Monday, August 16, 2010
One listen to Latin rock duo Rodrigo Y Gabriela may cause you to re-evaluate the genre. Sure, their ingredients – blazingly fast guitar riffs, hip-swiveling beats – may conjure visions of Paco de Lucía and muggy Andalusian summers. But don’t summon the F-word just yet.
“We don’t play Flamenco,” says Rodrigo Sánchez, one half of the Mexican duo. “But I understand why some people confuse Flamenco with rock. We have hundreds of musical influences.”
Indeed, their acid-dipped mix of “straight rock with Latin influences” has garnered national and international attention. Fresh off a recent performance for President Obama, not to mention collaborations with Tim Burton and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo, their fame trajectory is most definitely enviable – but when asked about who he would like to collaborate with most, Sánchez doesn’t hesitate.
“Santana,” he says. “I’ve gotten to meet a lot of my heroes so far, but we still haven’t collaborated with him yet.”
Meanwhile, their current cross-country tour will take a sold-out detour into town tonight (only their second time visiting S.D. – something Sánchez says he’s “very happy” about) and it’s hard to distinguish what’s most noteworthy about the two.
Maybe it’s the fact that they met as college students in Mexico City’s heavy metal scene, high-tailing it Dublin to work as street buskers and eventually being discovered by Damien Rice. Or perhaps it’s that on their most recent album, "11:11," Pink Floyd, Metallica and Pantera mingle with Latin jazz pianist Michael Camilo and, yes, famed flamenco artist Paco de Lucía, as song dedications.
But most of all, it’s their ability to really and truly rock – in a manner that would cause both genre purists and metalheads alike to thrust their devil horns into the air.
Need further proof? Check out the video below for "Hanuman," the newest single from "11:11."
Rodrigo y Gabriela’s show tonight at Humphrey’s by the Bay is sold out, but you can still see them live in the video above. Or, mingle bayside and maybe catch a few of their tracks. For more information, click here.