Emerging from Mexico City, Mexico, Rey Pila first started out as a solo project from Diego Solórzano. The first, self-titled, studio album was released in 2011 and after two years of touring with bands such as: Interpol, Muse, TV on the Radio and Ariel Pink in Mexico and all over the world, Solórzano realized that he wanted to work with others.
Joining Rey Pila, alongside vocalist Solórzano are his long-time friends and collaborators: Rodrigo Blanco and Andrés Velasco on guitar and Miguel Hernández on bass.
The band name origin was explained by the band’s frontman.
“Rey Pila is phrase from a painting of a collaboration between of Jean Michel Basquiat and Francesco Clemente,” said Solórzano. “‘King battery’ translated to Spanish means Rey Pila.”
“A friend of mine from New York was playing “Alexander” in his office and Julian happened to pass by and stopped at my friends office to ask about the band,” said Solórzano. “The rest is history.”
Rey Pila is expected to have their new album, “Blast,” out some time next year. They worked with producer Chris Coady (Beach House, Future Islands, Wavves) and Solórzano spoke about what will be expected.
“It’s always hard to describe your own music,” said Solórzano. “You’re so deep into the process that you lose judgment. The songs are a mix of synth and guitar hooks. A middle point between popular and experimental music.
Artwork is something that is very important for us. It’s a very cool way to translate the music into image, therefore, it’s critical for us to create something that is as solid as the music.
We are just in the final process of finishing the artwork for the album. We have a fixation for “pop images,” [because] they have quick and strong impact on people. We are working for the cover to have that kind of vibe.”
Even though the band originated in Mexico City, Solórzano was more fond of English sung artists, and he has a family member to thank for exposing him to it.
“I didn’t really listen to that much Spanish speaking music growing up,” said Solórzano. “Bands like Nirvana and The Clash had a serious impact on me when I was a teenager. I’ve always listened to English and American bands. That’s what my older brother listened to back then and introduced me to.
I never had much curiosity to listen to other music different from the bands I heard when I was younger. Bands like The Clash, Roxy Music or The Cars were, and continue to be, very important for me. They absorbed all my attention.”
Even though it’s been more than four years since Rey Pila’s last album, that hasn’t diminished Solórzano’s music making ability.
“Writing songs on a regular basis has helped me develop a better sense of space and time with the songs I’m working on,” said Solórzano. “Being disciplined has helped me change and mature as a songwriter.”
“Playing with Interpol was the best experience we’ve had as a band so far,” said Solórzano. “The crowds and the venues were awesome and we felt the energy and love from crowds that in most cases [would] have never ever experienced Rey Pila’s music before.”
If you’ve listened to Rey Pila before, don’t expect to hear the same exact sound if you see them live.
“The shows are louder and, why not, more aggressive than the recorded versions of the song,” said Solórzano. “I love to rile people up and get them into the show so we can all have a great time and be an outlet for all the energy everyone wants to release. ‘We like to go wild.’”
Even though he is the vocalist for Rey Pila, Solórzano has also taken the time to learn many instruments throughout his life.
“I first began playing guitar when I was about seven my uncle introduced me to a teacher that showed me some riffs here and there, but nothing serious,” said Solórzano. “I was a huge Kiss and Cheap Trick fan when my parents bought me that Yamaha guitar.
After that I started fooling around with drums, my favorite instrument, I guess. I played drums in several bands before going back to the guitar and bass.
Keyboards were my final discovery. I love synths.”
Rey Pila is slowly coming into their own and are on the verge of gaining massive attention. Be on the lookout for their new album and for them to stop by a city near you sometime in 2015.
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