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Metal or Mariachi? Metalachi Offers Best of Both Worlds

FILE - Metalachi, the self-proclaimed first and only heavy metal mariachi band, perform on stage at the House of Blues in Anahaim, California, U.S. November 10, 2018. (REUTERS/Jane Ross)
Metal or Mariachi? Metalachi Offers Best of Both Worlds
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What do you get when you mix the sound of heavy metal rock music…with Mexican mariachi music?

The answer is Metalachi.

Metalachi’s members call themselves the first and only heavy metal mariachi band. They mix the traditional mariachi sound from Mexico with modern Heavy metal.

The group performs songs like “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by the band Twisted Sister and “Rock and Roll All Nite” by KISS in their one of a kind style.

“I think we’ve transformed the music enough to say that we actually came up with our own genre,” said Metalachi’s trumpet player, who likes to be called El Cucuy.

He spoke to the Reuters news agency at one of the band’s recent shows, in Los Angeles, California.

He added, “There’s some people that consider either mariachi music or metal music almost like a religion…but most of the time, people love what we do.”

The band’s members keep their true identities secret. But all of them are from the Los Angeles area. They have been playing together for about eight years.

The five members of Metalachi are classically trained mariachi musicians. They play in a traditional mariachi setup with a singer and four musical instruments: trumpet, violin, guitar and a guitarron, or bass guitar. They do not have a drummer setting the beat, which is usually an important part of heavy metal music.

Guitarist Paco Halen says the guitarron and the guitar provide most of the sound that a drum set would.

The usual lead guitar parts and solos are provided by Kyla Vera, who plays the electric violin. She is the only woman in the band. She says people who enjoy Heavy metal have grown to like mariachi after seeing Metalachi perform.

“Everyone seems to have a really good time,” she noted. “Even if they weren’t into one or other of the genres, most of the time this kind of bridges the gap for them.”

Metalachi is currently performing in the western United States. In 2019, the group plans to perform on the high seas on two music cruises.

I’m Jonathan Evans.

Jane Ross reported this story for the Reuters news agency. Jonathan Evans adapted her report for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.


Words in This Story

genre – n. a kind or classification of literature or art

cruise – n. the act of sailing on a boat or ship to a number of places for pleasure

solon. a musical work for a single voice or instrument; a performance in which the performer has no partner

classicallyadj. of or relating to a system from earlier times

style – n. an expression, custom or technique

transform – v. to change; to develop