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Caifanes love to perform. That’s why the band’s drummer hopes to die on stage – Orange County Register

Mexican rock group Caifanes will tour with Cafe Tacvba and perform at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday, June 5. (Photo by Zeus Lopez)

Alfonso André, drummer for the legendary rock-en-español group Caifanes, calls from his home in Mexico City and says with a laugh that he hopes to die on stage. “When it’s my time, I’d love to be in the middle of a huge drum solo.”

But first André has to work. Three and a half decades after the band’s founding, the members of Caifanes are in their late sixties. They never imagined they’d still be touring the world while their hair went gray, but after wrapping up a Latin American tour that started in February in Guadalajara, Mexico and ended in early May in Medellín, Colombia, the ‘Afuera ‘rockers hit the road for a North American stint.

They will collaborate with one of Mexico’s most important alternative rock bands, Café Tacvba. The tour kicks off at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday, June 5, followed by a stop at Acrisure Arena in Palm Desert on Friday, June 7.

André says Caifanes is revitalized, if somewhat surprised, by their steadfast fan base of Gen Zers and millennials. “The band has been around for so long that in recent years, especially after the pandemic, we always expected there to be more old heads in our audience,” he jokes. “But there are many very young children who know the songs better than Saúl, our singer.”

The younger fans who sing Caifanes hits at concerts today were only in diapers or weren’t born yet when the songs first hit the airwaves, but André says his fans in their 20s know the songs by heart and sing them with passion. “The generational barrier was broken with Caifanes,” says André, adding that the band doesn’t know how or why it happened, “but we love it.”

Caifanes’ storied history – currently consisting of Saúl Hernández on vocals and guitar, Marco Renteria on bass, Rodrigo Baills on lead guitar, Diego Herrera on keyboards and saxophone, and André on drums – reflects the explosive rise of rock in Mexico City during the mid 80’s.

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Hernández and André became fast friends in high school; the couple shared a passion for music. At the time, rock was not yet mainstream in Mexico, and certainly not as a focal point in the Latin music industry. Inspired by the burgeoning post-punk and new wave movements from the US, as well as the rich tapestry of traditional Mexican music, the two developed a musical fusion that would define their sound, and in Mexico City, around 1987, Caifanes was born. .

The duo’s vision expanded when they joined forces with Sabo Romo, Caifanes’ former bassist, and keyboardist Herrera. With each member bringing unique musical influences and talents, Caifanes created a distinctive sound that defied easy categorization. Their music seamlessly blended rock with Mexican folklore and a host of synthy elements, creating a sonic tapestry that resonated deeply with audiences and defied conventional labels.

At the time, the Mexican government often condemned rock culture as “evil,” forcing bands and rockeros into warehouses and underground locations. When Caifanes played his first official show to a sold-out crowd in Rockotitlán in 1987, the punk and new wave movements were in full swing. The band quickly caught the attention of fans who longed for both rock music and a space to dance fervently, paving the way for the band’s meteoric rise.

“Back in the day – ages ago – Saúl and I would explore and play various small venues around the city and most of the time it felt like you either had to be in the rock scene or you were an outcast. But it was very important for us to stay true to who we were, because that’s what we loved. Some nights we played to a few people and others were full. But as the community grew, so did our shows.”

The group split due to internal disagreements in 1995, with Caifanes calling it quits after an August show in San Luis Potosí. Hernández and André broke away from the others and a new group emerged from the unrest: Jaguares. The new band kept a similar sound but introduced a heavier progressive rock tone and went on to win Best Latin Rock Album at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards in 2009.

They played together for several years until an unexpected opportunity arose: a chance for Caifanes to reunite for a set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2011. As Hernández describes it, the performance marked “a new beginning” for the band, which reignited the bond. their passion and forms the basis for a remarkable revival.

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The original members returned once again and ushered in a new era for the band. From 2019 onwards, the band released new singles, including ‘Heridos’, ‘Sólo Eres Tú’ and ‘Inés’.

The pandemic ushered in a new layer of realignment for the band, pushing them to explore new textures of sounds and stories during their time away. This period of reflection and adjustment ultimately created a surge of energy among the members, motivating them to embark on an extensive touring schedule as soon as conditions permit.

“One of the saddest moments of my life was during the pandemic, when everything just stopped,” says André. “We couldn’t perform for almost three years. It was terrible not being on stage for so long. They’re like nutrients; it is oxygen for us, and we need it to survive. So the opportunity to tour, play and travel like this is everything to us. There is nothing better. We enjoy it so much now, and I feel like the passion and energy is more than before, because this is not a job for us; it’s what we have to do. You know, you feel it when we perform. There is so much life happening.”

Although their upcoming U.S. tour marks the first time Caifanes and Café Tacvba will headline a tour together, both have a long history of sharing stages at Latin American festivals such as the Besame Mucho festival at Dodger Stadium the past two years at the El Rockero stage. .

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“When we first got invited to play Besame and saw the line-up, we thought it was a joke or something,” André chuckles. “I mean the fact that you had so many crossovers and genres all in one day was so interesting to us. I remember walking around the stages as an audience member and seeing Latin pop set to various traditional Mexican music; it was a journey. It’s so healthy to have a community like that in Los Angeles, that’s why we came back to play.”

As the group prepares for their upcoming tour, the promise of new music and the dedication to “playing until the wheels fall off” energizes André. He hopes fans will rediscover the youthful vigor and timeless spirit of the music that once defined an era when joy, rock ‘n’ roll and passion were all that mattered.

Caifanes and Cafe Tacvba tour

When: Wednesday, June 5, 7 p.m

Where: Hollywood Bowl, 2301 Highland Ave, Los Angeles

Tickets: $79-$282 at Ticketmaster.com.

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