s members dedicate their mornings to school. In order to balance our school work with the band, we plan practices in the afternoons several days per week. In the end, weekends are devoted to our shows. Organization is what keeps our lives balanced.
5.Where do you see the movement going in 10 years?
– I think that in 10 years Monterrock will be a lot bigger. I think there will be a lot more support because the current generation has a lot of great bands capable of demonstrating their talent on a national level within five years. I hope that as the years pass by more participation from Monterrock will be present in Texas as it already is in South Padre Island’s Yuju! Fest. I general, I believe in the promising future that bands from Monterrey have on the national and international level.