Samal Ayuka: "Named after Samalayuca, the desert dunes on the outskirts of Juarez, Mexico."
The band's name is self-explanatory, plus it's fun to say, it's one of those names you want to repeat because it sounds good. Samal Ayuka is a Juarense band made up Oscar Daniel Segundo (vocals/guitar), Juan Pablo Gutierrez "Pita" (Drums), Fernando Burgos (Keys) , Jorge Vazquez "Chito" (bass), Erland Ramirez Cardiel (Keys) and Hector Ruiz "Reez" (Drums). These band members have known each other since high school, but the most interesting part, which some people might not know, is that they have collaborated on different well known projects like: Hello Seahorse!, Teen Flirt, Laboratories, The Jungles and Sistemas Vocales. This band is about a year old, but have many great projects coming this year and the potential is infinite.
I have to admit that even though I am from the border region, I barely discovered this band five months ago when I was scrolling through Twitter. I stumbled upon an interview done by Le Butcherettes , where Teri Genderbender (vocalist of Le Butcherettes) was asked what five songs she would recommend and one of them happened to be a song by Samal Ayuka. When she mentioned that they were from Chihuahua I was like "What??!!", so as any reasonable person would do I immediately turned to Youtube to listen to Samal Ayuka and then and there I became a huge fan of theirs.
Samal Ayuka has recently released their latest single "Paranoico" , which is only the beginning because the band is expected to release a full length album soon. Hopefully sometime in the beginning of next year. I recently caught up with Oscar (vocalist) to discuss some of the things mentioned. I asked him about the new single "Paranoico" and what it meant to them considering the name itself means paranoid. He mentioned that it's sort of a representation of one's self even though it might sound negative. Also it symbolizes certain relationships with certain people. "It's like looking in a mirror and realizing you are not O.K. It's like when you are broken and you don't have control over that aspect of yourself."
This single is great and the new video for can be found on Youtube. One can only imagine how great the whole album will sound like. With the advent of the new album, the band hopes to do to also do a tour for it. As I pointed out to Oscar, there are already some comments on their social media requesting it. He says he would wish this as well however the band is also working on like 4-5 other projects and there are many other factors involved as well.
As any band made up of so many people form different bands and backgrounds I had to ask what were the bands biggest influences. Oscar laughed and said there are infinite songs and bands that it would be hard to say. He says that each of the band member have such a different taste in music and each listen to it from a different "angle". "For example, I can focus on certain frequencies that drive me crazy and one of my friends can focus on something else and not be phased." He did mention that genres that heavily influence the band are rock and electronic music. He admits that he is really into hip-hop, but at the end of the day they all come together and bring their own perspectives to the "table."
At this point in the interview I asked Oscar how considering that Samal Ayuka is a band from Juarez, how is it that the band is influenced by the border in the sense of their music and personally. He said well, "My generation was the penultimate generation to experience "Juarez Libre" which was before all the violence. We pretty much had the liberty to do whatever we wanted and we were not afraid. You can be up late and go anywhere and not be scared or fear for one's life. It was that freedom that shaped us. Bands from the border are way different from that of the center of Mexico. We have that influence from the United States as well as Mexico." He feels like bands from the border are more aware of these bands and music movements happening in the U.S. whereas their central Mexico counterparts pay more attention to the music movement happening in Europe and Latin America.
Oscar says that something that really stands out to him about the border is the tranquility and the easy pace of life here unlike the big cities. He mentions they call the border region "la tierra del mañana", meaning something of the lines that we are like "we'll do it tomorrow" and life will be alright. He admits he loves the slow-pace and it helps him be creative music-wise and it even gives him time to read a book and do stuff he really enjoys.
I want to thank Oscar and the band for this opportunity. I encourage everyone to look up their music on i-tunes, Spotify, Youtube, and follow them on Instagram @samalayuka.
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Interviews and playlists of local bands and international artists.