Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero, the Mexican guitar duo collectively known as Rodrigo y Gabriela, sat down with Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot for a performance and interview in a rather atypical venue: The aging barrel house at Goose Island's brewery in Chicago.
The first segment of the podcast sees the hosts remember the recently passed Phil Everly before starting the interview at 7:13 into the show. Rodrigo y Gabriela talk their influences, learning to play, their lack of lessons, and the transition between metal and the genre-defying fusion they play now.
They break into their first song at 11:48. Rodrigo tells us the song is a new tune, saying, "We're kind of testing new material." The song is multi-textured and dynamic, speeding up and slowing down effortlessly. Slow, finger-picked melodies give way to metal-influenced, percussive riffs as the song moves into a fast-paced, melody-driven outro.
In the next bit of the interview, interspersed with short clips of their music, the two talk about how they quit their metal band, developed their unique rhythms, and setting the goal of traveling and playing music before they wound up busking on the streets in Dublin. Jim brings up their self-made and self-released record, and asks the duo about their experience playing European festivals. "I think it was important for us to go through that before we got signed in America," says Rodrigo. They move on to talk about their decision to eschew genre titles in order to avoid being pinned down to a certain kind of music. Gabriela sums it up, saying, "We get to play everywhere, basically," before going on to talk about their experience playing in Cuba.
Their next song begins at 33:41, and opens with rhythmically blistering riffs. Gabriela's playing style makes her de facto drummer of the group, adding the sound of a third instrument to the mix, as they transition seamlessly between sections. The song remains cohesive, held together by a consistent refrain, but rather than follow standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure, the duo takes you on a musical journey through several separate segments, culminating in a breakneck coda.
They talk about the recording process for their first "official" album and their first meeting with producer John Leckie. According to the band, Rodrigo y Gabriela was recorded in just 15 days, after a false start recording in Mexico involving "too much beer." They go on to talk about their thoughts for their upcoming record and their 2010 performance at the Obama White House, before saying their goodbyes.
The show concludes with the hosts saying goodbye to Benjamin Curtis of Secret Machines, who passed away at age 35 in December. They discuss the band's history and sound before dedicating Secret Machines' "Nowhere Again" to the late Curtis. They close the show by airing a few listener calls regarding their overlooked year-end picks and the possibility of record ratings. Listen to the full hour-long show above and head over to Sound Opinions' official website for more information and and many more episodes.
Source: Sound Opinions SoundCloud