HELLVILLE DE TOUR COMES TO CHICAGO
Enrique Bunbury is the real deal. Not one to keep his thoughts to himself (see interview below), the pop phenom is hoping to take Chicago by storm on Thursday, Feb. 19 (9:00 p.m.), when he stops at the Aragon for a performance in support of his latest recording, “Hellville de Luxe.” Arguably one of Spanish rock’s most influential artists, the singer/songwriter kicked off his “Hellville de Tour” last weekend in New York City, with performances to follow in Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The Zaragoza-native will then embark on a longer tour of Mexico which includes visits to Guadalajara, Mexico City and Acapulco.
Tickets for Thursday’s show at the Aragon are available for purchase at all Ticketmaster outlets or at www.ticketmaster.com. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Aragon Box Office, located at 1106 W. Lawrence in Chicago.
Bunbury, the former lead singer of “Heroes del Silencio,” sat down for a rare interview last weekend to talk about his latest work and tour. For additional information on the artist, please visit www.enriquebunbury.com.
The following is part of an interview conducted last week with Enrique Bunbury in New York City by W Radio (Mexico) reporter Carlos Puig prior to the start of the artist’s 2009 “Hellville” U.S. Tour:
Do you have any rituals before going up on stage? Are you superstitious?
I’m not really superstitious but I do have some pre-show rituals. For example, I like to be at the venue three hours prior to a show so that I can get to know the place where I’ll be performing and where my fans will be watching the show. In the end, it’s during that final hour before the show that I really start to prepare myself for the performance.
During the 80’s, you were among a select group of [European] artists that was quick to reach fans in both North America and Latin America. Why did you and your former band, “Heroes del Silencio,” want to come here?
I think most bands wanted to play here. We thought this was an ideal place because people would understand us, our language. It was a real conquest, if you will. When we arrived in Mexico for the first time we found that many bands simply wanted to do promotional appearances. We didn’t want that. We didn’t rely on record labels or radio stations [to play our music], and we did what most Mexican rock bands do, which is to play in the underground circuit and in places like La Diabla, Rock Stock and Rockotitlan.
How did you feel when you first arrived in Mexico?
I felt like I had already been there. It really felt like I had lived there in a previous life, with my family and children. It was a special feeling, similar to what I still feel today.
Musically speaking, what have you learned from Mexico?
I am a passionate follower of Mexican music, for its various styles like the ranchera, the ‘son’ Veracruzano, the norteña, and also the pre-historic music, which I discovered through the late Jorge Reyes.
What are you trying to accomplish with “Hellville” at this point in your career?
“Hellville” is the name of my home in Santa Maria, and I wanted the album to carry that name because it’s the first time that I create an album, entirely, from my home and in my own studios. Normally, I will start an album while on tour, or I’ll travel to a remote place while I work on it. There is a phrase in the album that says: “In the end, for a worldly man, it is exotic to come back home.” For me, it was like an exotic experience to be home for an extended amount of time.
What can we expect to see in this tour?
You’ll see a new band, a very strong band. This is probably my best rock band -- ever. The concert is divided in two parts: one part is full of energy and rock; the other is more loungy and intimate, almost as if it were a private show.
You’re kicking off the tour in New York. What comes to mind when you hear the name Barack Obama?
I think all of us need to believe in something and hold onto hope. However, I am more skeptical, and it isn’t necessarily because of Obama. I think here in the U.S., politicians – both democrats and republicans- simply have not changed their politics, even with Bush aside. I’m not sure to what degree Obama will make the necessary changes. It will be interesting to see how far he can go while staying honest.
What don’t you listen to in your iPod?
You won’t find music that’s currently playing on the radio in my iPod. There’s music in English, Spanish, there’s rock, jazz, Latin….all sorts of music.
Do you think that currently, there is quality music being produced?
Yes, I think so. There are some very talented musicians out there. In Mexico there are great artists –and finally some new Spanish rock bands.
What about in Spain?
There are talented artists there as well. There is Vetusta Morla and Le Punk, who are not big yet but they will be one day.