9 Jan 2017
Mexico loves Morrissey, and that’s a fact. Now a band from Mexico City has recreated the music of Morrissey and The Smiths. Singer and keyboardist Ceci Bastida explains why Mexrrissey is more than a tribute act.
When did you first discover the music of Morrissey/The Smiths?
When I was a teenager. I grew up in Tijuana, a border city north of Mexico that is next to San Diego. Back then, in Tijuana, everyone listened to radio stations from the US and that’s how I got into a lot of British and American music.
Why do you think Morrissey is so popular in Mexico?
People have been asking that for a long time and the only thing that comes to mind is the fact that we are people that love melodrama, love stories and songs about love and loss. I think is somehow part of our DNA so when we listened to Morrissey’s music it didn’t feel completely foreign, we somehow feel a connection with what his songs convey.
How have the musical backgrounds of the band members influenced your interpretation of the songs?
We all have somewhat different musical backgrounds but it all makes sense together. I think our main thing was to adapt music from the streets of Mexico to these songs and somehow they worked really well. There are elements of mariachi and cumbia for example, which is music that we all grew up listening to even if it was unintentional, it’s part of Mexico’s soundtrack.
How would you describe Mexrrissey’s sound?
In a way it feels like a rock band that has adapted a lot of elements from Mexican music. We don’t think of it as a tribute band, we are reimagining these songs, taking them apart and putting them back together while at the same time adding traditional Mexican music to it and Mexican slang to the lyrics as well.
What have been your other musical influences aside from Morrissey?
I’ve listened to a lot of things over the years. I think as a teenager I was very influenced by bands like The Clash but I also listened to English Beat, David Bowie, Bob Marley, lots of different artists, it’s hard to name them all.
How did you become involved with Mexrrissey?
Camilo Lara is sort of the mastermind behind this. We’ve been friends for many years and we’ve collaborated a bit in the past. He told me that he wanted to put a band together with different artists from Mexico and wanted to see if I was into it and I said yes immediately.
How did you feel visiting Manchester for the first time, where this music was born?
It was a bit surreal. I was so obsessed with The Smiths when I was younger that being able to be there was pretty amazing.
What can the audiences expect from the live show?
In the end we are all having fun and it becomes almost like a party. There’s a lot of energy onstage.
What has the reaction been to your interpretation of the songs from audiences outside of Mexico?
Very positive. People have been incredibly supportive and their reactions at shows are incredible. I think we are surprised every time we finish a show, it’s just been amazing.
Mexrrissey is at Brighton Dome Concert Hall on 26 January 2017
This interview appears in the third issue of Brighton Dome feat.
feat. is a free music & culture magazine featuring exclusive content, interviews, and photos of some of the contemporary artists that we’re so proud to have gracing the stages of Brighton Dome’s iconic venues.