By Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
What happens when you marry melodic guitar to staggering synth in the heart of Mexico? You get Rey Pila, an irresistibly catchy, genre blending solo project fostered by frontman Diego Solorzano and beefed out by Rodrigo Blanco, Andres Velasco and Miguel Hernandez. With a self-titled debut album teeming with hand clapping, foot stomping tracks, Rey Pila garnered enormous attention in Mexico City, propelling them to New York City in 2012 where they recruited producer Chris Coady (Wavves/Beach House/Smith Westerns) to commence work on sophomore album The Future Sugar. After relentless gigging, the album caught the attention of Julian Casablancas whilst blasting from a nearby stereo (how else?), who signed Rey Pila to his label Cult Records, where The Future Sugar got a brand new mix in full by Shawn Everett (Weezer/Lucius) and awaits your eager ears on September 25. With current tour alongside Brandon Flowers and new single ‘Fire Away‘ making the rounds, Diego took a moment to give BoC a little quickie.
To start, get us a little more acquainted with Rey Pila; how would I describe your sound to my grandmother?
Diego Solorzano: Rock and roll with a a crazy instrument called the synthesizer.
B.B King had Lucille(s), Brian May has his Red Special – what is your instrument of choice?
Diego Solorzano: I have two wives at the moment, the Roland Jupiter 6 and an 80’s Jackson electric guitar.
Julian Casablancas caught on to you after overhearing your music playing in a nearby office before signing you to Cult – how does something like that go down?
Diego Solorzano: He heard our song “ Alexander” by accident when he was walking by a friend’s office in NYC, he knocked on his door and asked him about the song and the band. A few months later we were talking about releasing that song on his label.
What are some of the notable pros and cons between being based in Mexico city vs. NYC?
Diego Solorzano: Mexico city has a lot of similarities with New York, both cities have the same kind of “ dangerous, don’t waste my time” vibe, the kind of vibe that has a positive cultural result in big cities such as Mexico City and New York. We feel very inspired by both places, I guess there are no pros and cons.. at least for me there aren’t .
Your second full-length album ‘The Future Sugar‘ is due out September 25th after a long and somewhat arduous road. Can you elaborate on that process?
Diego Solorzano: We had to wait a lot for this album to have a release date. We’ve played a lot in the past four years trying to get people’s attention, it has been a real labour of patience for us but at the same time it has also helped us develop more as a band and understand that things have a process that you can’t accelerate, you can only work hard and enjoy the ride.
The Future Sugar promises ‘a synth-laden, guitar-driven collection of pop gems.’ What else can fans expect from your sophomore effort?
Diego Solorzano: I guess they can expect an honest album. We gave our best to make it sound the way we wanted it to sound.
You’ve opened for Albert Hammond, Jr., Interpol, and are wrapping up a roll through the US with Brandon Flowers – is it intimidating to share the stage with such established heavyweights?
Diego Solorzano: Not really.. it’s more of an incentive to work harder.
What’s the overall effect you try to accomplish for your fans during a live performance?
Diego Solorzano: We would love for people that come to our shows to be so blown away that they leave the venue thinking: what the fuck just happened?!!
If Rey Pila was a classic or cult movie, which would you be?
Diego Solorzano: Apocalypse Now . We all love that movie!!
Who or what are some of your greatest or unexpected influences?
Diego Solorzano: Stanley Kubrick , Marcel Duchamp , Chuck Palahniuk and David Lynch.
What else does Rey Pila have coming up?
Diego Solorzano: We have the rest of the of our tour supporting Brandon Flowers, the Austin City Limits festival and the video premier of “Fire Away” the newest single from our upcoming album.
After all is said and done, what would Rey Pila’s tombstone say?
Diego Solorzano: A quote from The Clash:
“Let fury have the hour, anger can be power
Do you know that you can use it?”