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Mexico’s Zoé is Crossing Musical Borders with “Aztlán”

*The following article contains excerpts from an interview originally conducted in Spanish, with both versions on display for your enlightenment.

Mexico’s Grammy Award-winning rock band Zoé is returning to Sacramento on March 14, as the band takes a “night off” from its current U.S. tour with Canadian rock band Metric. Taking over Ace of Spades, only a month after winning the Grammy for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album for their album “Aztlán,” the band is on a mission to seize this moment as an opportunity to distinctly crossover into the U.S. market.

Lead by vocalist León Larregui, lead guitarist Sergio Acosta, keyboardist Jesus Baez, bassist Angel Mosqueda and drummer Rodrigo Guardiola, Zoé has been brewing a quiet storm of Spanish rock since the late 90s. Having faced a few setbacks due to the music industry’s lack of foresight, their determination never withered and finally rewarded them last month with a surprise win at the Grammy Awards—a feat that grants León Larregui and the band a new chapter to look forward to.

“La verdad, no lo esperábamos,” recuerda Larregui. “Tanto así, que ni siquiera fuimos a la ceremonia ni nada. Estábamos preparándonos para este tour y fue una grata sorpresa porque, aparte pues, es una gran herramienta para ahora que estamos haciendo esta gira con Metric, que es un banda anglo. Es una gran herramienta para también promovernos en este intento de crossover.”

“Honestly, we weren’t expecting it,” recalls Larrequi. “So much so, we didn’t go to the ceremony or anything. We were getting ready for this tour and it was a pleasant surprise because, well, it’s a great apparatus now that we’re on this tour with Metric, an English-speaking band. It’s a great apparatus to promote ourselves in an intent to crossover.”

As if the Aztec constellations aligned, the success of “Aztlán,” the band’s sixth studio album, is truly a reward for decades’ worth of creative consistency. Throughout the years, and more so recently, Larregui has been able to see the evolution of English-speaking fans coming to their shows with a glowing enthusiasm for their infectious sound.

“En Estados Unidos, o fuera de Mexico, por ejemplo en Londres,” explica Larregui. ”La gente Latina que llega siempre por lo general o mucha de ella llega con su pareja que no habla Español y, claro, empiezan a enamorarse de la música por su pareja, y empiezan a si conocer la música y conocer mas el idioma o a sentirse interesados por saber lo que esta diciendo, o que la música les gusta y bueno no saben lo que estás diciendo, pero quieren saber.”

“In the United States, or outside of Mexico, like London for example,” explains Larregui. “Latinos generally arrive with their partners that don’t speak Spanish and, of course, they begin to fall in love with the music because of their partner, and they become familiar with the music and learn the language or become interested in what it’s saying, or they like the music and don’t know what you’re saying, but they want to know.”

In staying true to their Mexican roots, while looming with English influences, Zoé’s music has been creating these moments for generations now. With the opportunity to create them for many generations to come, “Aztlán” serves as an ideal passage between the past and present of Spanish rock. As their eyes set on the future, Larregui looks forward to providing an environment where fans get a chance to evolve with the band and its live show.

For more information on Zoé and all their endeavors, visit Zoetheband.com

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About the author

Cesar Alexander

Cesar Alexander

Cesar Alexander is assistant editor for Sacramento Press. A native to California, he enjoys writing and discovering the varieties of art, live music, nature and everyday wonders the Sacramento region has to offer.

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