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An interview with Mexico’s finest tribute to Morrissey: Mexrrissey

March 21, 2016 :: 04:31 PM EDT

Acclaimed Mexican band Mexrrissey, renowned for their distinctive reinventions of classic Morrissey songs, debuted Top Ten on the Billboard Latin charts following the release of their highly anticipated album ‘No Manchester‘, out now on Cooking Vinyl. The album also reached the number one spot on the iTunes Latin charts.

The band is about to embark on their UK tour before heading stateside this summer, so we talked to them and asked them a few questions about this exciting new project.

Indscene: Who was the mastermind behind this project and where did it come from?
Mexrrissey: My friend Camilo Lara was the one that reached out to me over a year ago to tell me about an idea he had about recreating/reimagining Morrissey and Smiths songs. I’m a huge Smiths and Morrissey fan so I was immediately intrigued. I said yes before I even knew what the songs would sound like. Then he mentioned the other people he was asking and that immediately sealed the deal for me.

Indscene: We know you all come from other bands and solo projects. Were there other artists invited to this super band that said no?
Mexrrissey: I think Camilo asked Joselo (guitar player for Cafe Tacvba) but he was gonna be on tour so he couldn’t join us. Other than that I don’t think he asked anyone else.
Indscene: Is there a special love from Mexico to Morrissey in comparison to other countries outside the UK?
Mexrrissey: I think Mexicans are very passionate people. We love songs about heartache, love and loss. I think it’s sort of in our DNA. If you listen to Ranchera music for example, you’ll immediately notice this and Morrissey songs and The Smiths’ songs convey the same feeling. When we listen to these songs and pay attention to the lyrics we immediately feel a connection.

Indscene: You are getting a lot of coverage worldwide, from the LA Times to The Guardian. Were you surprised with all these positive press reactions?
Mexrrissey: Yes, definitely. The biggest surprise happened with our first show in London at the Barbican. We had no idea what to expect and it was packed! People seemed to really enjoy it, they danced, they sang along and that made the show even more special. When we were done and went backstage we were all in a bit of shock. It was completely unexpected.

Indscene: I suppose you’ve also seen negative reactions from Morrissey fans, or not so much?
Mexrrissey: Yes we have. They happen mainly in Mexico. I think it has to do (again) with how passionate people are. They are such huge fans of Morrissey that the idea of someone touching these songs seems to them as something almost sacrilegious. Some people really like it and some people are completely offended by it.

Indscene: Do you know if Morrissey know about Mexrrissey?
Mexrrissey: I don’t know for a fact that he does. All we know is that articles about Mexrrissey and videos have been posted on his official website. That itself is pretty amazing.

Indscene: Besides changing the lyrics to Spanish, which other cultural elements are you adding to these new (and fantastic) versions of Morrissey’s songs?
Mexrrissey: We will sometimes add bits of classic Mexican songs (this mainly during our live shows) and we also switch some of the slang to Mexican slang or change names of cities in the UK to names of cities in Mexico. That sort of thing.

Indscene: Will you include songs from The Smiths in future albums? (In case they are not included in this one)
Mexrrissey: I would love for that to happen. We don’t have any on this album right now but we do play some live and we did record them too. I’m hoping that we can release those eventually.

Indscene: You guys will be playing several shows in the UK. What are your expectations? Do you think Morrissey fans will be there or are you expecting more fans from Mexico living in the UK?
Mexrrissey: We’ve mainly had Morrissey fans from the UK. We do see a few Mexicans that are living over there but it’s mainly people from the UK. It’s been super interesting because they sing along to these songs but they do it in English and they dance throughout the whole show, it’s really cool.

Indscene: Which other places will you be touring in the next months?
Mexrrissey: I think we will do some other countries in Europe, we have a several dates in the US over the summer and fall. And Mexico during the fall as well.