Rock band Mexrrissey is comprised of top players in the Mexico music scene who joined forces to play Morrissey’s and The Smith’s greatest hits. They include Chetes, Jay De La Cueva, Ceci Bastida, Adan Jodorowsky, Liber Teran, Alejandro Flores, Alex Gonzales, Ricardo Najera, Sergio Mendoza and Jacob Valenzuela. The band is touring to promote their debut album, No Manchester. They will perform at the Kimmel Center on October 29, 2016.
I had an opportunity to speak with Ceci Bastida (keyboards and vocals) about the band, their music and their upcoming tour. [The Kimmel Center’s The Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad Street] October 29, 2016; kimmelcenter.org.
Debra Danese: The band is made up of musicians from various cities in Mexico. When and how did you come together to form Mexrrissey?
Ceci Bastida: Camilo Lara, who is a long- time friend and producer, contacted me about two years ago with his vision. His idea was to reinvent the music of Morrissey and The Smith’s. He sent me some demos and I immediately jumped on board. It was the same for the other artists.
DD:Your debut album, No Manchester, covers Morrissey’s top hits. What musical influence does Morrissey have on the Mexico music scene and on the band?
CB: Morrissey is very well respected in Mexico. His music is about mellow drama- love, loss, heartache. It is something we can relate to and connect with. His songs are also well constructed. As a band, we felt we could translate them while still keeping the melancholy feel.
DD:How did you go about putting this album together?
CB: Camilo knew what he wanted for the album and he knows everyone in the music scene. He knew who to contact to make this happen. As for the artists, we all knew each other in different aspects, either personally or from working on other projects together. Once we all got together, everything happened organically. We toured the U.K. and had a chance to fine tune the songs.
DD:What challenges did you face when translating Morrissey’s lyrics from English to Spanish?
CB: The lyrics are not translated literally. Instead, we translated the meaning. For example, we substituted U.S. slang with slang commonly used in Mexico. We are not a tribute band. We took the songs and reimagined them as they would relate in Mexico.
DD:What other musical influences does the band have?
CB: We come from different worlds and have different influences. We put our own personality into the music. If you are familiar with a particular band member, you can definitely hear their individual personalities in the songs.
DD:What are you hoping the audience takes away from a Mexrrissey concert?
CB: First and foremost, I hope they realize we are doing these songs with the utmost love and respect for Morrissey and The Smiths. It’s a fun show! We want people to have a good time and forget everything else for a while. We also hope a younger generation who may not be as familiar with Morrissey and The Smith’s gain an appreciation for their music. There really is something for everyone.
[The Kimmel Center’s The Perelman Theater, 300 S. Broad Street] October 29, 2016; kimmelcenter.org.