INTERVIEW: MEXRRISSEY

Tonight on the Adelaide Riverbank Palais, the repertoire of Morrissey and The Smiths will be given a unique Mexican makeover with a performance from acclaimed Mariachi outfit, Mexrrissey for the Adelaide Festival.

Band leader Camilo Lara explains how this novel project came about.

“I always thought there was this mystical connection between Morrissey and Mexico,” he reflects. “We share a lot of things with Morrissey’s music and Mexicans are obsessed with Morrissey, especially the Mexicans in America. A lot of the people who came from Mexico to California developed this passion for Morrissey: his style, his lyrics. He was a migrant too, so we share common ground. So I thought it was a really fun idea to translate those songs and reimagine them as if Morrissey was Mexican.”

And Camilo promises a set-list full of favourites, albeit in a very different style.

mexrrissey_adelaide_festival_large“We do The Smiths, we do a lot of Morrissey songs. And it’s a lot of fun because people don’t always get the song when we start playing, it takes them a while to figure out which song it is. We sing in Spanish and the songs are in all these Mexican rhythms. I would say it’s a Mariachi punk rock show.”

Mexrrissey has even been granted official approval from Morrissey himself.

“He gave us the rights to do the songs, because when you translate the lyrics you have to have permission,” Camilo explains. “And he has been really good with us. I opened a Morrissey show with my band a month ago and he has been great to us.”

When they hit the stage on the Palais, Camilo promises it will be the ‘A band’.

“The members keep changing but everyone comes to Australia,” he laughs. “We did Sydney last year and we shot a video there, it was fun. We even met the drummer from Midnight Oil, which was a great pleasure. It would be like going to Manchester and meeting Johnny Marr!”

So what can the Adelaide audience expect from the show?

“There’s a lot of dancing, It’s very punk rock and very energetic,” Camilo says. “It’s a very powerful show. It’s wonderful to connect with people but always a challenge to connect with people who don’t speak Spanish, so it’s truly an example of how music is the only universal language.”

Mexrrissey perform tonight on the Adelaide Riverbank Palais at 8:30. Tickets and further details can be found here.

By Matthew Trainor

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