When you’re really into something it’s hard to describe the feeling you have.
Even try to find the right words to get the others understand the reason why you like that thing, or that person. Especially when you’re talking about music.
Hello Mexico could do this kind of effect.
Once you listen to them very carefully, studying all the details, you start liking their music. A lot.
Let’s see who Hello Mexico are: they’re an ambient rock-pop band from London formed by Nick Calafato (guitars), Gulli Gunnarsson (Keys/Synth/Vocals/Electronics), John Martinelli (guitars), Myles Pereira (vocals) and Daniel Mayers (drums).
The band has released two EPs; “Five Twenty Seven” on 2010, “Hello Mexico” on 2011 plus one single “Sleeper” in the same year. “Hello Mexico” EP is the one should have listened to at least once, because is simply relaxing and surprising at the same time. It’s a mix of songs that capture your attention to every single shadow.
“Five Twenty Seven” represents the rock side of the band. The song that gives the title to this EP is a crescendo of strength and technical precision with an almost perfect end.
What about 2013? We just know that Hello Mexico are working on some new songs and very soon a new track, called “Could Mine”, is going to be released.
We met John Martinelli and asked him more!
We’ve got all the information. You’re from London. You’re an ambient rock band, but from your point of view, how would you describe Hello Mexico? And yes, of course, where did the name come from?
I think that sounds about right. We are a rock band with a lot of different influences. We definitely try and include the ambient aspect to our music as that’s one thing that ties us as members and our sound together. The name came from an old song title from a previous band of Nicks… It ended up sticking, even thought none of us probably like it.
It’s not difficult to catch the differences between your first EP “Five Twenty Seven” and “Hello Mexico”. The first one is possibly more progressive rock than the second one. What’s the reason for this change?
It was just a natural progression with us, the main one being that we added a new singer to the band. Gulli and I were singing on the “Five Twenty Seven” EP but we decided to bring Myles into the mix. We knew Myles from mutual friends and heard his acoustic music and thought it would add a new dimension to our music and create a more unique sound.
Earlier in 2012 it’s been released a new song called “Duality” which is actually a cover from Slipknot. It was not so expected from your listeners. Why did you choose that song and are you linked to it in some way?
We chose the song because noone would expect us to cover it. Most of us were brought up listening to heavier music and we have always loved Slipknot. We were recording demos up in Edinburgh with our good friend Nick Scholey and I remember a few of us went to pick up “Myles from the Airport”. When they came back, half of the song was recorded and we ended up completing it that night whilst being extremely drunk. We had such a great time recording that song so yeah we definitely have a connection with it.
Last year you didn’t get so much gigs, but we can consider the three you did so important for your musical career. A headliner gig at “The Macbeth” in London, as a support band for “This Will Destroy You” at 02 Islington Academy last April and for “The Elijah” at Underworld in Camden in November. How was the experience for you and what was the reaction of the people at the gigs?
We took some time out mainly due to us replacing our drummer. We now have a new drummer called Dan Myers, which we are really excited about. He was the first drummer we auditioned and it instantly worked. We can’t wait for people to listen to our new songs with Dan on as he adds so much to the mix. The shows we played were special though, especially the “This Will Destroy You” show as they are such a fantastic band. It was an absolute privilege to be able to support them.
Let’s talk about a new tour: are you already planning new gigs for 2013? And for bands that are pretty new like you, is it easy to plan gigs in London?
Yep, we are looking into tour dates, but our main focus right now is the new record to be released. We are currently in the writing process but if there are opportunities to play with some very talented bands then we will love to. It’s definitely easy to play gigs in London, there are venues and live music everywhere you turn. London is such a great place to play to people but then again you can play some pretty awful venues!
I read that you went on tour with Kyte like two years ago. For who doesn’t know, Kyte is an ambient band from Leicester and recently John produced a song titled “Quarter Life” with Tom Lowe (member of the band). But actually John, Tom and Gulli formed a new band called Twns, and that was the first single of this new project. What should we expect from Twns?
TWNS is a little side project that I started a while back. Tom and I stayed in touch since he worked on our song “In the Hands of Fools” with us and we have been sending tracks to each other since then. It’s hard finding the time to do both Hello Mexico and TWNS but I have about 4 or 5 tracks in the pipeline that i am currently working on with Tom and Gulli. TWNS will definitely release an EP this year but at the moment the Hello Mexico record is taking priority. Tom is also working on a new project called Cesare and working on the new Kyte album so everyone is busy! We will see.
Let’s go back to Hello Mexico: recently you went to the studio to record new songs and “Cloud Mine” will be out very soon, but are you going to release a new EP or even a debut album?
We are still in the studio working on new tracks but we will be releasing “Cloud Mine” along with an EP. Our sound has definitely adapted since our last self titled EP, due to bringing Dan in. I think it’s always going to be the case that we tweak our sound and try out new ideas constantly. That’s what is exciting about being in a band, always trying new things and getting the best out of the other band members.
Which are the bands you’ve grown up with musically and still influenced you on the moment of writing new songs?
We have all come from different backgrounds so as cliche as it sounds, pretty much anything influences us. The main band for Nick and I has always been Thrice. They were the band that steered me into playing guitar more intricately and less in a punk way and have been the band that i have always looked forward to release after release. I’ve always been into soundtracks and scores for television and film, so i have always loved the less obvious things about music and the more ‘behind the scenes’ approach to songwriting so that has kept with me.
London is one the most inspiring city of the world, not just for music but about anything that involves the cultural industry. What does the city give to you and what it takes away from you? Is there a place you always visit that makes you feel proud of living in London?
London gives us the chance to be part of a very creative city, but with it being so big it also makes it harder for your voice to be heard. But I guess that’s all part of the challenge.
This is probably just curiosity, but what is the meaning of “Five Twenty Seven”?
“Five Twenty Seven” comes from a moment in a song by God Is An Astronaut song (“No Return”) that we collectively love.